In Conversation With: Iconic Illustrator, Matt Murphy

We sat down for a chat with Matt Murphy, the artist behind our striking illustration for Luxury Business Sphere’s 2019 Summit, Talking About A Revolution: The New Languages of Luxury and Design. He talked about the nuances behind his work, identifiable by its metropolitan-London cityscape with technologically-inspired symbolism. 

Matt’s ability speaks for itself, with his skill for transforming abstract ideas into creative imagery shining through his portfolio encompassing work from Adele and Johnnie Walker to The Guardian and the 2016 Olympics. When taking on any project, Matt says he must “feel a connection to it in someway, whether it’s the possibility of creating an unusual composition, the option of exploring new colours, the exposure the project gives or the opportunity to delve deeper into an area that already fascinates [him].” 

So, when it came to this collaboration, he says, “it was the challenge of the brief that drew [him] in – both the opportunity to explore the landscape of London using less commonly represented buildings, mixed with the complicated task of merging sound waves into the illustration.”

The summit pivots around the future for contemporary design, discussing the effects of an age of Instagram, Millennials, Gen X and even Baby Boomers – the way in which they engage with the world to the beat of their own drum. This transpires through Matt’s illustration, where each person wears a set of headphones. In Matt’s words, the earphones were a way to “represent the immersive element, that all people are immersed into the same vibe or beat as one, but as individuals”. This ties back into consumer habits and the coexistence of an overall brand trajectory fuelled by the individual. 


The brand’s colour-scheme requirement was a welcome challenge to Matt. “It is not easy,” he says, “to represent an optimistic scene using just red and blue. I had to work very carefully to bring in the lighter and darker tones. I feel it’s these shades that lift the illustration and help to create the dynamic scene.” Despite working within a framework, the illustration impressively diffuses both the nuances of the brief and Matt’s personality as an illustrator. He describes this as unavoidable: “I’m the one creating the illustration, so it naturally has my personality in it.”

Matt’s design is particularly relevant in displaying a time where luxury design must consider its next steps in conjunction with its future. Matt achieved this by setting out “to make sure that everything represented luxury from the way [he] represented the people to how the buildings were lit. It all needs to feel near-future, so this could be in a year or two.” Luxury Business Sphere facilitates an examination of the past, present and future in order to evolve what the industry has got at its disposal, which is mirrored in Matt’s words about how “even though the buildings are old, they can still feel modern and fresh and part of the scene”. 

Matt “always want[s] his work to leave people thinking ‘what’s next?’, to try and imagine where the scene will go, what the future of luxury is”, bringing us full circle to the main question Luxury Business Sphere is trying to find answers for through this year’s summit: what’s next?