The Most Magical Disney-Inspired Items You've Ever Seen Are Hand Painted by This Instagram Artist

As you all should've realized by now, we're massive Disney enthusiasts.

So when we stumbled upon artist Tate Murpy's Instagram account dedicated to her handcrafted Disney-inspired creations, our jaws dropped to the floor.

Hand-painted Fantasia Mickey Mouse wallet

(via Tate Murphy)

Curious to know more about her intricate handpainted bag and wallet accessories, we chatted with her about how they all came to be. She even shared some solid advice for you aspiring artists who hope to do some incredible things of your own one day.

Keep scrolling to see what she had to say.

Sweety High: What inspired you to create your Disney-themed bags and wallets?

Tate Murphy: To be quite honest, I started out creating art with absolutely no intention of making it into a business. I have a sincere love for everything Disney, and that love inspired my art hobby. Once I realized that people wanted to buy my art, I decided to offer something unique. I wanted to provide an item that other artists weren't already creating.

When I started out, there were so many amazing Disney shoe artists. Because of that, I wanted to venture into a different area. I began hand-painting backpacks, and soon after I began painting wallets. From that moment, I realized I had found my niche.

Hand-painted Disney balloon shoes

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: What's your favorite wallet or bag you've ever created?

TM: I can't choose a single item that I like best. Some custom wallets and bags have such a deep meaning behind them. They can be a memorial piece for a loved one who has passed away, a celebration piece for a honeymoon or simply just a gift for a special someone.

With what I do, I am lucky enough to be involved in these personal and touching stories behind the art. I can't explain how amazing it feels to create such happiness in someone's life simply by doing what I love.

Lilo and Stitch-themed hand-painted wallets

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: What has been the most difficult piece to make?

TM: I think every item I make has a level of difficulty. Just trying to plan out and commit to an idea is difficult in itself. I would have to say that custom items in general are a bit more difficult, because the customers typically have a detailed idea in their head. From there, it's my job to make it a reality and something they will cherish forever.

Hocus Pocus book hand-painted wallet

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: How long does it usually take you to create one of your masterpieces?

TM: A simple answer would be too long. My parents and friends are always teasing me that I need an assistant or an extra arm to speed up the process.

Depending on how simple or complex an item is, one painting can take anywhere from six to 12 hours. For custom order backpacks with four paintings, it can take up to 50 hours to complete. Those hours don't involve the time it takes to prep the bags and wallets for painting, or photographing each item before shipping it out. I can thank my mom for always helping me with that step.

Although it takes me a long time to complete an item, it is so worth the time and effort. The joy it brings to the recipients makes me fall in love with my job over and over again.

Sleeping Beauty's castle hand-painted on a shoe

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: Are there any items you're working on currently that you're excited to share?

TM: I do a collection of products once a month with a different theme each time. They're typically collaborations with my good friend Steph (@shemakesglamour). She creates accessories to go with my hand-painted items. Our customers and followers get very excited for these collections and they tend to sell out in under a minute.

I'm quite excited to do my December theme of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. There are so many great characters in that movie to inspire new wallets. It will be my largest collection yet.


SH: Is there one character you haven't painted before that you'd love to design a bag or wallet around?

TM: Although it isn't a Disney movie, I've always been obsessed with the movie Anastasia. My best friend and I still watch the movie and sing along to this day. So I would love to do a future collection based on Anastasia.

I'm also very excited to do something with a Toy Story theme. I love the green aliens, so I can't wait to do an alien wallet. I might just keep it for myself.


SH: Which character is the most requested?

TM: Rapunzel and Stitch. They're such spunky characters that people tend to love. Another frequent request is Carl and Ellie from the movie Up. I think a lot of people relate to their relationship.

Carl and Ellie from Disney Pixar's Up hand-painted on a backpack

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: What's your favorite Disney movie?

TM: To choose one movie is so difficult, but Hercules has always been one of my favorites. Megara is so sassy. She's pretty much the opposite of me, so I want to be more like her.


SH: Which Disney character do you relate to the most?

TM: Belle is my spirit princess. Physically and spiritually, we're very similar. I love how caring and selfless she is.

Beauty and the Beast hand-painted backpack

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: You're clearly an amazing artist! Is it something you went to school for, or were you just naturally good at it?

TM: Although I have taken a couple of art classes, I consider myself a self-taught artist. Since I was young, my parents and my grandpa always knew I had artistic abilities. It wasn't until I was forced to take an art class in high school that I realized what I could do. I had a wonderful teacher that allowed me to draw whatever I wanted. He reassured me of my capabilities and helped me recognize my strengths.

From there on, I have had to do my own research to discover my abilities with paint and form my own style. I have only been painting for about a year now. With so many hours of practice, my abilities have grown and improved over the last year.

The Little Mermaid Flounder hand-painted wallet

(via Tate Murphy)


SH: What's your advice for girls who want to do what you do, or even open their own Etsy shop?

TM: Social media is a huge benefit for small shops. My business is entirely based off of Instagram, using Etsy just for sales. Through Instagram, a person is able to display their creations and gain a following of people who love their work. In addition, I have found a group of wonderful women who have their own shops. Making sincere friendships will give you a support group where you can share ideas, receive constructive criticism and help grow each others' businesses.

Try your best to not focus on the numbers. No matter how talented you are, there will always be people who unfollow you or people who leave negative comments. With the accessibility of viewing other people's work, copying ideas is a common problem. To avoid conflict, come up with original ideas and always give credit to those who have inspired you. It is important to enjoy what you do. That excitement will be reflected in your product, making it much more personal for the people viewing it. So be creative and have fun! Always protect yourself and try to focus on the positive. It may take a while to be recognized for your work, but if you keep putting in the effort and use your creativity, things will turn around.

Up until I was 19, I tried to avoid showing people what I could do, embarrassed by any attention being placed on me. On my 19th birthday, I started my Instagram account, which allowed me to express myself in my own way. Whether you sing, dance, draw, sew or cook, don't be afraid to show your talents in your own unique way!

The Little Mermaid Ursula hand-painted wallet

(via Tate Murphy)


Don't forget to follow Tate on Instagram HERE to see all of her fantastic hand-painted creations.


Now that you've probably ordered one of Tate's custom wallets or backpacks to rock to Disneyland, why not also purchase one of THESE pairs of magical Minnie Mouse ears, too?