The shortest videos tell the best stories : Meet Clau Murra
Short, fun and playful – her videos have traveled all over and rejoiced kids and teenagers across the world. Spotted by a creative agency, they identified a business opportunity for Clau’s artwork to inspire and entertain. Clau Murra is a 27-year old autodidact from Torreón in Mexico. She never took a single art class and only learned about technical drawing once in college. Yet, in only two years, Clau has done over 60 different ads and commercials, some of which for renowned brands such as Lancôme, Philips, McDonalds, MTA or Zain. Keep an eye out for this talent …
How did you get started in art?
C.M.: I don’t know how to ride a bike… and I guess that made me rather an indoors kind of kid. I loved to stay in as a child. I would draw and build things. All kinds of things. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to do something related to art.
I studied industrial design in college and developed my creativity every day. Friends who had already graduated kept on complaining about their work and how much they hated working in an office and I’ll admit that I was really not looking forward to what they were depicting. I was afraid I’d feel the same about my job. But, one day, on Instagram, I saw a stop motion animation… and I loved it. Then it hit me.
I tried making one, with my own style, and received very positive feedback from friends when I posted it. I wondered if I could build a business around this passion… and I did.
I started by making animations for social network influencers and celebrities – hoping that if they shared it back, it could go viral, their followers would also see my work. And that’s how it all started: a Kuwait digital marketing agency and Adolescent, a Los Angeles based production collective, contacted me offering continuous work.
I graduated, and I love my job – I get to work from home, on my own schedule and share my everyday work with my followers. It’s incredible how powerful social media can be. Without it, I wouldn’t be following my dream.
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Can you describe your working process from idea to finished video? What inspires you?
C.M.: Usually, clients will ask me for 2 or 3 concepts for their ad – I’ll give them 4. I make them all radically different from one another – which often makes it hard for them to stick to picking only one… and a couple of times, they actually ended up asking for a second one. I love adding colors to my videos so I get the inspiration from colorful objects surrounding me; for the scenarios, work from fellow artists, cartoon characters and I put them together with my own twist.
First, I plan out my work on my computer. Then I gather all the material I’ll need for the set. Next, I take all the pictures – a couple hundred. On my computer, I’ll put together the photos, what’s real, and digital elements, to make a frame. And then, I build the sequence together for the video. For a 15 second video, it usually takes me between 2 to 5 days to build it.
The videos that took the longest to make were the makeup tutorials – they’re not the most challenging but they require a lot of editing.
Your most challenging project?
C.M.: I would say making ads for Middle Eastern companies. Most of my videos are speechless, so there are no main issues on that end, but communicating with these clients requires more patience. There’s also a cultural gap and I have learned a lot on the Islamic culture by working for them. For instance, did you know, music is discouraged in those ads? I had to go back and switch back to sound effects. Not to mention the reference to alcohol… I once drew a glass of wine, I had to take it out, of course.
It’s challenging but rewarding to get to learn about all these different cultures, their traditions, holidays, clothing styles…
How do you think your art is impacting others?
C.M.: I think it’s really cool that, thanks to Internet, I’m now able to share my artwork and reach people from all over the globe, and from all the ages. I’m constantly using Google translate to try and decipher what fans write to me in Russian or Arabic. It hadn’t come to mind that my work could actually influence others until an 8-year old girl once sent me a direct message featuring her very own stop motion animation. It was inspired by one of mine, it was really sweet – I complimented her work and included some advice for her to get going and improve. It moved me to see that I inspired her.
Social media shaped your vision of the world – can you tell me more about what it has taught you for your business?
C.M.: Social media is incredibly powerful and I don’t think we fully grasp its power and reach. It’s full of possibilities and opportunities for me. Ten years ago, I would never have imagined working for people that are so far away from me – people who I will probably never meet physically. Nonetheless, I try to keep a good life balance – as social media can be addicting – and never go out with internet on my phone. That way, there is no temptation to be physically out with friends but mentally elsewhere, across the world.
C.M.: I just started two years ago, so I think I’m still early on in my career. I’m excited to keep on working on this new form of advertising: what I like about it, is that it always leaves people wondering how it was made or appreciating the creativity behind it. I enjoy what I’m doing, and I see myself continuing to make these ads.
For more videos by Clau Murra, follow her on Instagram!
Featured Image: Clau Murra