photos taken from instagram @moysilk
Or, as his family and friends know him as, 18 year-old designer Marcus Murphy.
The young artist who hails from Washington, D.C., is one of the East Coast’s most prominent creative gems. If you have DMV connections on social media, it’s likely you’ve come across his Instagram page or seen his fluorescent green hair wandering around the D.C. metropolitan area.
His claim to fame was crafting one-of-one screen printed and hand drawn clothing pieces, and he has made a name for himself by creating high demand for rare pieces.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with the artist in D.C. and sitting down with him to discuss his craft. Read our discussion below.
What’s your name, age, and where are you from?
I’m Marcus Murphy, I’m 18, from Washington D.C, and I make clothes for a living.
What do you do?
I make clothes, mainly, and I play video games.
Video games, is that a sort of inspiration you get for making clothes?
No, inspiration from my clothes comes from, I don’t know. I don’t know I just always wanted to be different. Like, cause you can’t, no disrespect, *points to interviewer* anyone can go buy an Off-White belt. But, I don’t know you can’t go, I don’t know, if you make your own shit nobody can match you, you can actually stand out. Like “where’d you buys it” “no I made it”. It isn’t cool if its like “oh I bought it from this place”. Like that’s where my inspiration came from I just wanna be different from people.
How did you start designing? What was the first thing you made and how did you branch off from there?
The first time I ever took a marker to any kind of clothing was in 9th grade, my friend had a paint stick, which if you’re in graffiti you know what it is but it’s like it was a big permanent crayon. He had a green one and I was wearing this blue polo hoodie. It wasn’t like thick, it was a very thin hoodie. I was sitting outside at lunchtime with him and I just grabbed it, took my hoodie off and on the back of it; in class we were literally talking about llamas or something and on the back I just drew llama on it, L-L-A-M-A and that was the first time I ever put a marker to clothes and from then on I just liked how that felt so I just drew on my clothes for a long time. But that’s when it started, 9th grade drawing llama on the back of my sweater.
Do you receive any support from your friends and family?
I receive an exuberant amount of support from my friends and family, I tried to get fancy with the words right there. But no my parents, my grandparents, cousins, uncle , aunt, friends, everyone just has support for me. Now I hand print everything in my room. First I went from drawing then I wanted to be professional and have stuff printed for me . My mom was actually the first person to put down 300 dollars for me to get shirts printed by professionals. So they are very-very supportive of what I do.
How did you get the name “MOYSILK”?
Okay so I used to skate with these niggas, and we called ourselves “SOYMILK”. I didn’t come up with the name, the guy Micah who started SOYMILK, he came up with the name. I used to draw a lot so I was drawing one day and I took the Metallica logo but the “S” doesn’t shoot downward but the “M” does so I just switched the “S” and the “M” so I could make the Metallica logo and I was like that’s even funnier because that’s not a real word, so that kinda just stuck.
Who inspires you?
I found long hair ASSPIZZA when he had probably 5 posts in like 9th grade and I fell in love with this kid I was like he’s fucking amazing. He’s just so fucking cool, he’s why I started wearing Timbs (Timberland boots), Timbs aren’t a D.C thing. I wanted Timbs cause he wore Timbs and he’s from New York, like shit, Timbs are cool now. He really gave me inspiration to say fuck it I can do it, cause that’s what he did he was like fuck it im gonna draw on clothes and sell ‘em to kids and its straight, and I was like cool imma do it too.
I see you have tats on your hand. Do they mean anything?
My hands, they’re kinda ashy right now, but I have two swords…
What do the swords represent?
Fucking nothing, there is no actual meaning behind them. Then on my fingers you can’t really see them, I have the sad face, the heart, the winkey face, and the smile. The only one that has a placement is the fucking winky face cause if you’re fingering a girl it’s on your middle finger, its the only one that has significance the rest are fillers. And I have a “6” on my hand and my girlfriend has a “9”, so when we hold hands it says “69”, I have “Moysilk” on my leg, it has a flower that I always draw on top of it, and on my chest it says “Her” which is my third or fourth design, which is a “her 1996 by Moysilk” so I just have “Her” really small here *points to chest*, and I have “garcon de fleur” on my collar-bone and that just because I like flowers a lot and draw them.
Do you resonate your clothing with any sort of meaning?
The “her” design had meaning, “her” is this idea I had since I was in 7th/8th grade, it wasn’t clothes at first it was this idea of like, everyone wants that perfect person, whether your attracted to a boy or a girl, you want that perfect “oh I want them to be this tall, this hair color, and this and that”, so her was always the manifestation of the perfect girl for me, but that doesn’t exist of course. So with the “Her” 1996 shirt, my current girlfriend was born in 96’ , she’s her. I didn’t find her as the perfect person but we are a perfect match for each other, which is where that came from.
Throughout your 18 years of living, have you ever suffered from anything like anxiety or depression? In many cases, creatives go through something that impacts their creative abilities.
Um when I was in, I think this was towards the end of 10th grade, I went really down and it was just terrible, and now its dumb as fuck and like damn I shouldn’t have been that sad about it, it shouldn’t have messed me up that much but it did. It was just a break-up. But it was just a really hard break-up and it fucked me up for months and it made everything else just seem so much worse, it was a very-very bad time. But that’s about all, I never had anxiety about anything.
Do you create more when you’re in a certain mood?
I definitely do. The better I’m doing I feel like the harder it is for me to create, cause I look at making clothes now almost as an outlet , like how some people drink or some people smoke, for me if I had a bad day its like cool imma go home, make some shit. I get in a mood really quickly, literally I could drop a glass of water am i’m like “fuck!” now i’m mad. So designing helps me get through that. Not to be that person like “ooh i’m sober” but I don’t do drugs or alcohol or any of that, so designing is my outlet , I get shit out. Sometimes it could mean grabbing a shirt and quickly printing it and drawing it, like cool I feel better now, it’s just getting that creativeness out. It’s like okay, i’m straight now.
Who do you want to see wear your clothing?
I can guarantee you 100% that before my lifetime is over that you will see Pharrell in my fucking clothes, like that is a guarantee, he’s amazing. You’ll also see ASSPIZZA in one of my pieces, if he ever sees this I’m telling him right now.
I just want to see creatives wear it, people who believe in themselves. Someone who is okay with who they are, that’s what it’s for. Cause my clothes definitely aren’t the most safe clothes to wear, all my shit is printed on old t-shirts, it’s all one of one, and it’ll all, I promise you, if you wash it too many times it’ll fucking ruin how it looks, that’s the point of the shit; it’s not made to fucking be here forever and so its for kids who are okay with who they are. It’s also for someone who uh, they have to be a little daring , cause unless you actually come to a pop-up to pick, if you order a shirt , I won’t let you pick what it is. You just get a random shirt.
If you were to move, where would you go?
I’m moving to new york next year, I’m moving before June 26th, and that’s just kind of day because I’ve always wanted to move, but you know your like ”oh i’m gonna move one day”, and you’re like ”okay imma do this in 2 years”, and then in 2 years its six months now and your still saying ”two years” so I had to just one day, I picked a day, I was just like June 26, that’s ten days after my 19th birthday . Before that day I will be out of this area. So at first it was to California, but now to New York. It could change again, but all I know is by that day I won’t be in this area anymore .
Do you think MOYSILK would expand more in New York than it did here in D.C.?
I definitely feel it could just cause like everyone there is so much more tight-knit, like D.C , the fashion scene in D.C is trash, we don’t get shit. We don’t get no good releases, we don’t get no exclusives, we don’t get fucking shit, even people who are from D.C aint release shit to D.C, um, so New York I feel like that’s the spot to be.
What message do you want to send to people who buy or like your clothing?
Man, just fucking be yourself. like honestly that’s probably the biggest fucking thing I can ever preach is just actually just do you and just be okay with who you are. I’ve always tried to get into clothes and I would do shit and he * points to friend * seen pictures , I had some shitty fucking outfits, like my shit was garbage. Like that’s me starting into it. So I went to Blair High School and they had this jaunt called NBHS gumps which is literally a page just to make fun of kids at Blair, it’s all they did, and when I say my outfits made it on that page too many fucking times, but at that time in 9th grade I didn’t give a fuck, like it’s straight I fuck with the fit it’s all that matters I’m cool with this shit (the outfit) so I would wear the same outfit again like fuck you ; y’all wanna post me? Post me a second time. Like just believe in you and like be okay with who you are like don’t try to change for somebody else whether that be your parents, or your school, or your girlfriend or boyfriend or whoever. Just don’t change the core of who you are to mold into their image. My parents I know they would 100% love for me to go into college because they both went to college, my dad has a double masters, my mom has a masters, so I know that’s what they want from me but it wasn’t who I am and they then supported that. Too many fucking people go to school for their fucking parents but your parents are going to die one day then what the fuck you gonna do? Now you spent all this fucking money on this education you don’t even fucking want. Too many people spend money on fucking education that they don’t even wanna do for some shitty ass thing and then their parents die, and its like now your stuck. Like after that point what do you do from there? Like cool you got it your parents are proud of you but they’re gone you have to live your own life so its like don’t make your life decisions based off of trying to impress other people or make them proud of you, like make them proud of you in your own way. My parents wanted me to go to college I was just like it’s just not who I am so i’m like “ohh look i’m in a magazine, i’m getting interviewed”, then they’re like “okay this is what we are proud of”, like I haven’t told either of them about this interview happening today, but imma tell them tonight, and they’ll be like “ooh that’s awesome”. Just don’t change who you are and your core values for other people.
What are your 3 goals for 2018?
Move to New York with my girlfriend, fucking get my damn fucking website running properly; um, blow the fuck up. Thats 3 goals, 2018.