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

ImagineFX - - Contents -

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.

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