Way back in sixth grade, Phillip Muldrow got to choose two elective classes for his middle school years. He chose shop and art. “Art class was where I got my peace,” artist Phillip Muldrow of Jimmy Rich Art Collection says. His teacher saw a natural penchant for creativity in his work and gave him a set of watercolors from her collection. “She saw that I liked color and encouraged me to keep at it. During the last class of my middle school years, she asked me what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I didn’t know that would include art,” he says.
It took many years for Muldrow to realize that art was where he needed to be working regularly. Throughout his career, art was always on the periphery. During his time as a partner, songwriter and producer for a record label, he found himself designing album artwork, promotional flyers and business collateral. Then, when he was hired as a promoter for seven international liquor brands in the Ohio market, he found himself using artwork as a natural promotional tool to make his brands stand out in the crowd, becoming the state’s top marketer. All during this time, he was prolifically producing art in his home studio.
“About 10 years ago, I stopped to think about what I really wanted to do. It’s then I realized I had been constantly surrounded by art in my career, and this solidified my return to focusing on creating artwork for myself,” Muldrow says. “The bell went off. I figured I had promoted everyone else with my art. Why not do it for myself now?”
Today, with an expansive digital art collection that is full of color, vigor and personal expression, Muldrow fills his online gallery with eight to 10 new pieces each year. This year, the newest collections actually added double that number of new artworks to his portfolio.
All of the pieces come from his sweeping imagination and rely heavily on his love of color. His latest introduction, Royal Collection, is no exception. The collection of six digital works pays homage to what Muldrow considers royalty and of noble historical or religious value. I Am references Christianity’s God of creation. “This piece is a declaration of existence and is my gift back to God,” Muldrow says. Rementa is a personal piece that pays respect to Muldrow’s mother and is named after her. Mansa Musa gives credit to a historical West African leader who was reputed to be the wealthiest man of all time. Solomon gives a nod to a Biblical figure known as the wisest of all kings. Focus, which hangs on the wall in Muldrow’s home, portrays the epicenter of focusing in on a single idea or passion, with everything around that singular vision appearing out of focus. And Muldrow says Talas shows how everything is interwoven.
“My art around me is my lab,” he says. “I try to reflect what I feel emotionally in my artwork. When I go to my lab, I’m ready to operate.”
Muldrow explores explosive or sometimes introspective color, with pieces that are always reflective of some part of his current or past life. You may catch a paisley swirl that is a throwback to his grandfather’s ties, or you may be able to pick out the digital piece, The Last Five Dragon Eggs, that glorifies a favorite television series, Game of Thrones. Either way, Muldrow wants his clients to choose the piece that speaks to them in some way.
It’s easy to find more than one favorite in his extensive online gallery, which has 75 unique digital pieces of artwork and counting.
“I understand and love color,” he says. “Every piece is considered one of my children created out of love.”
Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and art.