Meet the artist behind your new favourite floral print: Murilo Manzini aka Muzi.
In the lead up to our new SS19/20 collection being launched, we caught up with Muzi who created the featured print. Muzi is a Brazilian born visual artist, a multimedia specialist & illustrator based in Sydney, Australia. Step into spring with his floral print featuring native Australian flowers set on a nude or navy base. The softness of the print will take you into nature and become a staple piece in your wardrobe. . Find out more about him and his collaboration with HEW in our interview below, and shop our collaboration with Muzi here.
Tell us a little bit about how you started out as an artist and what drew you to this field.
It all started unintentionally in my childhood. As I grew up, I understood that creating art was much easier for me to communicate my feelings than words. So, I started to study and try out new things. In a way, now I see that making art is a door to heal myself through the obstacles I face in life.
Have you always wanted to be an artist since you were a child or was it something unintentional?
As a young child, my favourite past time was to lay on the ground with a box of crayons and paper and allow my imagination to flow, constantly creating images to add to my very own personal gallery, set up in my bedroom. I'd draw anything from family's photos to something interesting I found. There is a very young picture of me from school wearing a red hat, and holding paints and brushes. I think it was meant to be.
Does your childhood or background affect how you create your art? Has being born in Brazil influenced your art?
My childhood has definitely affected how I create my art. As an introvert child for reasons that I only understood much later, I would find myself craving for ways to express myself and it came as a struggle for many years. I always knew that there was something different about me and the act of putting something on a piece of paper or a canvas somehow freed me from those feelings.
As I grew up and embraced myself and also my sexuality, I looked back and everything became much clear. Yet, I still get surprised when I see something from years ago.
I believe my roots appear through the use of colours and elements of nature. I usually use a very vivid palette in my work and I always add vibrancy to every element which gives a tropical vibe to it, and it's pretty much what Brazil is all about.
Who is your favourite artist at the moment and what or who are your biggest influences artistically?
I've recently found out about David Rice. He is from Portland and I'm absolutely obsessed with his pieces.
Vincent van Gogh has always been my biggest inspiration. The guy was a genius and in my opinion, there has never been another artist that could capture the moment and feeling like he did. But I am inspired by so many more such as Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali and Monet, to name a few.
Which artwork you have created has been your favourite and why?
This is a hard question for me. Every artwork I create is my favourite at the time it's done and I hold on to that feeling and try not to compare them as I create new ones. I acknowledge the importance of each piece and how important it is to get to the next one. But one of my favourites definitely is the collab I did with HEW. I'm very proud of the final result and how it evolved along the way.
How was collaborating with HEW?
It was actually very inspiring and easy at the same time. Ema gave me a lot of freedom in the creation and I felt trusted. HEW is such an amazing brand. I wanted to make something very beautiful and meaningful and I think that we achieved that.
Why do you think it is important to collaborate with different people?
It is so refreshing to collaborate with new people. I love working with different people/brands. It gives me the opportunity to learn more, to experiment with new media and to challenge myself. Definitely, I assume that collaboration is now part of my creative process.
If you could pick your dream artist to collaborate with, who would it be?
For sure, Andy Dixon. He is a Canadian artist and musician, who gained notoriety as a member of the North Vancouver punk rock band d.b.s. It is impossible to not fall in love with his colour palette and sensibility.
What is the idea behind the print you created for HEW?
The idea behind the Ecology illustration is to explore nature, using species of birds like the Hoopoe and the Verigated Fairy Eren, in combination with some plants from distinct regions such as Forget me Not, Peruvian-lily, Sugar Japanese Anemone, Sparaxis Elegans, Grevillea Winpara gold, Eucalyptus Silver Dollar and Leucadendron Safari sunset. This mix of elements portrays my view that all societies are built from miscegenation. What brings balance is the use of unconventional proportions, when a few elements are highlighted and others not. The drippings (my artistic signature) represent the impermanence, as well as the sweat and the tears brought of significant challenges we face in life.
How does your creative process work when creating a new piece?
My process starts in my mind, I usually say that every piece I create comes to me intuitively and then I collect as many references as possible to build a composition. I can go hours and hours when I am very inspired especially if the concept is not one hundred per cent clear in my mind. But, as soon as I start executing it, I feel deeply connected with my intentions.
How do you know when one of your pieces are finished?
Naturally, I'll always find something to add to my pieces if I have the time. However, as time goes by, I've been learning to enjoy more the journey than only the final result. So, it's much easier for me now to let go. If I see balance, I know it is ready.
Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Good light and freedom. I need to feel free to dive into the process with no external control. Also, some good soulful playlists on Spotify helps a lot along the way.
What is your favourite thing or hobby to do in your spare time?
I love to be surrounded by nature. So, any quiet place with plants is good for me. I also like to swim and to draw or paint with no particular goal, just for fun.
What exciting project are you working on next?
Recently, I received the news that I was chosen to be among 50 crazy talented people to showcase my piece "Left Unsaid" on " The Next Level" gallery and publication 2019 organised by WacomANZ. To challenge myself a bit more, I decided to animate this piece using augmented reality.
So, those who buy the piece will have the opportunity to interact with an animated version of the story. I'm pretty excited about it. Dates and locations of events will be posted on The Next Level. So, stay tuned!
If you want to check out more of Muzi's work, head to his website.