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Artist Interview: Morgan Gray

by Olivia Bratcher October 19, 2017

Meet Morgan Gray

 Photo by: Julia Shoots

Morgan is a local New Orleans artist who uses her unique style to create colorful works of art. Instead of limiting her bright, pop art inspired designs to canvas, Morgan heads to her local thrift stores to find vintage denim jackets to paint on. 



Tell us about where you do most of your work

"I do most of my work in my bedroom or in my apartment because I am no longer in college and no longer have a studio. Which kind of sucks, but I make it work. I would one day like to have a really big space with a lot of windows, plants everywhere, all white - and just, you know, just mess everything up. But right now, my roommates probably want to kill me, I have stuff everywhere. The apartment is covered in paintings and my supplies."

What inspires you to create?

"I'm mostly inspired by everyday life, if I see something I like, like a painting in a restaurant, I'll jot it down in my notes. Right now I'm really inspired by pop art, I'm really inspired by people on Instagram, I follow a lot of artists and creative people so that's kind of how I got on pop art. I'm really into like 80's funky prints, ole timey, vintagey, 80's prints."

What kind of music do you listen to when you're working?

"I have a very broad music taste, I would say. It can be anything from Lil Wayne to Lana Del Ray. I have a playlist that has all my songs that I'm obsessed with right now, because if I like a song I'll listen to it 25 times."

What was the first piece you sold?

"I honestly can't remember, I started my sophmore year, and people noticed I was doing a lot more art. People kept asking me 'can you do this' so I was doing a lot of random stuff like sorority signs, I painted someones guitar, and then I started doing abstracts."

How did it make you feel?

"I dont know, it just makes you feel appreciated. Its nice to see other people respond to it, other people want it to just hang up in their homes. I painted this jacket, it was actually my favorite jacket, and this girl got it as a gift. So, I thought that was cool, like you liked my work so much that someone thought to give it to you as a present, as a surprise. So, I thought that was cool."

Does living in New Orleans have any impact on your style or your work?

"My style has always been changing, but I think since moving to New Orleans I've wanted to do a lot more bright, colorful things - the city is just so bright, all the buildings are bright and colorful. It's very lively, like all the people here. It's definitely impacted my style."

What's your favorite piece you've created?

"I go through so many phases with my work, Im just very all over the place. I'll do pop art one day, then I'll do abstracts another day. I started doing a lot of portraits, I really like this painting I did of Lana Del Ray, it's when I started using a lot of gold. I love doing portraits and I love making them kind of abstract. So anytime I'm working on something that I can make kind of my own version of, I always like to do a little twist."

How would you describe your style?

"My style is just whatever I feel like doing. Like I said, right now I'm in kind of a pop art phase, and I'm also in a phase where I like doing jackets. I've always liked portraits, like a mixture of funky and abstract, just make it more interesting. Like doing something that you wouldn't think to do but when you do it you see that it turned out really nice. Since I've been into jackets, I see a lot of fashion bloggers and think of things that I would want to wear, but also what other people would think is cool. Yea my style is all over the place, since I've been in New Orleans I think I've tried like three different styles."

What do you love most about being an artist?

"I love that, I mean its great that I live in New Orleans and that when I wake up everyday I don't have to go to the same job. Especially since I've been doing my jackets and what I want to do, I'm just excited everyday to wake up and try something new. You see things differently when you're an artist, I think."

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

"I would say, if you think that you're not good at art, but you like art, take classes. Stuff from my junior year when I started painting, up until now, I never would have thought I could do the things that I'm doing now, like never in a million years. Take classes, learn, paint all the time, paint whenever you want, it's practice you have to do over and over again. I think Pablo Picasso said something like 'Good artists get inspired, great artists steal', so follow a bunch of art instagrams, look up artists, see what styles your into and try to do something along those lines. And if you wanna change your major to art, change your major to art. I did it and I don't regret it at all. I'm having a great time and I get to do what I like everyday and it's really fun."


Olivia Bratcher
Olivia Bratcher


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