Julie Murphy, Illustrator
Hi there! I’m Julie, a Los Angeles-based illustrator working in both traditional and digital media. I create my work with a combination of pen, watercolor, oil pastel and paper cutouts. I live in the Inland Empire with my family; and in addition to making art, I enjoy camping and hiking in the beautiful SoCal weather, cooking/baking, reading fiction with strong female protagonists forging their own paths, cozy game nights with friends, and quiet nights on the couch watching funny shows with my partner.
My background is in art education, and since I was very young I have been dedicated to supporting children in being themselves, learning to be kind people and caring community members, and learning to live their own unique truths. Creating art and stories with children in mind is a beautiful extension of this work and brings me to a new, exciting place in my personal artistic practice as well. Stories - written, visual, oral, in song, in dance and in many more forms - are what bind us together, connect us to the past and help us imagine a new future. I have been living in the world of stories since I was very small, and in stories I have found comfort, safety, excitement, inspiration, acceptance, and oftentimes, guidance.
The stories we tell to each other, to children, and especially to ourselves, can and do create our reality. As a narrative creator, I believe it's important to create stories with enormous care and attention. I bring this intentionality to each illustration I create, and I hope to be a part of contributing stories that excite, inspire, empower and comfort in a world that is in desperate need of thoughtfulness and compassion. Our best chance for creating a kinder, more just world is directly related to how we raise our children. I am especially inspired by some incredible graphic novels that have been recently released. Shout out to "Snapdragon" by Kat Leyh, the "Witch Boy Series" by Molly Knox Ostertag, the revamped "She-Ra" series by Noelle Stevenson, "The Prince and the Dressmaker" by Jen Wang and so many more. These creators are doing amazing, world-changing work!
Among my favorite subjects to illustrate are quiet, but profound moments between characters, with both human and non-human animals. The moments that are most precious to me in my own life often include these shining moments of genuine, heartfelt connection, and I love to create work that honors these moments I've had in my life with the people closest to me. I find so much inspiration in the books read to me as a child, particularly Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Like Miss Rumphius, from the time she was a little girl, I too have always wanted to make the world a more beautiful place. Finally, I have arrived at a place in life where I know exactly what that will be. I intend to keep telling stories in words and pictures as long as I can hold a brush and pen, and when I am too old to hold a pen, I will continue to use my voice.