Will Murai’s studio
Perfectly formed The busy artist explains how every inch of his small but stylish São Paulo workspace is designed to inspire
Back in 2007, a worldleading game publisher hired me as a 2D artist for its São Paulo branch. Brazil’s capital is the largest metropolis in South America, and one of the most influential cities when it comes to arts and entertainment.
I’m here with my wife – who was my girlfriend at the time of the move – and we chose this great two-storey apartment near one of the busiest areas in the city, two blocks from Paulista Avenue. It’s surprisingly quiet for such a busy, inner-city area, though. And we have everything we need nearby: subway stations, shopping malls, museums, as well as restaurants and bars. I also wanted to live within walking distance of the office so I could avoid the infamous São Paulo traffic jams.
A few years later, I choose to work as a freelancer, which meant we had to adapt our living room into my studio. Even if a few extra square metres would be useful, the small space isn’t a major problem for me because most of my work is done digitally.
I try to keep my workstation as clean as possible, with only the computer and Cintiq on it, and I use a trackpad instead of a mouse. Besides being a great device for multi-touch gestures – such as rotate, pinch to zoom and so on – it also frees up space on my desk.
When it comes to traditional stuff, I only keep my sketchbook and pencils around. I still prefer to use them to sketch initial ideas and concepts.
In my typical working day, I try to deal with emails, accountancy, meetings and all other organisational activities during the day, then I begin the artistic, creative stuff late at night. I put my headphones on and work until I get sleepy, usually at around 3am or 4am. I find it very productive to be able to work non-stop this way, without any distractions.
Brazilian illustrator and concept artist Will Murai counts Applibot, Marvel Comics and Wizards of the Coast among his clients. You can see his art at www.willmurai.com.
I made this stretched canvas to celebrate the new identity of my portfolio. My great friend Rentz Munhoz ( www.rentz.com.br) designed the logo, which has been used on all my products. The Cintiq, undoubtedly, is my main drawing board and canvas today. It’s hooked up to a 27in iMac with lots of RAM and some extra hard drives working as scratch disks. Every workspace should have ergonomic chairs. I’ve had this one for about five years and it still feels like new. They’re designed to comfortably accommodate the vertebral column. In addition, the mesh assures that your bottom doesn’t feel like mashed potatoes by the end of the day. When I organised this space I made sure all my entertainment and visual stimulation was easy to find: my books, magazines, toys, comics, DVDs, music and games are all just a few centimetres away.
Our place is located in one of the busiest areas of central São Paulo, just a few blocks from Paulista Avenue. But it’s surprisingly quiet, even during the day. My wife and I are fanatical collectors of anime figures and toy art. You can find limited edition statues, action figures, vintage toys and Evangelion-related stuff on my shelves. Although my work is digital, sketchbooks are always around, so I can quickly visualise an idea.
This is issue 86 of ImagineFX – I created the cover. It sits alongside various other books. One of the best things about working from home is that I can enjoy these things anytime.
This is a custom, hand-painted Mini-Me I created as a joke. I like to fill my workspace with pieces that stimulate creativity, however silly they may be.