Creative Foundations: Interview with Gloria Muriel

Gloria Muriel painting at Sparks Gallery

Gloria Muriel painting at Sparks Gallery

Gloria Muriel’s fine art is available for purchase on our Gloria Muriel Artwork page.

Gloria Muriel, notable artist, muralist, installation artist, and graphic designer, currently exhibiting artworks featuring goddesses spanning cultures and time periods in “Xanadu” until June 5th. Muriel’s characteristic style using brilliant colors and symbol-rich iconography is prominent is numerous murals across California, Florida, and Mexico.  Sparks Gallery speaks with Muriel about her creative processes, “Xanadu”, and future projects.

Gloria Muriel will also speak about her work at Sparks Gallery on Weds, May 25, at 6pm – details here:

Sparks Gallery: What influenced your creativity and when did you start creating ‘art’?
Muriel: Cartoons. I love cartoons, I still do. I started creating art since I was a kid. 2008 I started to create as a full time profession.

Sparks: What artist/artwork made a lasting impression on your work?
Muriel: I’ve always been a fan of Giger, his art is fascinating to me, and aliens and fantastical surreal worlds, Japanese animations/cartoons and Nature.

Sparks: When did you start painting murals? Why?
Muriel: My first mural was here in San Diego in 2011. It was a collaboration with Monstrinho and Persue, at Hart Lounge. I loved collaborating and learning with other artists. I learned about sharing the space and trusting yourself. I have fun painting with other artists.

My first solo wall was in my hometown Mexicali, Baja California in 2012. I remember being very excited and nervous, I saw it as a huge wall and it wasn’t that big after all. Finishing the mural was very satisfying. I wanted to keep painting in bigger walls. I love the impressions art can produce in the viewer. I love the challenge of painting outside, by myself or in a collaboration, different space, different energy, within a community.

Gloria Muriel - Adams Ave mural. Photo credit Alex H. Banach

Gloria Muriel.  Adams Ave.  San Diego, CA. Photo credit Alex H. Banach

Sparks: How has your work evolved?
Muriel: My paintings first depicted children in dreamy natural environments. Overtime, the faces grew up and the context became more surreal. After that, the techniques used for drawing natural environments grew and developed, becoming the garden of visionary abstraction seen in my current body of work.

Sparks: Where do you see it progressing?
Muriel: I see my fine artwork progressing in depth for clients on commission, because I can spend most of the time layering, and layering, adding depth by glazing. I see new series of installation art in the future, and many murals both around town and elsewhere.

Sparks: How have artistic collaboration influenced your art?
Muriel: I have learned so many great things from collaborating with so many great, wonderful artists. Many of them have now turned into best of friends. Listening to their unique way and philosophy of life, their challenges, their creative process, the struggles, the pain and the joys of being true to themselves empowers and inspires me to be a better artist, friend, mother, partner, and collaborator in this world. I am grateful to all the friends and artists that have worked alongside me, it is always fun and challenging to trust each other and let go with the flow of the wall/space. I cherish all experiences from painting collaborative murals.

Sparks: Why did you choose ‘Goddesses’ as the theme for your solo show at Sparks Gallery?
Muriel: I think it was about 2-3 years ago, I met with Sonya Sparks. I had an idea for a solo show about different Goddesses, Virgins, and Deities from around the world that have inspired me and empowered me throughout my life. I wanted to share their history, their belief system, and cultures. The power they hold, the energy they share reminds us how beautiful we are, inside and out.


"Xanadu" opening at Sparks Gallery

“Xanadu” opening at Sparks Gallery

Sparks: What do you intend to evoke from the viewer?
Muriel: An impression….. a shake…. a feeling….. a reflection….. a projection….. any feeling of any kind.

Sparks: What is your most important artistic tool?
Muriel: Creativity

Sparks: How would you define a successful artist?
Muriel: A successful artist is someone that creates art as life, practices and enjoys every moment of it.

Sparks: Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?
Muriel: Yes. Cool artists and art by friends. Magic crystals, stones, and concert tickets I’ve gone to.

Mural in National City - Photo credit Alex H. Banach

Gloria Muriel in front of mural in National City, CA – Photo credit Alex H. Banach

Sparks: How do you begin an artwork?  Please describe your technical and creative process.
Muriel: I light a candle and set the intention…. What is it for? Where is it going? Who is it for? How do I feel today? Why? Music? Or silence? Pen, brush, or roller?

Take a deep, deep, deep, breath…… once I choose the wand/brush/pen, I start by prepping up the canvas or platform I’ll be working on and start creating the conceptual layers either from a previous sketch or just freestyle. Keep layering and maybe pausing here and there to take a step back and look at the big picture.

What needs color? Contrast? Balance? Keep breathing deeply, keep in tune with the creative flow, layer, and layer, and layer…….. Glazing. That’s the technical term of most of my paintings. Then when I come to the end…. I stop. When is that? I never know…. it’s always a challenge…

Sparks: What medium do you prefer to work with? Why?
Muriel: Pens, markers, acrylics, brushes and rollers. I love a ballpoint pens on paper. So simple.

I like to use markers as they are easy to layer.

For fine art, I use acrylics. I like that they are water based, easy to use, and fast drying. The quality is long lasting and the colors are as bright as oil based paints.

I also enjoy spray paint. It is always fun and challenging to paint with cans.

Gloria Muriel in front of mural at Bread and Salt, San Diego. Photo credit Alex H. Banach

Gloria Muriel in front of mural at Bread and Salt, San Diego, CA. Photo credit Alex H. Banach

Sparks: What advice would you give aspiring muralists?
Muriel: Paint. Just do it. You can always paint over it, or buff it and start again.

Sparks: What do you enjoy doing when you are not painting?
Muriel: Good conversations, a good coffee, going out in Nature, watching cartoons with my daughters, playing music with friends, taking my dog out early in the morning, nature hikes and camping with Alex, a good concert, good beer with friends and family, drawing, sketching while listening to music, etc. etc.

Sparks: Are you currently working on new projects?
Muriel: Most are commissioned fine art for private collectors, murals in Carlsbad, San Diego, Tulum and hopefully Chile this year.

At KAABOO del Mar 2016, I will be producing an art installation as featured artist with Sparks Gallery.

Music Festival Valle de Guadalupe in July of this year and other cool upcoming projects.