Interview with the Decorator: Monzcarro Murcatto
Introduce yourself! What’s your name? How long have you played Tibia?
Hello, I’m Monzi and I’ve played Tibia for 8 years.
How come you’re such an arty person? Is your real-life job related to art?
Well, I am educated as a graphic designer and work as a props maker for a kids’ DIY show on Norwegian national TV and I have a background in art history and in theatre, where I made costumes and set decorations. I also work for a rock festival making signs and decorations and I create logos and Twitch overlays for tibian streamers. I have always been interested in art and visual media. I started reading comics and playing computer games when I was very little and I love it when art and images tell stories, so that is what I try to bring into my Tibia decorations.
How did your house decoration adventure start?
I started playing Tibia because I love RPG games and after playing for a while a friend suggested that I rent a house, and I was amazed because I hadn’t really realized that was an option even though I had seen other player houses. My first house was a small hut in Port Hope which I loved, but sadly I do not have any pictures of it. My second house was a bigger one in Port Hope, and at the time I was doing the pirate quest to get the outfit (looting all the items myself, which took ages). I filled my house with pirate things and took inspiration from NPC houses in Port Hope, especially The Adventurer’s Guild. I tried making a realistic house that you could move around in, so I had very few things displayed (and also I was poor xD). What I did have though, were 3 dead bodies which I used for storage. They were called Iron Man (tools storage) Fatman (food storage) and Santa Claus (things I didn’t need myself that my friends could take if they wanted to). I found this immensely funny and I guess this is where my love for stories first appeared in my decorations.
How would you describe your decorating style?
I like to tell stories, either by making 3d rooms for real or fictional characters or by making 2d picture art. I see my decorations as snapshots from an alternate reality and I try to capture dramatic and interesting moments. When I decorate for people I spend time getting to know them so I can make rooms that fit their personalities. I always work on the details and I enjoy leaving little surprises, like special books in the bookshelves or baking ingredients in the kitchen cupboards. I guess it’s a sort of deep deco. The surface is of course important, and it is what we first see, but the person is going to be living in that house and it is nice if the decoration can keep giving them joy.
I also work almost exclusively with in-game items. I do own a lot of store items myself, but I find that they dampen my creativity and nowadays most of them are in my depot. It’s like playing with a dollhouse where the furniture is made by other people instead of building with legos, which is what I did as a kid. I find the process of searching through and testing all sorts of weird in-game items much more rewarding. It is a bit like making a mosaic, I think. Only you cannot modify the pieces in any way. When I decorate for other people I try my very best not to use store items unless they really want me to.
Is there someone who inspires you (if it comes to decorations)?
My biggest inspiration to start decorating was Divine’Angel who taught me how to stack flowers. I also find Suzy Kill’s decorations immensely inspiring, and I have a hard time not copying her works because they are always great and full of new ideas. But these days I get really thrilled by simple things, for example, rookstayers who make elaborate level decorations with very simple items. I admire the creativity and innovative thinking.
What would you advise someone who’d like to start their decorating adventure and who’d like to get really good at it?
Don’t be afraid to do weird things or make decorations that aren’t conventionally pretty. Use your imagination and take inspiration from things you like in real life, like books or films. Be prepared to work hard and try not to take shortcuts. Spend time studying all sorts of items like creature products, food, or even trash. Tibia decoration is like a very hard jigsaw puzzle and sometimes you can find the pieces you need in very unexpected places. And remember that everything gets easier with practice, so don’t give up if you can’t make things exactly as you envisioned at the first go.
Have you ever won any decoration-related contest? Tell us about it and provide a screenshot!
I generally do not enter competitions because I find them very stressful, but I did enter TibiaHome and Tibia Royal’s Halloween contest in 2020 and won the Shield of Destiny for which I am very grateful. My idea for the image was to make something that looks like a snapshot from an old horror film like “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” from 1920, in which a tragic heroine with too much dark eyeshadow meets a terrible fate.
Which one of your works are you the proudest of?
Oh dear, that’s like being asked to choose my favorite child. I guess it has to be The Basilisk and The Cockatrice, which are based on a poem from the graphic novel series The Sandman that I really like:
Basilisk and Cockatrice: a moral poem.
I dreamed I saw a basilisk
That basked upon a rocky shore
I looked upon the basilisk…
With eyes of stone
I looked no more.
I dreamed I saw a cockatrice
A-chewing on a piece of bone
I gazed upon the cockatrice…
One cannot gaze
With eyes of stone.
To look upon a basilisk
Is really never worth the risk
To gaze upon a cockatrice
Is permanent and nevernice.
For it can never be denied
Life isn’t pleasant, petrified.
— Neil Gaiman, Sandman
The basilisk was an idea that came to me when I decorated Darashia Villa because the rooms are placed in a circle and I thought it would be cool to have something moving through all of them. I created a scene in which a basilisk has entered the house and petrified everyone on its way (that’s what all the statues are..) and the poor house owner sees the basilisk in the mirror and is also petrified. But then his brave pet bear is about to attack the basilisk and bite its tail, and who knows what will happen…
After the basilisk, I wanted to make a cockatrice and I started sketching it with creature products. I actually used the head I had sketched for a peacock in another decoration and I thought I would never be able to make the rest of the body. Then I was urged by a friend to enter one of TibiaHome’s monthly competitions where the theme was “colorful”, and for some reason, I thought the cockatrice would fit into that theme. The actual decoration process was painful because I was short on time and too much on display for my comfort and I felt like giving up so many times because I couldn’t get it right. It was a huge relief when everything suddenly fell into place. A truly cathartic process.
The Bonecarver Lady’s Lair was part of a series of images and videos I did on Instagram in collaboration with a friend and which tells a horror story about a little old lady who kills people and carves their bones into decorations. Her lair is in fact her workshop where she stacks and organizes the bones she has collected from humans and various other creatures. It was a long process because I had to drag all those skeletons to Thais and also find a way to stack the bones so they didn’t look messy. And I needed to hide the 2 unmovable drink barrels that were in the top left corner. Thank goodness for cyclops skeletons!
The entire storyline can be found under the tag #thebonecarvertales on Instagram. The videos are a bit crude because they are the first video edits I ever did, but for me, the story and the construction of the set decorations were the main goals.
Are you working on anything currently? Could you spoil it for us a little?
I feel like I always have a million projects going at the same time. Right now I am decorating a house on Secura and a guildhall on Premia (from which I have posted some rooms already) and I am experimenting with building more machine-like structures like the alchemy lab. Oh, and I am constantly working on developing new carpets.
If you do art out of Tibia, has tibian house decoration influenced your real-life art in any way? Or the other way around?
My background in theatre certainly influences my Tibia deco because I tend to see houses as stages that need to be decorated for a play. And I guess being a graphic designer helps because I think in shapes, lines, and colors. The most profound way tibia deco has influenced my real-life work is that I really really appreciate how easy graphic design is by comparison and how lucky we are to have the ctrl+z shortcut in the adobe programs.
What do you think is missing in the tibian house system? Is there something you’d propose to introduce?
There should be a way to lock certain items in place so they cannot be moved. I love having an open house and for people to use the beds and just hang out, but there is always a risk for things to be stolen or moved, which is annoying and very sad. I also think that there should be a way for people to use their store items in the same house, for example, a guildhall. Maybe there could be a house rank for it, like sub-owner? Or maybe married couples could use their individually owned store items in a house that they both live in? Oh, and could we please get rid of the demonic dustbins? They are like black holes lurking in corners, just waiting to suck our precious items into their bottomless voids.
decorator: Monzcarro Murcatto
prepared by: Divine’Angel
If you want to see more of Monzi’s decorations, visit a subpage about her body of work in our “Hall of Fame” section!