Let’s see. About the artist. Okay. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like to be in one’s thirties, but I’m in mine, and still feel just as clueless as a teenager. Actually, as a teenager, I didn’t feel clueless at all and that was probably to my detriment.

I like drawing and sculpting. I like comic books, cartoons from the ’80s, and claymation. I like stuffed toys and preferred them to toy cars (excluding Transformers) when I was a kid. I like vocal harmony and piano. One of these days I’ll take piano lessons. I love to run and have done 2 half marathons so far, and hope to run a marathon within a few years. I like animals but will probably not have any pets of my own, unless the woman I wind up marrying likes pets and then I’ll cave. I’ve never been married, I have no kids, but I aspire to both. What else, what else.. I come from a medium sized southern family, just as divorced and remarried as most families from my era. I’ve got great parents and step parents, and my siblings are all non-idiots. I tend to vote left of center, but I’m a registered independent. I drive a 12-year-old volvo named Black Pearl who’s showing her age, but I love ‘er for the leg room. One of these days I’ll get a snazzy hybrid. But by the time I can afford one, cars will be flying.

Anyway, now that I’m in my thirties, I feel like a big, crappy veil has been dragged off of my face and I see the world, and the conventions of this life and culture, a lot more clearly. That’s got less to do with my age and more to do with maturity and spiritual development. I’m a Christian. God is real, so is his son (nobody made that stuff up, though many liars run with the theme), and I understand that not everybody will get that, but I do, and it’s been a tremendous experience. You really want to know who you are? Square yourself with God. And not a “god” you make up or cobble together from stuff you agree with (or cobble together from the opposites of things you disagree with or can’t bear to face), but the real one who will tell you what’s what. It’s not altogether fun, but it’s better than not doing it. If you can get that.

Anyway. I’m an artist. Not everybody can call themselves that, even though many posers will (kind of like Christians). Art is hard work, art is not for the lazy, art is not for those who wish to avoid responsibility, and nobody must judge artists as such. I’ve had a great run of opportunities with the Stupid Creatures, and we’ll see just how long it will last. There’s more to me than the creatures, though, and one of these days I’ll be doing something different or something additional. I’m up to my eyebrows in commitments with the creatures; writing, teaching, custom jobs, etc., so it’ll be a while before I get back into the other art forms that I like. Gosh I miss comics and cartooning. I’ll carve out some time for that soon.

Feel free to contact me with any question or comment. Thanks!!
I like comic books, comic strips, animated TV shows and animated movies. I like Baroque sculpture and Harlem Renaissance painting. I prefer Bernini to Michaelangelo. Donatello’s David is my least favorite David. I’m not a fan of Matisse, but I appreciate what he did with color. I’m a fan of Henri Duchamp, but I think Jackson Pollock is a hack. I prefer communication to expression, though I believe expression happens whether you want it to or not. I prefer function to aesthetics, but if you can do well at both, all the better. I prefer to learn about something before deciding it doesn’t make sense or whether I like it or not. I prefer to get to know an artist before I judge his or her work.

Aimee W

December 28, 2009 2:07:24 AM EST
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed making your Zarzak creature with the supplies that came in the \'Make your Own Stupid Sock Creatures\' Kit. I\'m an art student in college, and it was fun to try my hand at something not involving paint and pencils. I\'ve also looked at your galleries, which were very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Nathan M

December 28, 2009 11:56:06 PM EST
I'll let you know right now that this is basically fan mail. I'm not contacting you on a job or anything like that, but rather just to let you know how inspirational your work is. I've taken time to read up on your website, and check out all sorts of things you've created, and even taken the liberty of watching some of your videos. I liked the Making Eugenia, one. Very interesting processes.

Anyways, I found you because of my own recent interest in picking up the thread and needle and I've even made a few of my own sock bunnies. They've made wonderful gifts. My niece loves the one I made for her.

Well, I'm sure you're very busy, so though this took you a bit of time to read, let me just remind you that everything you do is worth doing, even in the times you probably feel like it might not be worth it. Cause as an artist and a writer, I know I feel like that sometimes.

God Bless

Kay S

December 27, 2009 4:45:59 PM EST
hi, I hope you don\'t mind me dropping you an email. I got your book as a christmas present and I just wanted to let you know how tallented I think you are and your monsters are fantastic! I started making sock monkeys last year (people in Scotland have not heard of sock monkeys and look at me strangely when I tell them thats my hobby!) I love making monkeys although I don\'t use the traditional red heeled socks the main reasons being I like the brighly coloured socks I use and also it\'s very expensive to get them shipped from america. Anyway.... I tend to ramble so bear with me :) I love my new book and can\'t wait to get started on some monsters I have informed my loved ones that I would love a custom made one so fingers crossed I will have a nice surprise waiting for me on my birthday. The books instructions are really clear so I\'m hoping I won\'t have any problems in creating my own work of art although I doubt they will be anywhere as professional looking as yours. kind regards kay

Barb M

December 19, 2009 12:28:49 PM EST
Dear John: I was visiting the Lark Books website a few days ago and found your books on how to make your wonderful dolls. I too am a dollmaker and I make these wild/crazy beaded dolls. Unfortunately, my creative energy was taken away from me for the past 14 months because I was taking care of my husband who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He\'s been in remission now for over a year and things are getting better. So I bought both of your books from Lark and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. I have no doubt that after reading and viewing the beautiful photos, the creative energy will come back and I hope to make my own wonderful stupid creatures with beads. I read your entire website and it has really inspired me. Thanks so much for giving me a great laugh today. Your work is wonderful!

Hailey K

15, 2009 8:31:56 PM EST
Hi Murphy, this is Hailey. I\'ve been a HUGE fan of your sock creatures since your first book came out. I\'ve been making them ever since! I recently saw one of your tutorial videos (for Eugenia) and thought it was wonderful. However, I\'ve never been able to figure out how you put eyelids on your dolls! They look SO COOL. I was wondering if you could possibly make a tutorial on how to do that. Thanks so much! -Hk


November 9, 2009 7:39:47 PM EST
John has put aside his studio life for the time being to pursue another interest; working with young people. He now works with Eckerd Youth Alternatives as a camp counselor and teacher. He will return to full time art when he feels he’s ready. In the mean time, look at his calendar for appearances he will make in the future. Feel free to contact him if you’d like to book an appearance at your own venue. The camp job will take precedent, but it’s possible to still get him out to see you.