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Episode 8.5 Transcript

Michael Hayes 02/17/2021 26

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Meet Our Artist!

Time: 53:16


art, people, artists, isabella, thought, inspires, learning, guess, columbia, chico state, piece, world, point, knew, specifically, talk, imagination, passion, question, competition


He-Lo Ramirez, joshuah whittinghill, Teresa Hernandez, Isabella McMurry, Introduction Music


He-Lo Ramirez 00:01

Heytanayem nikki yam sa He-Lo nikki Mechoopda Maidu. Hello everyone. My name is He-Lo and I’m a Mechoopda Maidu. We acknowledge and are mindful that Chico State stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people in this area, the Mechoopda. And we recognize their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that have sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries, and continue to do so today.


Introduction Music 01:02

Introduction Music


Teresa Hernandez 01:08

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to our podcast, first generation one of many. We have a new episode for you guys, and we’re super excited to get started. But first and foremost, like I mentioned, we are first generation one of many, our mission is to create an archive of discussions within about first generation student experiences in and out of the classroom. We hope to continue raising awareness and understanding provide a voice for students and alum as well as present resources or faculty, staff and students working for and collaborating with first generation students. And I of course, cannot do this alone. So I like to introduce my co host, Josh. Hey, Josh.


joshuah whittinghill 01:45

Hi, Teresa. This is great. To be back. This is our first episode after the winter break. And so it’s great to see you again. And and be here.


Teresa Hernandez 01:56

Yeah, I’m excited to see faces over Zoom.


joshuah whittinghill 02:00

Yeah, even if it’s in the little tiny boxes, it’s better than nothing at this point, it’s been great. And I know over the break, I just kept thinking like, oh, we’re doing this. And we have been able to get a lot of things scheduled, and a whole number of episodes coming up to record during the spring semester. But it got me excited and even more of like, hey, let’s get to these recordings. And so today, we have a very awesome episode we’ll get to in a minute. But like tradition, we’re gonna go ahead and share a few quotes that are related to our topic. And today we have two quotes. One of them was shared with us by our guests. And the quote that was shared is from Michelangelo, I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free. Now, I can see why the Our guest today finds that so powerful and really inspires her in her work. And then our second quote, when I when I came first came across it It reminded me of our guests I have is fortunate enough to work with our guests on her senior project when she was a junior in high school. And I did say her senior project when she was a junior because that’s how advanced in art that she was and is so dedicated to it and passionate and spends a majority of her waking hours I’m sure she spent some of her sleeping hours actually working on art somehow knowing her. But this quote really reminded me of her the beginning of it. And it’s from Judy Chicago, who’s known for different installation art and different painting. mediums are the areas that she worked a lot in before she passed away in the early 90s. But her quote is, once I knew that I wanted to be an artist, I had made myself into one, I did not understand that wanting doesn’t always lead to action. Many women had been raised without the sense that they could mold and shape their own lives. And so wanting to be an artist, but without the ability to realize their wants was for some of them. Only an idle fantasy, like wanting to go to the moon. And so that reminds me you’ll see as you learn more about our guests, and you hear from her today. He might see the connection there. But I know when I first met her, actually when I first met her, I want to say she was in single digits of age when I first met her. She might have been like eight or nine years old possibly. And it’s been that long, but I’ve known her but when I got to work with her on the art side of it as she grew and in that area was just amazing to see and see that she herself was living this quote she had made herself into an artist, whether she knew it or not. And then she started to learn how to navigate all the praise and all of the recognition that she was getting. Because she is in my mind, one of the most humble people I’ve met who is highly, highly successful in their field and amazing at what they do. And at such a young age, it’s it’s inspirational to see and hear from her. So, as you might have guessed, today’s episode is going to be about art. And more amazingly, our guest is the artist who created the logo for our show. So we had our we had a musician on who did our intro music. And so we wanted to make sure we got our guest on for art as well. And it is Isabella MC Marie.


Teresa Hernandez 05:37

So we’re super excited to talk to Isabella today about her art and get to know a little bit more about that world. But before we begin, I want to let our listeners you know a little bit more about her. Isabella McMurray is currently a sophomore at California State University Chico, while attending Chico State, she is pursuing her bachelor’s and Fine Arts degree in studio art with an emphasis in digital media. Isabella’s ambitions have focused on the digital illustration, animation and the graphic design industries. Her goal is to inspire others and to open our culture’s mind to the power of imagination, for she knows it has the strength to change the world.


joshuah whittinghill 06:17

Hi, Isabella.


Isabella McMurry 06:19



Teresa Hernandez 06:21



Isabella McMurry 06:23

Thank you for having me. This is all very nice stuff you were saying about me too.


joshuah whittinghill 06:27

Hey, we have to speak the truth here, you know?


Isabella McMurry 06:31



joshuah whittinghill 06:32

it is. It’s been such a long, long time. I know, we started talking about you being a guest. probably at least over a month ago or more, we started the idea of it. And then I can’t even remember when we first started the idea of the podcast in general. Back in really, I think it was about March or April. So it was the end of the first semester learning remotely, and I was dropping something off for your mom. And then I said, Oh, Isabella, would you like to create a logo for this podcast we’re doing? And I thought, well, you know, she’ll think about it, whatever. But if you didn’t even hesitate, you’re like, Oh, that’s that’d be a great project to work on.


Isabella McMurry 07:11

yeah, I was, I was honored to do it. And I had actually been, like, really getting into like logo designs and stuff like that, because for a while, like, I surprisingly, I was getting like many low commissions, even in high school. And I didn’t realize that I would be like, open that field, like graphic design more. So I was really interested because I knew it would just help expand my abilities and stuff. So yeah, of course, I was really good. And I knew you.


joshuah whittinghill 07:41

thank you. And it is one of the wonderful things of art I myself am a I am a budding amateur artist, in a sense, I like to do a lot of photography. And that’s my main medium. But in general, just being around it a lot of unable to work myself on the Chico State campus in the darkroom for photography for a couple of years, I worked as a tech in the in the clay studio, ceramic studio. And just seeing all of that, really being around artists, what you were talking about not realizing, oh, that’s going to open up a whole new area for you. That’s one of the beauties of art is that when you’re doing it, and you’re an artist, and it’s your passion, you spend a lot of time doing it, all of a sudden, you’re doing it in 10 different areas you never even realized you would be connected to.


Isabella McMurry 08:27

Yeah, and it’s definitely one of those things where you got to remember like never to close yourself off from other possibilities. Because, you know, once you once you develop your skill and like good, get good enough in one area, you think you only have to be in that area. But that’s actually not true, you can actually be really good in other areas because of those skills you built up in one area. So that’s what I’ve learned in my experience in both digital mediums and traditional. So yeah.


Teresa Hernandez 09:03

So you kind of already touched about touched upon this, but in terms of art and kind of knowing where your talents lie, what got you into in the first place? How did you realize that you had a passion for art?


Isabella McMurry 09:16

I would say I mean, honestly, I kind of thought I had a passion for art since I was very little like, I can actually remember. Now I usually say this to other people too. Whenever they like asked me like, oh, how do you know you want to be an artist, but I remember very specifically, and this is so random. But in preschool, I remember being dropped off. And like I think I was like the first kid there. So I was just sitting at one of the tables, like waiting for other other people to come and there was a baby wipes container like on like the other table in front of me and I was just looking at it. And it had like a sprig of lavender on it and actually I very specifically remember thinking, I wonder if I could draw that line or like, I bet I can draw that. And I did. And I drew like fireworks around it like this sprig of lavender. But I would say that was definitely like a catalyst to like, thinking, I wonder if I can draw that or like, I wonder if I can do that. And so yeah, whenever people ask, that’s, that’s the memory I go to. And so I, I think that was actually the first time I thought about being an artist or thinking about seeing the world differently through an eye through eyes of art.


joshuah whittinghill 10:39

Well, that and so I two things popped into my mind right away. Knowing your mom, she probably still has that drawing somewhere.


Isabella McMurry 10:47

I don’t even know there was like a huge pile for like many years of art from preschool to I would say, at least like sixth grade or something. But I don’t know if we have any more. I mean to me.


joshuah whittinghill 11:01

Yeah, that would that would be great to run across that one day.


Isabella McMurry 11:04

I know. I think honestly, I think we got rid of it. Because there’s so much and I was producing more skill. And I’ve learned over the years that art is kind of like visuals can be temporary. And so I actually began not really caring if art got messed up or something or like something got torn. Or if someone asked me to have a picture, I’d be like, Yeah, sure. And they’re like, but you work so hard. And this is like Actually, yeah, you can have it. Because it’s I knew I was going to produce more and it would be better. Like, I would hope it would be better. But I never really it’s commonly things I guess I never really looked back or I never worried about if I was better than or if I’m better now. So yeah, so I’ve always just been progressing forward. So I never really thought about my old art too much.


joshuah whittinghill 11:59

And the second thing that popped into my mind was how impressive that is at such a young age to be so focused on something that I mean, I’m you know, I work with people and I know friends and family who are in their 30s and 40s. And they’re still trying to find something that they’re that passionate about. So that’s that’s that’s impressive. And you know, very exciting to hear. so another another question. And to get into with you is, it’s kind of a two part one, and maybe the same question just phrased differently. twice, but who, besides lavender? Who inspires you in your art? And or are there artists you look up to?


Isabella McMurry 12:41

Well, I’m Hmm, I guess, you know, other than the spring of having her. Um, I guess when I was that young, I never really thought about role models, because to me, art wasn’t like, really something wasn’t really something I was aware of, at that point. And like, I knew about it, but I didn’t really like know what it was, according to like, societal standards. I just knew what it meant to me. Or like, what it was becoming to me. So it was like it was becoming its own entity in my mind. So I never really thought about, oh, who’s my role model? Or like, what, who should I look up to? Because it’s like, in my mind, I wasn’t the only one I look to. Because it was something that became internal to me, rather than like, oh, how other people will see it or who I want to see it. So I would say that kind of connects to the quote that I told you about Michelangelo. Because I will say, probably what I learned because it was so internal. And growing up as a Christian, so I very much base my art and like how I feel about it off of my faith, because I believe my truest inspiration is from God. And how that relates to the Michelangelo quote is that the way Michelangelo described his art is that it’s as if it’s already there. It’s not really something he made himself. It was something that maybe he knew was there, and he went to go discover it. And to me, God is the original, like, he’s the one who created everything. Like he had the biggest he has the biggest imagination, right? So he has already created all these things and he decided to put them in my mind. It’s just up to me to go find them to go carve them out to bring them out of the stone are out of the recesses of my subconscious or something. And so to me, my art I guess was never my own. It’s always something that belong to God. And I was just honored to be able to show it to the world. And that’s why I’m so passionate about sharing it with everyone else. And the power of imagination, because I honestly think that is one of the greatest gifts God gave us was to be able to create to be able to imagine worlds and people like to bring life. Because that’s what he did.


Teresa Hernandez 15:24

I appreciate I think that’s amazing that you have such like, a profound passion and understanding and belief with around your art. And I feel like that has taken you such a long way, in terms of creating what you’re creating, and continue to do so and for being an artist, what have you found throughout the your trajectory has been the positive benefits of doing what you do?


Isabella McMurry 15:50

Well, I mean, I think part of like, a positive benefit for me is that I don’t like I’m not too hard on myself, I guess when it comes to how good or not my art is. I know a lot of artists, especially young artists, are really concerned about how good their art is compared to the rest of the world. Because the art industry is very competitive, right, and there’s so many good artists out there. But I think because of my understanding, or like my belief about my art, and what it means to me, and that it’s not really my own, or at least it’s just, it’s not like something that I have to be great at, it’s not something that has to be like the best thing that anyone has ever seen. I don’t expect that of myself. And I think because of that, it actually helps my art be more true to what it is or what it can be. And I never really have actually compared myself to anybody else. Which is something that probably many people would be surprised to think because it’s like, oh, you know, there’s so many artists out there, as I said, but I think because I don’t compare myself either, as well as my, you know, internal feelings about my art. I think I have an easier time. Because of my own mentality. But yeah, I don’t know if I answered your question.


joshuah whittinghill 17:34

It definitely. And I think, for me, I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of you your growth firsthand, even though it’s been in small increments only for like a year at a time working on a certain project or or hearing from you and seeing you grow, but not comparing yourself. Obviously, like you said, the art world is very competitive. And, and I like to brag about you. Because Because you because of your willingness and like you said, your philosophy of like this is for me to share with the world and make sure I get out there because I like it and I want other people might be inspired by it. Other people might really appreciate it for different reasons. And you know, over the last few years, I know you’ve been a recipient in awarded different types of recognition from from statewide where you were at the top of different competitions across the state of California to also a national competition where in correct me if I’m wrong, right, but but one of your pieces was hanging up in Washington DC for a whole year. And what building was it hanging in remind me


Isabella McMurry 18:42

it was it was in the Capitol, and it was in the cannon tunnel. The congressman would go between buildings or something. But yeah, I was hanging in there for a year and mine wasn’t the only art. Everybody everyone who applied to the contest. And who won first place because only first place winners would get the honor in their district. So every state but I won first for district one in California, which was actually really amazing because I think isn’t district one the biggest district in California? I think it is isn’t it


joshuah whittinghill 19:25

It’s up there I’m not sure if it is up there.


Isabella McMurry 19:29

well, either way. I was just I was amazed because I actually had another competition going on. As I was submitting that image. actually had a lot of help from my inspire high school teachers, which were really amazing. Like my digital media teacher specifically, but he helped me like submit it and I was like, Okay, cool. And then I was thinking about the other competitions, so I kind of hadn’t paid much attention to it. But actually when was in that other competition. I won, I placed, but I didn’t place first. So I didn’t get to go to Nationals for that other competition. And I guess I’ll say it’s called Skills USA. It’s basically like this huge national competition about like hard work and team skills and stuff. And I was in the T shirt design category. But anyway, I placed third in that. And, of course, I was a little disappointed. And I was like, oh, man, I can’t go to Nationals. But right after that, when we got back home and stuff. That was when I learned I won first for the National congressional art competition, which is the one that goes to DC. So as soon as I learned that, I realized that if I had won first for, say, the Skills USA competition, I would have had to choose between that, or the DC one. And of course, I choose the DC one, but it was just kind of like, you know, like fate, that I lost that one where I didn’t lose, but I didn’t place high enough for the Skills USA, but yet I placed first for the other one. So it was just it was meant to be really.


joshuah whittinghill 21:18

Yeah, right. Quick, quick research. You know, as far as acreage, district eight, looks like it might be the largest in California District one right behind that as far as as far as size of land.


Isabella McMurry 21:31

it wasn’t sure which one is which? I was just like, man, I bet a lot of people like applied to the other ones. That’s what I was really surprised.


joshuah whittinghill 21:40

it’s great. Definitely and so, in sharing your art, you’ve kind of touched on the next question a little bit. But But what is your What is? Do you have a mission? Or goals with your art?


Isabella McMurry 21:58

I would say, I definitely do. For me, it’s more about emotion, and feeling, which I guess many artists would say about their art, of course. But for me specifically, I, you know, as I said, I really put a lot of importance on imagination, and stuff. But specifically, what imagination can do for people and for what the like for the world. Because when you imagine things, you’re basically hoping for something else, or like for something new or something different. And to me, imagination, also coincides with hope, which has also been always really important to me. And when it comes to the emotion of my a lot of my work, or kind of the stories behind my art, I have always really put hope in the centerfold of it all. And it’s because I basically want to share hope in the world. Because other than imagination, I also think hope is one of the most important things to the world, to society. And without hope, I think we would just feel really hopeless. But just, to me, it’s like, the world is so full of, you know, darkness and stuff like that, like, in a poetic sense, I’ll put it like that. But to me, imagination, and it’s hope that it brings. It’s like a light. And, um, this was actually a concept in one of my first digital paintings that I did like a many years ago before I even went into high school. But I want to bring that light into the darkness and make the darkness light. So you know, many people think about running out of the darkness into the light. But I actually want to bring the light with me into the darkness. So that’s, that’s really important to me. And I want to help people with my art. And I’m not like trying to be, you know, a savior or anything. It’s really just about letting people know that there’s more, and that there’s so much within imagination and that art is really, really special. It’s really hard for me to kind of describe this stuff, I guess. I’ve never really said this out loud to like a lot of people. This was like always been really internal. So I guess I’m still trying to find the words but yeah, that’s the basic. That’s the basic thing.


Teresa Hernandez 25:00

I think that was beautifully said, to be honest, I think, I think what how you view art in general and your art and just the whole culture of what encompasses art in how you brought it up is, a lot of people can relate in terms of what aspect of art they’re talking about. But if you like, the way you put is beautifully said, and I would say, especially right now, where we’re at, I feel like more people are now starting to appreciate the power and the beauty of what is art and how it really helps us out during this time. Like, and I would specifically just point out like quarantine, I mean, you know, what do people turn to or didn’t work? What are the majority of us trying to do to kind of keep ourselves grounded and keep ourselves in a good place is we’re turning to the different forms of art, whether it’s music, or you know, anything like that. So I feel like that’s starting to be it’s growing on people and people are seeing the more importance of it and why it is that we need it because of everything else that surrounds just the culture of our and you know, their risk of education defending it, and things like that, which is terrible for for the younger generations, and even our generations now of students who are finding their passion within that. I have a question a personal question, somebody I was thinking about when when you were talking, but so I want to, I want to ask, in terms of I’ll preface this with with why because so when I in college, I was I graduated with my bachelor’s in Latino Latina studies, right? And so a lot of the times people would ask me, What are you going to do with that degree? Like, where is that going to take you? What is it going to do for you? Right? And that question would really upset me because I knew what my passion was in regarding following that area of study, I knew what I wanted to do. And I kind of felt in the sense of just because others can’t see it, or others don’t see the value of learning. You know, like the study of my my culture, it doesn’t mean, I felt upset having to prove that. You know, it’s kind of my sentiments have changed over time. But I’m curious to know for you, when people ask what you’re studying, or what you’re doing, or what your goals are, what are the different reactions you’ve gotten? And how have you kind of like maintained, you know, your maintain yourself during if you’ve gotten any reactions that haven’t set you in terms of what would you want to do what you’re doing now?


Isabella McMurry 27:24

Yeah, that’s actually a really good question. And, you know, I admire, like, from what you say, admire your tenacity, to just, you know, stand up to those people, and to just keep doing what you’re doing. And same with anyone else who’s ever run into those troubles in whatever degree, but because I think that’s really important. But in terms of what you ask, I would say the first time I’ve ever gotten like, a reaction is on me, it’s actually in sixth grade, when I remember, very specifically, you know, one of my friends asked, What do you want to do, you know, and stuff. And I just said, I want to go to college, get my bachelor’s degree in art. I said, like, you know, really good art college, or I said, I didn’t really like a private art school or something that was before I realized how expensive everything is. But I say like, I want to go to an art college, get my bachelor’s degree in an art. And then if I can, or if I get the opportunity, get a master’s degree, so that I become a master. But, um, and then I said, and then want to get career and in art, you know, it sounds generic now, but at the time, my friend was like, Wow, you really felt that? You really thought about that. But I’ve never really had a negative reaction, I guess. Whenever people I mean, I’ve grown up in a really supportive and loving family. So whenever they’ve asked me about, like, when I was younger, and growing up, whenever they asked me like, how I was doing or what are my plans, I think because of how serious I always was about my art and how determined no one ever really dared to hold me back. So, and even from friends and classmates throughout school and stuff, no one’s ever actually questioned me on what, why or what I wanted to do. I have had people like like jokingly say, they hate me because of my art. Like, because I guess how good it is or something. Which I never really understood why people would react like that. I knew they weren’t being mean. It was just something about like, when I would show my art to some people, they would just stare at it. Or sometimes the reaction be like, I hate you or something. I’m just like, okay, but I’ve never, I guess I’ve never really felt down about what other people thought about me, or I’ve never really worried about that, because like, again, as I said before my art, what I feel about it is very internal. And I think it’s so solidly placed within, like, my psyche and like, you know, internally. I, I guess I don’t know if it’s really about competence, maybe it is. But I’ve never been deterred from what I wanted to do. And I don’t think no matter what anyone would say, I wouldn’t care, I would still go for what I wanted to do with my art. So maybe maybe people have said something to me was like, I guess maybe it could be upsetting. But I’ve never, I’ve never seen anything like that, like, I’ve never seen what people said about me as negative, or in any way.


Teresa Hernandez 31:05

I think that’s great. I think you’ve already established yourself as kind of, obviously, what you want to do and who you are. And in your art, particularly. So you’re right away, you know, you give off that presents that you have a really strong foundation, a strong passion in what you’re doing. And it’s very hard to knock someone down who’s like that. So kudos to you.


joshuah whittinghill 31:26

Yes, and all those things are extremely important that you have shared about your art. And I think some of it is important, obviously, for yourself. But then also, for people who are listening who want to be artists, or who want to follow what you and Teresa have said about your choices. They want to follow something that they’re really passionate about, and they really are love and want to learn more about and become that much more knowledgeable and have an expert, if you will, in a certain area. So so those are great messages. Also, when you were answering one thing I was thinking and you You said it sort of as I was thinking of around the same time of that you have been very blessed to be in a family that has nothing but unconditional support and love for you, to help you. And we know that’s not the case all the time for everybody. So that’s been I know one thing that even when we first when we first met and started talking, and I met your mom and have met your family, and I’ve met every one of your siblings, and just that that’s a very deep rooted message inside of your family, I even was, you know, got to talk to your grandpa a number of times. And so that’s, I think that’s one benefit. And it also comes through in the artwork that I have seen of yours, you can see in some of them that it is about this tender, caring, nurturing compassion in some of your pieces, one piece that stands out to me that I really, and it’s interesting in the stuff that I like, usually for art and the style of photography I like to do and all those kind of things, you have a piece called Do you want to talk about it. And it’s this, it’s this very, like loving part about a relationship where it’s this, it’s this bear of, you know, a fairly large bear, and kind of sauntering into the forest with a little tiny rabbit. And it’s like, they’re going to have this conversation about, hey, you want to talk about it. So that’s kind of the feeling in the mess, I get of like, Hey, I’m here for you, no matter what’s going on, I want to support you. And in the, in the picture, when I look at it, I see the message as the rabbit talking to the bear saying, Hey, I know you’re upset. But do you want to talk about this? You know


Isabella McMurry 33:47

yeah, that actually is kind of what the what the idea was. That’s actually something between my brother and I, because in my family, we always associate my brother, one of my brothers with a big bear, because he is like a tall, big man himself. And I am supposed to be like, the the rabbit because me and my one of my brothers have had have always had like a really, I’d say, a special relationship. And ironically, we kind of like look the most alike. Because I mean, I will say I have a different father from my siblings. But they, my brother and I have always had a really kind of special relationship. And we’re kind of like the twins, because even our birthdays are only a day apart. And so I said it is a good example of how much love my family has for me and how much they want to like, relate to me and stuff to my art. And all of them are kind of artists in their own way. So art is always kind of run through the family. So I guess that’s why it’s always been really heavily supported by everyone and much loved. And I’d Yeah, I’d say because of that unconditional love, that is part of the reason why I have also developed an unconditional love for and within my art


joshuah whittinghill 35:14

that’s great and, and to speak a little bit to Isabella talking about her her patients and not judging herself so much working on her senior project. That year was about three years ago now. And, and it was a massive project, we worked on it for months and consulted and you did different renditions of it. And then, as it got towards the very end, and we were getting ready to print some of print copies of it, boom, the world of technology through a big black stripe across the middle of this and she, she couldn’t figure out how to get it to go away. And it was a the project was an amazing, like movie poster of her entire family, everybody has entered in a certain image of what she was kind of talking about how they have their own ways of in the family of kind of describing each other and thinking about each other. But it was an amazing movie poster. And then it was like, what, 48 hours or so maybe maybe three days, maybe 72 hours. And you were like, I’m just gonna have to redo the whole thing now. And she busted the whole thing out. And it ended up being amazing. And she wasn’t she wasn’t down. She wasn’t, you know, harden herself. She’s like, this is the way art works. This is art. And so I got to make it because it’s important for her family and everybody. And so then she got that finished. And it was it was impressive. And I know from from hearing from a couple of people in their family how much they appreciate it and loved it of just the the time and thought that was put into for something for them. Because most of your art is usually not for your family. It’s many other things. But if you all are listening and you’re interested, you can go to our website, first gen one of That link will be in the show notes. Of course, if you’re already listening on the website, then you’re there. At the top of our website, we have a link to our artists. And so there’s a link that goes to Ivan Paredes, our musician, his and you can also then go to Isabella McMurry. And you can see about 10 of her photos we’ve uploaded into a gallery in there. And if you want to see the one that was up in the nation’s capital is called I Am Columbia. It’s an I guess the easiest way to explain it in a sense, it’s it’s a fierce portrait of a woman sort of the sense of flying almost through the air, and she’s been through battles and has scars and cuts and she’s got this look on her face of I’m determined to protect at all costs.


Isabella McMurry 37:54

Yeah, Columbia is actually like from a historical perspective. Columbia, is the historical personification of America. Many countries actually have their own kind of personifications of like their motherland, you know, a lot of them are always based off of like the goddess Athena, because she’s like the goddess of wisdom and strength. And everyone always associates like land and stuff with a woman or mothers or something like the motherland. So Columbia was America’s old personification of America. And she was always deemed the kind but strong and determined and unafraid. version, even, even almost like better and more wise and strong than like uncle sam stuff, which is a very, you know, common representation that we think about more often now. But Columbia is actually what became Lady Liberty. So Columbia was the first one and yeah, on my website, I actually do. Talk about more about what the picture means. But yeah, I am Columbia was a really special one for me.


joshuah whittinghill 39:11

And so what is your website that listeners can go to?


Isabella McMurry 39:16

I actually, Oh, my gosh, this is a bad time. I don’t have the business card with me. It’s on Wix. Like I made the website on Wix, like in my junior year of high school. And because I don’t own the website, really, like I’m not paying for like a subscription or something. I don’t have my own URL. So I actually don’t remember the URL. Because it’s like, a really long one. So I guess I’ll have to like, send it to you. And then you can post it also on your thing. But yeah, I don’t remember


joshuah whittinghill 39:53

that you need other space in your brain for other things. Yeah. And so, so yeah, if you once you get that to us, we’ll add it to Our show notes, so then people can click on that in, in the link as well. So a final question you mentioned, sort of you want to bring hope, and light and add these things. And so during the last nine months, you know, of, of everything with the pandemic, and with remote learning and with different things happening in your family and around the local community here as well. We’re interested to know, what is a piece? Or what are some things you want to share that you’re working on? Or? Or would you like to even talk about them? Or wait until they’re all done?


Isabella McMurry 40:40

I mean, I have I guess I’ve just been so absorbed with school lately, because it’s been like the only thing in my life, because of quarantine and stuff. It’s like the only thing you can focus on because, you know, the rest of life doesn’t really exist at this much. Except for like at Costco and Safeway. But I haven’t like, as I was saying to you, actually, before you guys started recording, was that I finally had had the time to do more of my own art. But I haven’t really done any like, you know, big pieces yet. I’ve just started doing well. I mean, I just finished doing one, but it’s actually a gift for someone else. But it’s a it’s not a digital piece. It’s actually a line art. I mean, it’s a traditional ink piece, where I use like black ink to make the liner of this image, but it’s a supposedly like a traditional Japanese art piece. And yeah, it’s a gift for someone else. And I plan like, like putting like cool gold leaf on it, which I’ve actually never worked with before. So I’m excited about that. But unfortunately, I don’t have any exciting and deep, meaningful pieces to talk about. Right now.


joshuah whittinghill 42:03

Right, ebbs and flows of life.


Isabella McMurry 42:06



joshuah whittinghill 42:07

So I have a, I got this great gift over the holidays. It’s about urban legends. And so I found one that’s that was good. It’s about graphic designing. So I thought I would share it now. Here you go. The maple leaf on the Canadian flag has 11 points. One point for each province, and an additional point for their territories. Fact, or urban legend.


Isabella McMurry 42:37

I don’t think the Canadian flag has 11 points on them equally.


joshuah whittinghill 42:41

No, it does. That’s the fact that that that’s true, but is what it’s saying like so it has one point for each province. And an additional point for the territories. Is this fact or urban legend?


Isabella McMurry 42:54

well, as I clearly kind of just like proved I’ve never really looked at the Canadian flag that closely.


joshuah whittinghill 43:00

Right, right. So, Teresa,


Isabella McMurry 43:04

urban legend, maybe


Teresa Hernandez 43:07

I know nothing about Canada and even has provinces or so I will plead the fifth and yield to whatever the correct answer is.


joshuah whittinghill 43:17

Okay, so. So I guess if we have any Canadian listeners, sorry, we don’t know much more about your flag. But urban legend. The fact the Maple Leaf has 11 points is completely coincidental. A previous design was nearly identical, but had two additional points at the bottom of the leaf. When criticism came back, that the leaf was too busy. The designer removed two points and the flag was approved. So right, and you were talking about doing your own work and doing work for school and for different people sometimes, and even in the process of creating our logo. If you didn’t end up we didn’t end up with the original one. And so this designer in that case, I thought it was interesting that I found this card to share on this day because the designer had to compromise what they wanted in their original draft of based on other people’s thoughts and ideas so anyway I thought that would be good to share.


Isabella McMurry 44:19

Yeah. When it comes to Commission’s you definitely have to expect changes to happen. And because that’s, you know, the professional thing to do. But a lot of the time and I will say like as advice to any other artists who are getting commissions or like maybe they’re unfamiliar still with it, though, don’t be afraid to like, tell the client that this is not gonna look good. I’ve had like, some experience before where sometimes someone would want something to look a certain way. And I would say kindly and maybe more like, as a suggestion like a wise suggestion. Rather than like, no, you’re not going to do that is like, you know, this is this is a good idea. But this actually would look better, or something like that. So I would say good advice is definitely don’t think that the client, like, I don’t know, everyone always says like, the client is always right, or the customer’s always right. But actually, when it comes to art, the client isn’t always right. So that is part of my experience is it’s kind of funny, because it basically juxtaposes a lot of other things and like, say, other business work or something, but with art, it’s very specifically, ah, yeah, the client isn’t always right.


joshuah whittinghill 45:43

And that actually then wraps up what we were about to ask if you have any recommendations, so that you gave us a recommendation before we got to it.


Isabella McMurry 45:54

I’ve just been predicting everything that you guys are gonna say?


joshuah whittinghill 45:59



Isabella McMurry 46:02

Um, I don’t know, I guess, other recommendations, cuz that one’s not really like, special or anything. But overall, is, and this is something I’ve actually run into with many friends and special special people to me, where they are artists themselves, but they have had a hard time being more confident or feeling secure in their art and what they’re able to do. And I’ve told them all this too, but I guess, Forbes here and my recommendations is also don’t think you’re done learning. Don’t think that how you are able to draw now is how you will always be able to draw, or that you think that you’re going to be stuck or something. Cuz even for myself, I am not done learning. And I will never be done learning. Even if many people think that my art is really awesome right now. For me, it will never be enough. And don’t see it as like an obsessive nature or like, Oh, I have to get better. Because if I don’t get better than I won’t be happy with myself. It’s not like that. It’s more about being kind to yourself. But also always remembering the excitement of art, and the joy that it can bring. Because if you lose that if you lose the childlike nature, and imagination, and like the special kind of magic wholeness that art and imagination and hope can bring, you will, I feel like that is where many artists will lose themselves. And it’s the same with as you do break into careers where it is very art focused. But also it’s very rigorous and very difficult. And you constantly have to deal with people telling you what to do and what to draw and stuff like that. That is a very relatable thing. And I know I’m going to run into that in the future. So I will have to deal with that. But as well when it comes to as you get older and more advanced, say you will also come across other older people who are also advanced, and, or better than you even and I know I will definitely come across that. Especially where in the industry where I want to go because I want to go into the entertainment industry with specifically like concept design and stuff. And there are many, many concept designs, or illustrated illustrations that are way better than mine. But I don’t see them as Oh, I’m not as good as that I will never be as good as that. Oh man. Like, that sucks. To me, I see it as almost like a challenge where, hey, that is really good. But I wonder if I can do better. Or like, I wonder if I can be be that good or if better. So don’t ever compare yourself. Don’t think that you’re never going to get better. Because as soon as you start comparing yourself and thinking about other people’s art, as you’re doing your own art, you’re going to be creating other people’s art and not your own. So just don’t lose yourself.


Teresa Hernandez 49:52

I think that


joshuah whittinghill 49:53

I love it


Teresa Hernandez 49:54

I love I like that recommendation. And I feel like you could also take it even if our listeners you know aren’t up and coming artists, I feel like in any field, any field that you’re in, you can definitely take that advice and stay true to yourself and stay where it is that you’re you got yourself into or why you’re, you’re in a certain profession that you’re in because of that passion. So I appreciate that.


Isabella McMurry 50:14

Oh, yeah.


Teresa Hernandez 50:18

Nothing go ahead.


Isabella McMurry 50:19

Oh, well, I just want to say because I know it’s probably kind of like cliche. Like, don’t lose yourself. But um, it’s, it’s more about remembering what makes you special, because your art is your art, and it will never be anyone else’s art. Yeah, sure, some other person’s art, maybe you like their art better than your own. But just remember, what makes your art special, will never be what makes other other people’s art special. And it cannot just about the visuals, it’s about how you feel about it. So how you feel about your art and what makes you happy when it comes to your own art or whatever profession or whatever work you do, especially mine was in the creative approach. That will never be what other people have. What you have with your art is the only thing that will spur you on. And no other people. No one else would be able to experience that. So yeah, I I’d say that. No matter what you do, as you say that would be that’s really important. It’s about emotion. It’s about how you feel.


Teresa Hernandez 51:32

Yeah, yeah, I perfect. I agree. And I think I think that with that, we can leave our listeners and have them just make sure that they that they honestly follow your advice and listen to what you’re saying about staying true to themselves. And we don’t have a follow up for that, because I think that is the perfect place to kind of keep it at and for for others to also feel inspired, hopefully by listening to this. And, and if we talk a lot about Isabella’s are on this episode, so definitely our recommendation on my behalf. And Josh’s is for you all to check out her work on our website. The link will be in the show notes and just check it out. And hopefully that inspires you to kind of navigate yourself and explore different mediums of art, different artists and anything like that, you know, and being able to explore new things if that’s not already something that you do. And and we would like to say thank you, Isabella, for joining us today. We had an amazing time getting to know more about you and your art. And hopefully in the future. We can listen back to this episode and say, Hey, we know her.


Isabella McMurry 52:45

Yeah. Or I’ll be like, oh, gosh, I said that.


joshuah whittinghill 52:49

Yeah, thank you for being here, Isabella.


Isabella McMurry 52:51

Yeah, thank you. Thank you guys. I mean, I hope I I know I get in my own head sometimes. But I hope I said like some good stuff. That makes sense.


Teresa Hernandez 53:02

almost definitely. I wouldn’t even worry about that. Okay, thank you. And I would say goodbye to our listeners. And thanks again for joining us. We are first generation one of many

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