Becky Murphy + Chipper Things
Illustrator, writer and graphic designer. Aside from working on her own books, she works with small businesses to build their brands and create illustrations to communicate new ideas.
website // blog // twitter // instagram
Why did you start your business?
I always knew I wanted to work for myself. Probably because my dad does and he always said it’s better to make your own way. Though I’m wired to be an serious rule follower, there’s a glitch that that screams for independence. I like steering my own ship. Nobody could care about the work I do more than me, so I may as well make a life of it.
What keeps you motivated?
When I have a vision I’m incredibly focused. It’s easier to be motivated when that’s your only choice. I guess it becomes your only choice when you care deeply about it. If I was apathetic to this lifestyle, I’d let my internal critic have the best of me. It’s easy to be motivated and make the time for things you deem important. I didn’t find the time to wash my car this week, but I did find the time to build a fort in my living room. Again, priorities.
How do you stay organized?
I recently started using the bullet journal technique for my planner and there’s no going back. I also love Boomerang for Gmail. I use it to schedule late night emails for the next morning to clients, as well as reminders. I put everything in a calendar and I try to keep my folders organized. I use Google docs for my bookkeeping, mileage, hours, etc.
What is your biggest challenge?
The challenge isn’t working hard, or even not working; it’s prioritizing. It can be 3 PM before any work gets done because I had 3 meetings, caught up on emails, worked on a personal project, did some book promotion, etc. It goes back to prioritizing. When I first started, I responded to every email right away and I didn’t realize how much time it was taking. Those are things you learn through experience though.
What is your greatest reward?
As far as work goes, it’s probably when I find out my book or blog post encouraged someone. Once in a while somebody I don’t know emails me and tells me that something I did was impactful. It really doesn’t get more rewarding than that. A little bit goes a long way.
What office product can you not live without?
Wacom Bamboo tablet, Macbook Pro, V5 pens, watercolors, a tiny paintbrush and my sketchbook. I’m a simple girl.
What software can you not live without?
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. Yawn. Big surprise, I know.
What apps make your life easier?
Instagram: VSCO and Whitagram
I use apps leisurely (e.g. Second Everyday. I can’t speak highly enough of it. Seriously, stop what you’re reading and go download it.), but I really just use the basic tools of the trade for my work. My hands and Mr. Mac.
When designing your office, where did you find your inspiration?
I slowly put it together piece by piece. It still has a way to go, but it’s my baby and I love it. While I would not be mad if I was working in a Brooklyn lofted with white walls and funky plants, I’m plenty satisfied with lots of windows and a desk big enough to hold all my snacks at once.
When I’m dreaming and scheming, I look to Eva Black’s Spaces studio tours. These are real humans, y’all.
Brands represented in your office:
Desk and picture frames: Ikea
Type quote (left, in aforementioned Ikea frame): Oh My Deer
Brown and white painting: Hannah Varn
Most other goods are hand crafted or thrifted.
Workspace Photos + Headshot By: Kelly Rucker Photography