By Becky Murphy

Every artist, illustrator, and designer has their own style, and that’s what makes creative industries so inspiring. However, when we strive to mimic the style of someone else, it isn’t beneficial to anyone. Illustrator, graphic designer, and writer Becky Murphy understands that you have to embrace your own style and not yearn after someone else’s. In an interview with 5 Questions for 100 Designers, Murphy explains how she faced this difficulty early in her career:

I worked at a design firm with these guys who were really good. The ‘problem’ is that they were good at the stuff I wasn’t wired to do. I was frustrated I wasn’t as talented as them and that I wasn’t getting the kind of projects they were. Fast forward, and eventually I started REALLY embracing my goofy illustrative style, I started getting comfortable in my own drawing skin. Our boss started giving me the kind of projects that allowed me to draw monsters and make weird lettering. It wasn’t slick branding, but it was exactly what made my work come alive. We all excelled designing the way we were created to create. That shift helped me celebrate their successes (and not see them as failures).

Instead, look at the techniques, colors, and other fundamental elements used in work that you like, and ask yourself what you like specifically about it. From there, incorporate and experiment with those element in the context of your own style. Don’t frustrate yourself by trying to produce a look you weren’t wired to do.


  • xaigo

    Great advice. The good old “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” piece of wisdom from Albert Einstein revisited.:)

  • Ian Peters

    Thanks for the encouragement.

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