We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Murrow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I would say unshakable determination. I have trained myself to work when I don’t feel like it. Pressing through the resistance and figuring out how to develop a work of art is a skill. There is the anticipation of starting something new. Once it gets going, it feels really good until there is a little problem. This is where creative people spend most of the time, in the middle. Every day there is something new to discover and I like that!
Relationships. With 25 years in the flower business, I have perfected the craft of floral design and learned how important it is to listen to and get to know a prospective buyer (even if it is just for 10 minutes). I try to make a point of encouraging laughter, to bring light to someone’s day. As a social person, I cherish the time spent working with flowers and the people who love them as much as I do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have consistently painted an unlikely subject matter, mobile home parks. The series is as much about the homes as painting itself. I find the subject matter keeps me curious and challenged as an artist. I am very attracted to the idea of community and the sameness of these particular structures. They are a metaphorical celebration of human connectivity. To get to know someone beyond the surface, we need to go inside: a place where we are all decorated differently by the experiences we have. Luckily people like what I paint and buy my work. Before the pandemic, I was blessed with several large commissions that launched me into becoming a full time artist. I have been working out of a studio in Westwood Village for over 10 years. Coming up April 2023 I have been granted a month long residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hmm, that is a tough one. Being that I am a native Angeleno, to me, this city is not about fame and fortune. It is home, a place of incredible diversity (the population and the plants), freedom, sunshine, memories; it pulses with inspiration.
I love to wake up early on the weekends to walk along Surfrider Beach, Malibu. Huntington Gardens are a must, in comfortable shoes that is. A night or two in Santa Ynez for hiking and wine tasting! Open roads, vineyards climbing up mountains, the sun drenched earth, sipping on wine and relaxing with friends-I love it…. A stroll along Venice Boardwalk(my favorite part is the skate park. I like the idea of common ground, a collective, where people come together to perfect their craft, socialize and learn from one another, for free). I am not a big shopper, but I like contrast. It excites me to visit the shops in Beverly Hills and admire the beautiful jewelry, shoes and clothing, hotel lobby floral displays, lunch at il Pastaio and things. I also love treasure hunting in our local thrift shops. I am always on the hunt for an elegant vase to put flowers in for myself or give to a friend/art collector.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family for their support and my education, Lolita Robinson, a talented singer, writer and spiritual mentor, Erica Gerard Di Bona’s friendship and her writings on the Art of Thank You are endlessly inspiring, Fellow artists: Gili Wolf, Elizabeth Patterson, Salomon Huerta. Rhode Island School of Design, Several books I would like to share: “The Creative Spark” by Michael Shapiro, “Just Kids” Patti Smith, “Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert