Principle artist at Riot Games, Tyson Murphy talks to us about keeping motivated and working on League of Legends in issue 132, here’s a sneak peek!

Over the past seven years Tyson Murphy has had a successful career working in the entertainment and gaming industry. So far he has contribute to some well known projects, including Toystory 3, Diablo 3, and World of Warcraft. Tyson currently works for Riots Games as a principle artist on League of Legends. He is really passionate about his work and describes his illustrations as bright and energetic.  Tyson credits the people in his life as being the biggest influences on his career and success. There is nothing he loves more than chilling out with his beautiful wife and amazing kids…


Hi Tyson, thanks for talking to 2dartist! Could you start by introducing yourself a bit to the readers?

TM: Hi everyone! I’m Tyson and I’ve been working in the industry for about seven years. I love games and animation, have worked in both, and have always gravitated towards a stylized approach in my own artwork. I try to focus on emotion more than anything else in my artwork. I’ve had some pretty good successes so far, and even more failures! I like being open and honest with people, and I also like making people laugh. I am married my high school sweetheart and we have two amazing children.



Your works have a really distinctive style, often with bright colors and energetic poses, do you have any tips for readers who want to recreate this in their own work?

TM: The best tip I can think of is to really  enjoy bright and energetic artwork; I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but I spent a LOT of time looking at distinctly stylized art over the years, only because I love it. If you don’t love it and aren’t consuming large amounts of it, it will never have a chance to blend into your own work. More specifically, I would say to first focus on creating interesting images with a limited color palette and reserved poses, and then continually layer on more and more.



Where do you find inspiration for your work? Which other artists do you particularly admire?

TM: I’ve had a lot of life experiences so far, some very positive and some very negative. Both extremes are great sources for communicating with others through my art. Secondly, inspiration comes from experiencing other’s lives through movies, music, art, animation, and books. There are too many visual artists I admire to name them all, but the artists who have had the biggest impact on my art are also my good friends: Sam Nielson, Ryan Woodward, Ryan Metcalf, Chris Robinson, Rob Sevilla, Kory Hubbell, Joe Olson, Dan LuVisi, Gino Whitehall, Mel Milton, Jake Wyatt, and Anthony Holden, just to name a few.



If you could meet any artist (past or present) what would you ask them and why?

TM: Whoever invented Krispy Kreme donuts could be considered an artist, right? I’d ask them for the secret recipe, just kidding. But seriously, have you tried those things? They’re like hot circles of heaven. Mmm….What was the question again?

I’d like to meet J.C. Leyendecker, I’m a huge fan of his artwork, but I’d jump right into asking him about his life outside of art, and try to dig into the emotional reasons behind his work. I talk to a lot of (living) artists, and I’ve found that their insecurities, life experience, and passions have the most impact on me when it comes to improving and growing as an artist.



Check out the rest of Tyson’s interview in issue 132!