Artist Interview: Muriel Frega


image copyright © Muriel Frega

I had the pleasure of interviewing ImageZoo artist, Muriel Frega, who talks about her life as an artist, how she got her start, and what inspires her.

How did you get started as an artist and when did you know you wanted to be an artist?
The first time I thought about being an artist was when I was 14. When I was a teenager, my mother registered me in every workshop she could to keep me busy and out of trouble: Art, English, and sewing. She enrolled me in Mabel’s Atelier, in front of those easels with large canvasses and the intense smell of oil paint. It was fantastic. The feeling of pursuing Art was so strong that I decided to leave secondary school and take the exam to enter the Fine Arts School. I studied for seven years and became a professor. My first job was being a substitute Art teacher in primary school. Aside from teaching, I assisted an engraving workshop until the year 2000.

What/Who inspires you to create?
That’s a difficult question because inspiration never comes from the same things. It changes: sometimes it’s a song, sometimes it’s a picture or things you see every day but don’t notice, and somehow they appear in a sketch book. I used to draw a lot while traveling in trains or buses; it was a good exercise. I guess the most important thing to
keep the muse alive is try to have at least 15 minutes of peace and relaxation–in my case riding a bike through a park. That is when ideas come to my mind. Anyway, I cannot work without music. Amy Winehouse, Tori Amos, and Joni Mitchell are what I’m listening to lately .


Can you describe your process when creating art?
Depending on what kind of work it is (commissioned or personal), the process varies slightly in some steps. For commissioned work, after I receive the specifications from the client, I will brainstorm ideas, and do quick roughs. After that, I will redraw them with different perspectives or compositions. and send the client those drafts to select the one to continue working on. To create the final art, the draft is placed in Adobe Illustrator and I draw every shape in vector. The computer allows me to change some areas of the original drawing, scale objects and try different adjustments in the shapes without having to do them all over again. Something I do often is test two or three colour palettes and I like restricting my palettes to four or five colours. I show the client the results and unless there are any corrections, the work is sent in high resolution via email.

If the work is personal, I may spend a lot of time drawing ideas in my sketchbook, and depending on the kind of work  (ex-libris, mail art, postcard…) the technique I use will be different. Though most of my work is digital, sometimes I’ll use pencil or collage.


images copyright © Muriel Frega

What is your favorite medium to work with?
No doubt about it. I like creating vector shapes and plain shapes as though they were cut on paper or carved in wood. If I had the time and the materials I would use lithography.


image copyright © Muriel Frega

What are you working on now?
Now I am experimenting with comics. I started two years ago, and found in it a completely new universe. My last work was an attempt to write the script and draw the story myself. I did so in “Another Song”, where I tell in 10 pages using 9 vignettes all of the same size on each page, the way that my work habits have changed since my daughter was born. It’s completely different from previous works, where I moved free within the page using irregular sized vignettes, and colour pallettes that changed with the development of the comic. You can see them in the “COMIC” section at my website.


image copyright © Muriel Frega

What has been your favorite illustration project to work on so far?
Sexual Festival poster and postcards. I had total freedom to create and even now I still like the work I’ve done: it’s the header in my blog. It was a very challenging to draw an image without being too offensive to the public.

What is your favourite thing at the moment? (can be anything)
My favourite thing right now: playing with my daughter every time I can, watching her sleep… and eating ice cream.


image copyright © Muriel Frega

To check out Muriel’s work on ImageZoo, click here.

Take a look at Muriel’s web site.

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