The latest in our series of creative profiles focusses on illustrator Alisha Murray aka Scoobtoobins.
We talk tattoos, fear and Detroit.
Illustrations by Scoobtoobins
Interview by Emily Beard
Hi Alisha! Tell us a little about yourself for those who are unfamiliar.
My name is Alisha Murray. I’m currently living in Metro Detroit, Michigan. I am a freelance artist who is looking to get into the tattoo world in the future.
How did you first get into illustration? Were you always a creative person?
I have been illustrating ever since I was a little kid. My family always encouraged me to purse the arts, but I was always skeptical about it being a career. I took a brief break from it and worked in kitchen. I absolutely hated where my life was going so I quit and went back into illustrating.
How did the name you use (Scoobtoobins) come about?
I originally was going to go by my actual name unti I found out how common of a name it was. I spent a long time looking into artists names and wanted something unique and easily memorable. I took my little pups nickname for my art name. I thought it would be appropriate since I spend most of my time with her. Now people just call me scoobtoobins.
Does living in Detroit influence/affect your work at all?
Detroit definitely influences my work. There are so many great art scenes int he Detroit area that a lot of people not from MI don’t know about. It’s contantly growing and I’ve been meeting many great artists from the area. Working on collaborations and just growing as an artist with them. It’s been a great ride.
A lot of your pieces seem inspired by tattoos, what is your experience with the world of tattooing?
I have always loved the tattoo scene since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to be covered head to toe in tattoos. I first got into it on my 18th birthday. My father took me to get my first tattoo and from that point I was hooked. I met an amazing tattoo artist named Garth Hixon and he has giving me an amazing traditional Japanese bodysuit. I’ve met tons of tattoo artists through the years and become close with many. They inspire me daily with all the work they do. I’m hoping one day to possibly get into tattooing myself.
What is your favourite tattoo that you have?
My favorite tattoo on my body would have to be the cicada on my throat. It was a piece on a area I never thought I would have tattoo. But when I got it I was absolutely floored with how it looked. Definitely stands out from the rest.
Aside from tattoos, where do you like to find inspiration for your drawings?
I find a ton of inspirations from artists that I’ve found on instagram. Artists that I’m lucky to call friends and create such amazing work that it does nothing but inspire. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of them and just have art dates with them.
Your pieces that focus on a single body part with a written caption are particularly evocative. Can you tell us a little about your inspiration for those?
Whenever I create hands I put myself in the image. What do I feel when I have my hands like this? The tattoo ideas come quickly after that. Always correlating with the emotion the hands convey. I also get inspired by the music I listen to while working. Lines in a lyric will strike a cord and I get inspired to create a piece for it. Others are emotions I feel at that moment in time and need to let it out in a creative way.
Whose work do you enjoy/find inspiring?
I get inspired by artists such as Matt Bailey, Godsteeth, Corpsetits, Darkerdaysillustration, cvsp, and many more. I look forward to seeing pieces from them everyday.
What is your favourite song lyric?
I honestly can’t say I have a single favorite lyric. I listen to so many different kinds of music that it’s hard to just have one. But if I had to pick just one of them, it would be “black is my heart, I am Nemesis” by cradle of filth.
What is your favourite emotion?
My favorite emotion is fear. I personally struggle with fear on a daily basis. Change and the unknown scare me as it does many others. I like to show it in my work.
And finally do you have any advice/mantra you live by?
Joie De Vivre. Live in happieness and live in the now. It’s something I tell myself and struggle with. I hope I can truly feel it one day.