It’s something I struggle with.
I don’t like how often I’m stuck in my own head, consumed with my schedule, to-do list, upcoming events, etc.
When people ask me how this or that is going, I’m so excited to tell them about me! I eagerly fill them in! Then I so often forget to ask them how THEIR trip to New York was, if they’re feeling better or if they found the right new car.
It’s not cool, I know.
I have some friends (and a boyfriend) who are much more thoughtful than myself. It’s easy for me to label them as extra thoughtful people (because they are). But the problem is that it lets me off the hook.
How do you become better at something that, if you knew how to be better, you already would be better?
I don’t exactly know.
But I did come upon a clue last night.
I decided to practice the Prayer of Examen before bed. Ignatian Spirituality outlines it like this:
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
As I did this I created space to remember the people and conversations throughout the day. I remembered that someone I know has a need that I can fill. She told me about it rather flippantly, and as I listened, I thought to myself, “I’m going to do that!” As soon I dropped her off, the idea left my consciousness. I would have never remembered to revisit my plan had I not revisited my entire day.
It only took a few minutes, but it transformed how I viewed my day and what moments I deemed important.
How do you create space for gratitude and thoughtfulness?
My friend Sarah suggested I make a print with these words.
I love this message.
I know I should have posted this on a Sunday, but honestly, who reads blogs on Sundays?
Okay you do. That’s fine.
But I wanted to let you know it’s available in my Etsy store everyday.
If you’re a photographer and you’re interested in packing these pups with your client welcome package, shoot me an email and I’ll let you know how my small wholesale pricing works. (becky [at] chipperthings [dot] com)
(photo by Alexia Brown over at Byron & Blue)
Exciting news! New book!
I’ve been working on this proposal for many months now and I’m delighted to finally share it with you.
No, the book is not complete. Only one sample chapter. But ask me again next summer and maybe then I’ll say yes.
This time I’m working with the fine folks at Andrews McMeel to bring this book on roommates to life. It’s going to be full of essays, illustrations, flowcharts, infographics, hypotheticals, etc. All done by yours truly. More details to come!
See it on shelves Spring of 2016.
Please come visit Jen, Chelsea and myself at this year’s East Austin Studio Tour.
We’ll be at the Flatbed Press over at 2830 E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The self-guided tour is Saturday and Sunday 11-6, for the next two weekends. I’ll be selling prints, signing books, and maybe even some more watercolor goodies. I’ll also be working and talking about process.
I’ll be sharing a space with two incredible jewelers, Jen Moulton of Moulton ATX and Chelsea of Jacq. They’ll have their fine goods for sale as well. Jen also does leather goods, and Chelsea does graphic and clothing design.
For those of you not familiar, this event is free and open to everybody. The purpose is to visit different artists and studios, get to know some makers and maybe snag some holiday gifts along the way. If you hop over to the website (linked up top), you can find more info. Chelsea Fullerton has a great guide to get you started.
Be sure to follow @beckycmurphy for updates. Shoot me an email if you have questions! beckycmurphy [at] gmail.com
There isn’t much more to say other than that Stancy makes magic.
Stancy and Katie (Half Orange Photography) took my photos a few years ago when I got the book deal and needed to look professional. This is what I first gave my agent. Do you see why I needed help?
My photo friendship soul sisters are at it again.
This time Stancy took it by the reins and Katie assisted. We kicked it at my place, talked about boys (my boo and Tiny Beau Franklin, specifically) and snapped some pics. These gals make me feel like a million bucks every time we hang out, and they’re especially good at making a professional weirdo feel just fine in front of the camera (“camera” said like Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock).
Book them if you’re in Phoenix or San Antonio!
You can see even more pictures from our shoot over at Half Orange.
I’d ask you which ones you like best, but I think I’m already pushing it by posting eight pictures of myself.
Follow these cool chicks on Facebook and Instagram, while you’re at it.
The new print is here! The people have spoken, and the newest daily struggle is here to help in flowchart form! You can purchase from the Chipper Things Etsy store. This time it’s available in color or black and white.
Daily motivation? Early Christmas gift? I think you can find a place for this pup.
I’m looking to expand my shop and add even more retailers. Will you help me by emailing me (or leaving a comment) with a store or two that you think would be a good fit for these flowchart prints? I will make it worth your while! becky [at] chipperthings [dot] com. Thank you, friends!
If you want to make my day, be sure to tag @beckycmurphy and #chipperthings when it arrives in the mail. There’s no better way to spread the love!
My favorite bar in college was called Thumbs.
It was a dingy hole in the wall place. It wasn’t cool from the inside or out, which is exactly what made it very cool to all of us design folks. Quarters were good for laundry and Thumbs’ Thursday night special—the green drink for $.75. We infiltrated and gentrified it to conform it to our hipness. By the time we left college we were complaining about how crowded it was with “bros”.
I’ve never looked back and wished I could relive a different part of my past. Mostly because every new season has just gotten better and better. I loved college, but I don’t find myself nostalgic about the parties or classes. It’s usually the little things, like eating cottage cheese with potato chips or Wheat Thins (!!!!), singing karaoke to O-Town, long drives down Hwy 30 and trading my roommate her iPod for my sunglasses.
I wonder what everyday moments will be highlighted in five or ten years from now. There’s no way to know, however, if we’re certain we’ll look back with such fondness, maybe that means things are right where they need to be.
One year ago my little book baby launched. I’d Rather Be Short was released for all to see. My first signing and talk was at BookPeople right here in Austin. Over 80 folks showed up! We ended the night by celebrating at a local drinking establishment, appropriately called “The Tiniest Bar in Texas”.
I took this launch very seriously.
I practiced my talk over and over. I spent the day baking treats for the audience (with Karen’s help). I got my nails done (rare). I got a new outfit (rare). My neighbor gave us money to get massages (very rare). I got highlights (rarest of all).
I was so nervous.
But it was fine. Great. A sweet celebration of something I had worked on for the last 18 months.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience, but one of the things I am most thankful for is what it taught me about unabashedly putting myself out there.
I had to self-promote. I was expected to try new things and talk about this project unapologetically. I had to get over my fears of coming off smarmy or conceited. I also had to get over my fears of the critics. What would the reviews be like? Would the designers I admire think it was “good enough”? Would I think it was “good enough”?
I was all in. I have never worked harder on a project, and I didn’t stop with promotion.
My process will be refined for the next one (I’m not saying I did everything right), but I gave it everything. That is the sweetest reward of all—knowing I gave (and am giving) it my best.
I’m proud of this little one. It represents a series of risks that ultimately made me more brave.
For that I am thankful.
What has made you brave? Have you had a project, idea, job or anything else that has forced you to go all in, no apologies? Let’s hear it.
Speaking of shameless plugs, if you are interested in purchasing a copy, I have news for you! If you order from my Etsy store, you can get a signed copy (leave a note if you want this to be for someone specifically). You will also receive an original drawing/sketch. Supplies are limited, so order up while they’re still in stock!
I can’t believe it’s already been a month since Circles. For those of you not familiar, Circles is a design conference in Grapevine, TX (close to Dallas). It’s two days chock full of good folks and good talks. A lot of powerful ideas were shared. Luckily, you can watch them all here. It was an honor to share some of what I’ve learned on my creative journey.
Destination Process: Lessons Learned by Giving it a Go
Originally I was going to tell everyone everything I’ve ever learned and hope something would stick. Then I met with Gideon (MVP storyteller) and he redirected me.
In writing this talk I realized something important.
We don’t learn because we’re told; we learn by experience.
The lessons I’m jazzed to shout from the rooftops were learned because I just did the thing.
How do we climb a mountain?
We start somewhere.
We celebrate the awful, ugly, awkward first drafts. We do this because those middle school drafts are what get us out of the starting gate. They are warriors. They’re the belle of the ball. They are that “dorky” girl in She’s All That who, in my world, would have been named prom queen at the end. The first drafts are what take us from “seemed like a good idea at the time” to ____________ [insert big thing here].
By celebrating this seemingly floundering and ungraceful mishmash, we redefine success. It’s a lot of pressure to go from 0-60 in 15 seconds. But if we ease into it, just by doing it, regardless of its condition, we are already a success. By celebrating the first draft, we give ourselves permission to fail. When we are brave enough to fail, we can take bigger risks and make better stuff. By applauding the first drafts, we’re giving the entire process a purpose. If the entire process has a purpose, we all have something to share. We can let our success (and failures) bring success to others. We build community and make something bigger than ourselves.
I also talk about comparison, the bottomless pie of creativity, some of my embarrassing first attempts of I’d Rather Be Short, and that time in high school when I cried so hard at a waitressing job that they put me in the freezer.
Check it out. Let me know what you think.
How do you feel about first drafts? Do you have special tricks to get you started? Please share your thoughts!
COOL STUFF. My friend Caroline of Unfancy is on The Lively show this week. Jess’ podcast brings “a little intention to your everyday.” Week after week I’m filled with positive energy after listening to her array of interesting guests. Designers, meditators (among many other things), startup mavens, bloggers turned small business owners and more.
I’m thankful to be pals with both of these ladies, so it delights me to see them team up this week. Give it a listen Caroline gets real fast. I really appreciate her honesty when it comes to body image and consumerism. It’s a great listen.Check it out, gal pals. You will also learn more about her capsule wardrobe that is taking the interweb by storm!