Artist Profile: The Mythical Murals of Michael Roy

[su_heading size=”20″]When an artist is asked to describe his art work and he responds that it’s like “the Muppets meet the Mayans,” you know you’re in for something unique and special. [/su_heading]

Escatawpa, Mississippi native Michael Roy wrapped up a four-year stint in South Korea in February of this year. During his time here he made an indelible mark – quite literally – on the Korean expat art scene.

In addition to illustrating for Haps, Michael saw his artwork grace the pages of Seoul’s Groove Magazine, as well as countless walls across the peninsula; adorned with his unique, modern-mythical style, which he describes as “the Muppets meet the Mayans.”

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After leaving Korea, the Memphis College of Art graduate set out globetrotting, painting murals in Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Germany before finally heading back to the US, where he is now holed up, readying for a mural-painting trek across Europe.

Haps recently caught up with Michael at his home in Memphis.

How would you describe your style of art?

With my murals, I’m trying to reinsert a little bit of magic and myth to whatever city I’m in. My work is sort of a homegrown mythology built from being raised in front of the TV. PBS meets TLC or the Muppets meet the Mayans.

What originally inspired you to do murals?

I grew up in a rural part of Mississippi in a town of 3,500 people, where the only place to see interesting artwork was at a train crossing. Graffiti operates in such a way that it’s entirely unregulated and unexpected. I think that gives it a stronger interaction with the audience. Public art is usually reduced to ambiguous, inoffensive boredom and putting work in a gallery filters the viewership. The graffiti I grew up seeing pass through my town was the only impactful work out there to me. I started out just wanting to contribute to that world.

Who are some of the artists you look up to?

I’m largely inspired by the artwork of the past. Especially work pertaining to myth and folk tales. But my biggest inspirations are mostly my friends and fellow artists. Shout out to Zeh Palito, Junkhouse, Frenemy, Liar Ben and Derrick Dent.

What’s next for you?

I am going to be painting murals here in the South up until Christmas. After that I will be heading to Europe to paint for a bit.

To see more of Michael Roy’s art, visit him on the web at


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Michael and Derric Dent

 To see more of Michael Roy’s art, visit him on the web at




Bobby McGill
Bobby is the founder of Haps Korea.

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