It’s not unusual for someone to approach a fishing magazine editor with a big-fish tale or hero shot of their personal best, but when Arturo Murga walked up to Bassmaster Editor James Hall at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Okla., it wasn’t a bragging moment. Instead, it was a business move — one that landed this talented artist an opportunity that he has parlayed into a regular presence in the bass industry’s premier publication.
“I remember meeting Arturo for the first time at a Classic when he asked for a photo with me,” Hall said. “He showed me his artwork, I loved it and told him I'd like to hire him for a piece in Bassmaster. Since then, his English has vastly improved and he has become one of our top illustrators in the magazine.”
Murga fondly recalls the meeting as his carpe diem moment.
“After seeing a caricature in the magazine I thought I could do better and prepared a caricature to show (Hall),” he said. “I think it was my best presentation card.” Murga decided to present complete artwork rather than ask for an opportunity to submit pieces for consideration.
Suffice it to say, the ambitious move paid off big. Murga’s not into awards and the like; instead, he focuses on what he considers truly meaningful.
“I think the best recognition of my work is that people like it, and a remarkable placement is undoubtedly collaborating with B.A.S.S.,” he said.
Meet the artist
Growing up in the Cadereyta Jiménez section of Monterrey, Mexico, Murga started painting at 9 years old. For the past 13 years, he’s lived in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Roxy Gonzalez and their daughters Sole Jimena (13), Camila (10) and Natalia Isabella (7).
Largely self-taught, Murga paints in oil and acrylic. Blending his love for the outdoors with his cultural heritage, he specializes in portrait work, often large scale. He also enjoys interactive painting experiences during which he converses with spectators while creating in real time.
As for his general style, Murga describes himself as a representational figurative artist.
“This means to express yourself figuratively; to try to present things as they are in some clear way — the closest thing to reality,” he explains. “Later, depending on the ability and vision of the artist, it can be abstract, caricature, cubism, expressionism, etc.”
Murga described his motivation this way: “Art has helped me to understand and, as other activities, taught me values such as patience, respect, the history of the world, the importance of graphic arts. As for inspiration, I believe in the daily work that it takes you to find (this) and it motivates me to one day leave something important in the history of fishing.”