Diyala Muir

Jan 30th, 2018

Diyala Muir

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Diyala is an Animation Artist based in London. She makes animated films and loops surrounding the human cycles of loneliness and sexual desire. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2016 Diyala has been working both collaboratively and solo for clients such as Channel 4, Dazed, and the School of Life.

How does social media affect you and your art?

I have a difficult relationship with Instagram – sometimes I can start comparing myself to other artists and that can affect my self-esteem about my own progress. On the flip side, I have discovered such amazing artists and even made friends via the platform so I do think it’s a great thing in moderation.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m finishing up my new film ‘Blue Hands.’ It’s about grief and how we can’t escape our own ghosts. It means a lot to me and I hope to be able to submit it to film festivals soon!

How do you determine if a work has been a success?

If the work provokes a reaction in the viewer, that makes me happy, whether that’s laughter or shock. It’s also incredibly satisfying when someone responds that they can relate to the feeling or ideas behind it because that’s really the drive in making the work; to expel some inner confusion hoping that you are not the only one who feels that way.

What was the worst reaction you have had to your work?

I have had some really hilarious YouTube comments such as “This is one of the most creepiest videos I have seen on the website of YouTube” which I actually take as quite a feat, and, “This kind of smacks of subliminal gayness, the animator might want to check himself.” Which is somehow sexist in assuming I’m a man, and homophobic at the same time.

How do you get your practice out when it is stuck?

That’s always a tricky one, but I find observational drawing essential to my practice. Getting out of the studio and letting your pencil loose is very freeing for the creative mind. I also like to go over old work or essays I’ve written to remind myself where I’ve come from and where I want to go.

What other forms of art inform your work?

I am mainly inspired by live action feature films, for example ‘The Shining’ or ‘Happiness’ by Todd Solondz. I also love the paintings of Philip Guston and the writings of Shirley Jackson.