Stuart Murray is a Glasgow-based illustrator who graduated in Painting and Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art in 2000. Murray's consequent year of unemployment inspired him to collate his drawings, based on those he'd met in a daily pilgrimage to the Job Centre, into a book format for the first time. Now working as a Postman, Murray continues to document the colloquialisms of the ordinary Glaswegian pedestrian - with hilarious and poignant results.
We spoke to Murray about his latest work, titled 'Glasweigans', due to launch at Clutha Bar tomorrow night:
"The new book, Glaswegians, is something I would never have thought of producing were it not for the publisher Ian spring. He first came up with the idea of a standard paperback format book - most of my previous ones were 'school jotter style' - and it being a kind of compilation 'best of' of my earlier stuff. Something I would never have bothered with, but it sounded good. As for my practice and how I go about it all, I don't need to go looking for material; it finds me and always has done. I just get on with what Im doing, and make work out of what happens anyway. As for Glasgow, it's not the be all and end all of why I make my work, it's just where I live - where I am most of the time. I like it here -- I probably love it here."
When I first discovered Alasdair Gray I was at school and the main thing that struck me, the best thing I took out of it was that it was someone making artwork out of places and the type of people I knew. Reading Lanark and the character lives in the next street to my pal along the road, looking at the drawings and you can see Alexandra Park, the Wills Factory. Then through reading Alasdair Gray’s stuff, I discovered James Kelman and that was really a godsend, really important at that time in inspiring me to get on and make work out of my surroundings and my own culture. It showed me as well the importance of how in a story everything can happen and nothing can happen at the same time. The mundane minutiae can reveal a lot. A few sentences of speech can be a short story, a piece of work."
"Another reason for getting into making publications, aside from the fact I like books, was that I like the kind of mass production aspect of them. Other people are involved in printing it, binding it, and they can be printed and reprinted again and again. Obviously this gets your work out and about in the world in peoples’ bags, pockets, bookshelves. In the last few years I’ve also had The Folk Ye Bump Intae blog which obviously can get the drawings out and about in the world at the touch of a button, but I still think the books are an important way of doing it. The blog started because I was building up drawings that didn’t fit into any theme just a collection of random encounters in different places and situations, and then that became the theme. It’s been a good thing for getting the work out there. The idea of just doing work for your own amusement or pleasure and putting it away in a drawer doesn’t really do it for me, I want it to be out there to be seen. "
To see more of Stuart's work, visit: thefolkyebumpintae.wordpress.com