Category Archives: photos



Join Katie and Stancy for Half Orange‘s jolly photography workshop, Merrymaking! Spots are limited so reserve yours today. Email to claim your seat or ask any questions.

These are the kindest, most professional ladies in the Western Hemisphere. I’m lucky to call them friends, and you will be too if you take the jump in August. Check out photos from a past workshop.

One more note—they have the most beautiful Instagram pictures. I suggest following @halforangephoto.


Above flier designed by yours truly for Half Orange Photography. Above photo taken by Half Orange Photography.

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Thankful for this land


I am the recipient of the most freedom in the world, and I didn’t even have the decency of showing any gratitude on Memorial Day.

I watched our small town parade that my dad, a Vietnam veteran marches in every year.

I ate at the annual pancake breakfast our local fire fighters put on to make sure we don’t get too thin before swimsuit season.

I watched Arrested Development all day with my family, took a nap and went on a long walk with my mom and sister on a dreamy new trail.

Still, not much gratitude.

Then Dad picked us up because we got so far from the city that we realized we wouldn’t get home in time to watch the Bachelorette and polish off the pan of oh henry bars mom made earlier.

This was Memorial Day.


I know I’m not expected to do much more than that, but I’m a little disgusted by my lack of thankfulness and patriotism. My dad sent a nice email yesterday to remind us of our freedoms and I didn’t read it until today. I feel blindsided, even though this day has been marked year after year.

God loves every nation the same, and I don’t think America is better than anyone else. But I still think we are quite blessed, and this is a day week to settle down and sigh in relief because most Americans do get to live in peace. Nothing is free. Thank you to those who sacrificed so much more than tv show marathons and oh henry bars to give the rest of us freedom and equality.

See you in February

hello2013Greetings friends,

I love this time of year. The holidays are over and things are returning to normal. It’s a time to reflect on 2012 and be thankful for what we have, or what we had. Don’t let “what you could have done” bring you down — let’s remember how far we’ve come. I’m grateful I can’t help everything in my life.

I have goals for the new year, but I don’t want to share them until they are closer to fruition (mostly because of this). It’s just as important to trim the fat as it is to add new initiatives, so I’m going to take a little sabbatical from the blog during January. Exciting times are ahead (starting freelance in February), and I have a lot to get done. Book work. Portfolio. Boring business hullaballoo. Cleaning & packing & moving. And most importantly, I want to enjoy my last four weeks in Waco.  These are the friends that took me in when I was fresh from the womb of Iowa.  I’m not going to miss a breakfast or arrive late to a party because I’m writing a blog post. Plus, I want to make some changes to this little hut, and I can’t do those overnight.

You can follow my Twitter (@beckycmurphy) and Instagram (@beckz_). Or, if you’re really feeling saucy, follow @idratherbeshort on Twitter. If you’re a design nerd, I might add some portfolio process peaks to dribbble along the way.

I can’t wait to come back with this baby new and improved for February, and start my freelance career! If you have any work inquiries, please shoot me and email at I’d love to hear from you (really).

Cheers to 2013!


Acuña goods

mexico2 copy

(Recap from trip two weekends ago)

Mexico was great. I did the same kind of thing a couple times in high school, so I vaguely knew what I was getting myself into. The quick summary: it was just what I needed when I most needed it. (You probably already heard that because that’s what I told everyone.)


mexico1 copy


About 10 of us drove from Austin to Acuña Thursday night and arrived home on Sunday. Short trip. I visit Austin all the time and spend more money than I did on this quick trip to Mexico. I’m grateful my boss let me have that Friday off at the last minute so I could surround myself with a community that I want to be more like. We woke up at 6:30 every morning and worked until it was dark. We completed the house in 2.5 days.


I’m glad I went and thankful they invited me. It was  a good reminder that the world still turns when I’m not working on the book, blog or work. I detest how much Americans work, and I am among the worst. It wouldn’t be this way if I didn’t love it, but seeking balance is important. It was good to step away from clocks, mirrors and technology.

We love because he first loved us. —1 John 4:19

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

Day to Day in LA



tumblr_mba1rjLcM01rhkqs4o2_1280What beautiful photos from Kyle Miller! Check out his photo blog, Day to Day in LA. There aren’t too many posted, but they’re certainly a treat. I hope he’s just getting started.

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

crisp cool morning

02-9290Please excuse my lack on action (ON THE BLOG). I’ve been enjoying friendship time over dinner, wine, Christmas parties, and working on gifts. IOU updates on Mexico (when the photos are ready) and the book (lookin good).

Happy day, y’all.

*photo by Kristina Demant

Half Orange workshop



Those Half Orange cats are at it again! Katie and Stancy are hosting another killer photography workshop. I helped out a bit last year and I was so impressed that I’m going again — this time to learn. Extra loaded and jam packed value in those two days. Spots are filling up, so be sure to contact them if you’re interested. Click here for details.

*photos & flier by Half Orange

One of those days when I get to turn in my book

becky-laurel-chipper-thingsNo words.

Book is complete.

There will be words at a later date, but right now I must reslish in my joy.

A moment I don’t want to forget

Right now I’m listening to “Some Nights” real loud because 2012 is all about FUN.

I’m filling out my book logs. Before submitting to Penguin, you have to copy and paste all of the captions and write descriptions for what goes with what. Not bad, just busy work.

But now I’m at the end.

That means my book is basically done.

(Keep in mind that “Some Nights” is still playing and I feel like I’m in a movie.)

I want to cry.

*Photo from Ameile (Bande à Part – Dazed & Confused September 2010)

Life Lesson (WORTH IT)

meghann-apartment-chicagoI read this good article on Thought Catalog yesterday that lead me to this fantastic article, “The Most Important Thing I Ever Learned”.

Life lesson acquired from said article: life unfolds only in moments.

You never have to deal with more than one moment at a time. Your embarrassing moment from middle school is no longer a moment; it is a memory that you are reliving in this moment. One at a time. Breathe deep and relax. David writes, “Moments can be observed with clarity, and can be navigated deftly, but our whole lives are just too vast to be managed at all, no matter how strong or organized we become.”

Just read it. I promise it will be worth your while, or your money back.

*photo taken in Meghann’s apartment when I visited Chicago this summer. Yes, I’m digging into the archives.

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

My oath this week

Olli KekäläinenI’ve had it. I did this a while ago and it went so well that I thought I’d never go back. It was amazing! Life changing! I was actually living the way I already gave myself credit for living! I realized how much time I had wasted and how much I was saving!

I’m an internet addict. Partially understandable due to my job, but it’s been ridiculous lately. Maybe my (mostly) four days off put me in withdrawal? Hope not because that would be sad, but it’s already sad so I need to move on. This isn’t about Facebook, in particular. I’m checking my email, Twitter, I’d Rather be Short Twitter, my Instagram, my I’d Rather be Short Instagram, blog stuff, etc. WAY TOO MUCH. It’s just a ranky habit that needs to stop. It doesn’t have nicotine, so I should be fine.

I’m going to go back to checking these sites twice a day. No more. I will report early next week and we’ll see where to take it from there. It’s embarrassing that I have to make a blog post about it, but it was the greatest when I followed through last time. One nice thing about the blog is I have people to hold me accountable. If you find yourself compulsively checking email or _____, please join me. I need to separate myself from my work and online self because those are secondary, and mustn’t get any more credit than just that.

P.S. It’s not snowing, but these Olli Kekäläinen photos make me wish it was. Check more out on his Flickr page.

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

Murphys + Texas + ommm nommms = Thanksgiving 2012

God is so good! One year ago I was in Asheville spending Thanksgiving with my BFF Alicia. We ate at Cracker Barrel and had a great time hanging out in that cool city. I remember I was designing the Chipper Things header and I think I experienced the greatest biscuit of my life. Never did I think I’d be where I am just 365 days later.

Today my brother and sister-in-law fly into Waco. We are going to feast until we pass out (fingers crossed). 14 lbs. of turkey for three people; we best do some damage. We’re headed to Austin tomorrow and San Antonio Saturday and Sunday. If you have any must-do suggestions, let me know! I’ve got some ideas but we’re still down for more.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. If you’re reading this right now then you are the reason I do this more than once a month. I hope your day is full of blessings and thankfulness. Our creator is so full of love — let’s remember to give Him the credit for our bounty of joy.

*photos with the fam in Chicago, July 2012

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

Hone your craft

Something I knew but didn’t know:

Progress is like a diet. I’m in the design world, so I am able to see progress with my eyes. (Note: design isn’t just aesthetics)

If you are generally a healthy person and you’re trying to lose weight, you know you have to hit the gym hard. You opt for the smoothie over ice cream. Fruit becomes a treat. You rarely splurge, so when you do, you know it’s going to be the best damn cupcake in the state. Time + good habits + baby steps will make a difference, but the harder you go, the faster you will hit your goal.

Why are our vocations or hobbies any different? Perhaps some of us are healthy and in no hurry to improve. Maintaining the same pace will inevitably lead to expertise years down the road. But when I see people like Jon Contino or Jessica Hische going balls to the wall to perfect their craft, I realize that why everybody fawns over their work. They weren’t born with a magic gene; I think they just work like mad dogs. They have young faces and old sensibilities.

The book constantly has me evaluating my rhythm and flow. I never ever thought it would be this much work, but it’s 100% worth it. I look back on the earliest drawings and I see a completely different illustrator: charming, but not stretched. It’s amazing to know that when the book is finished, I also get to keep the best version of my craft. I have so much to learn, but what a beautiful thing practice is. Moving in fast forward was the boot camp I didn’t know I needed.

*Photos of Swan Lake by White Worm

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

♥ Polaroids ♥ for ♥ the ♥ win ♥

Still a fool for such portraits. I can’t wait for my new Ebay camera to come in the mail. I impulsively bought a new Pentax, because, well, I was tired and in the mood for taking pictures. I was using my mom’s from college, but the lens went bad and I knew it would be cheaper to just order a new one. I’m also wanting this guy from Urban. I should really use my digital SLR more, but I’d rather mess with the few settings on film than the endless possiblities on digital. Maybe I’m thinking backwards, but I do wear short sleeve sweaters, and I can’t find it in me to get excited about microwaves. I suppose none of this should be a surprise.

P.S. Keep up the great work, Jeana Sohn. Your photos are what make the internet a happy place.

t: @beckycmurphy  |   i: @beckz_

ATX like a fool

Another weekend in Austin. It’s been far too long since my last. Since the book has mellowed, I got to spend some qualitiy time with friends that I haven’t been able to hang out with in a while. Good people. Good food. Puppies. Joy’s book signing. Naps. Walk the Moon. Shopping. Bloody Marys. And photo shoot! I got my headshots by the lovely Half Orange girls, and styled by Lauren. More on that soon.

p.s. If I could afford to have Lauren style my life, I WOULD. Still have no idea how to do my hair, even when it counts.

*photo here

New Half Orange site!

I recently got to design the new website for my gals over at Half Orange Photography. It just launched yesterday and I’m really excited to be part of this lovely project. Katie and Stancy are so talented; they made it quite easy for us to work with them. Check out their lovely photos! Follow them on Instagram! Facebook! Twitter! And Pinterest!

P.S. they book faster than lightning. They just shot in Germany, France and Italy this summer. Get em while they hot.

1 + 1 + 1 + 1…

The book is almost done. I thought it would be a Hollywood moment when I would press submit and it would all be complete, but it’s a bit slower than that. There’s writing and edits and emails and this and that. And while it’s close, I’m realizing it’s a never ending process. I married this baby and when the going gets tough, my love will carry us through the night. Now I have time to take care of those piling lists. I have so much to, but I want to be very careful about how I prioritize my time. As in, not leaving friends in the dust for the sake of getting ahead on said list.

I’m going to get serious about the one-goal-per-day rule. Amy got me into this. It’s great because you actually get something done instead of nothing because you’re so overwhelmed. Do what has to get done first. Anything extra is bonus. It’s kind of amazing how I can complete one nagging task that I’ve been putting off when it’s the only MUST DO of the day.

Or, as Anne Lammot’s priest friend Tom says, “Left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe.”

P.S. Check out Barbasia’s photos on Flickr. I’ve been feeling real inspired to get behind the camera lately. This is just one more push to get me there.

My friends are talented

Too many updates to actually give you a real update.

1. The book was originally due last Thursday, but it got pushed back until this week. Partially because of the hurricane and partially because of scheduling stuff. Nothing is wrong or even delayed.

2. It’s pretty much done though! Now the fun part: arranging order, intro writing, etc.

3. This was the first weekend since July that I got to hang out with friends for the entire weekend. I didn’t work at all. It was the best. What beautiful friends I have in Texas. Someone said that everyone gets treated like they’re famous, and I believe this is true. Everyone is sincerely supportive and they even give you a group, “Heeeey” when you enter the crowd. Even if you hid under a rock for the last three months…they’ll still remember you!

4. Subject change: Aren’t these pics gorgeous? If you are new to the blog I want you to know that girl is ME.

5. Just kidding. My hair isn’t that long. The girls at Half Orange photographed these two for an engagement session. Katie and Stancy are so good at their job and making their subjects clients feel loved and totally comfortable in front of the camera. More on that later. P.S. How perfect are Francis and Chloe? I’m going to start campaigning for them to get modeling contracts.


I’d Recommend:

1. Wen cleansing conditioner. I never saw the infomercials, but I heard it was good and my hair was in a dark place. I really like it. It’s too expensive for me to use on a regular basis though ($30 for a bottle a little bigger than most tubes of hand lotion). I’ll probably use it once a week and certainly won’t use the 30-40 recommended pumps for my medium-long-thick mop top.

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey. I’m in the final stretch of I’d Rather be Short, so yeah, I’ve been a little exhausted from it. I want to have a snappy intro, as this is the only opportunity for my authorship skills to accredit the word ‘author’ in my Twitter bio (aside from the 100 captions for the 100 drawings). P.S. turns out it’s really hard to make zingers zing. Ooops — just made myself nervous as I did not realize the calamity of the intro until…now.

3. I didn’t actually talk about Bossypants in #2. I just finished relistening (for the fourth time this year). It probably won’t be the last. It is so well crafted. Every sentense is more punchy than the last and it offers so much insight into 30 Rock, SNL and Second City. I’m amazed she finished it while her pop culture references are still relevant. If she wrote it at my pace, her anecdotes would be too outdated by the time it would get published. “What’s an Oprah?” or “How will this book get me more robot followers?” the plastic tykes would ask.

4. Andrew B Myers photography. I’ve posted him before, but when Design for Mankind featured him, I went gaga all over again.

5. Lastly, go a few days without makeup; don’t waste your time when you don’t have it.

That is all. I wish you a merry Friday and a happy new weekend.


Oh yes. I will have that again, please.

The weather has been so beautiful the last few days. I’m trying to do everything I can to enjoy the breeze and falling leaves. I went on a run after work last night, which turned into a long walk / autumn appreciation adventure. When I got home I made squash, lentils and quinoa. Lots o’ tea and lots o’ drawings. Hopefully I’ll display the same kind of vigor tonight.

Inspired by the people closest to me. I heard we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

I’ve hit the jackpot.


Time budget

Just like money budgets, we also have time budgets. Maybe we don’t actually budget, but we have to plan how we spend it or else it just slips away. It’s not a renewable resource. It gets spent everyday, and there is no hope to multiply. We just have to use it as well as we can.

I used to have high hopes for this blog, but now I just want it to exist for those of us who want to share. As far as everyone else is concerned, it’s going to look the same. I’m just not time budgeting it ahead of the important things anymore. I feel released.

*photo from here

And it was good

Hildegard of Bingen said, “We shall awaken from our dullness and rise vigorously toward justice. If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion.”

I don’t think she was limiting creation to the land, but it got me thinking. Perhaps the reason I feel so damn entitled to it is because I haven’t fallen enough in love with it. I think I need to go on more hikes and camping trips. Nature isn’t meant to be experienced through pictures.

Photos from National Geographic here & here & here


micro funk evolution

My friend Amy said, “If we unlock our past, we have the key to our future.” She was talking about the bigger scope, but it still holds true for the day to day.

I am amazed at how often I embark on a routine that is destined to fail, yet I do it over and over again. You’d think I’d learn by now. Until I step back and deconstruct it like a child, I will keep running in circles. Simple example:

Monday was a torpid day. I was unmotivated at work and unmotivated when I went home to work on the book. That didn’t make me especially excited to tap into Tuesday.

Typically I would roll my eyes and remember that it’s just one of those days. This time I took note of several lapses. Since I only got a few hours of sleep, the day started out with tired eyes and a womp womp attitude. I also didn’t give myself time to unwind between day job and book illustrating. The worst part about said funk is that it doesn’t cure itself without reformation. Typical Becky: “Wasn’t productive today, therefore I will stay up late so I can go to bed feeling accomplished. TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT, self.”

Keeping that in mind, I made sure to redeem Tuesday. Woke up early, went to the gym (even though I was lazy bones — probably gained non-muscle weight, BUT I WENT. Really though, I ate food while doing sit ups. I yawned when it was time to go home.) I slept twice as long and I had a a treat-yo-self hour between work and book (ice cream + watched Tiny Furniture). I even wrapped up at a reasonable hour, despite not getting as much done as I hoped. Guess what else I did…I read. For 30 wonderful minutes. And I didn’t even feel bad about it.

More posts regarding time & being intentional with it & why it also doesn’t matter & why it also does.

photos from here | Follow @beckycmurphy for more twitter goods.

Here for keeps

So much going on. Not always as planned. Today I choose joy and I will breathe.

photos via old brand new

Color me pastel

I used to wear a lot of pastels. Still do, but my heydays were in college. Brie always made fun of my coral short sleeve statue of liberty sweater t-shirt. Was it totally ridiculous? Yes. Do I still wear it? Absolutely.

1 / 2 / 3
via pasteliciously via con-fetti via design love fest

Golden Years

Did you guys get much Olympic watching in? I was hoping to, but between not having a TV and trying to use my free nights to work on the book, I feel like I didn’t use enough patriotic points. Now I feel sad because it’s over and I missed seeing the Spice Girls perform. Kidding. Please give me more credit than that.

These are some of the US athletes at the last London Olympics — in 1948. The city was still recovering from the war and food rations were in order. Sound familiar? Probably not. The opening ceremony cost $42 million. I know this is old news [ZING!], but I had to do something Olympic-related while it is still relevant. Nice job, Amer!

Found via Swiss Miss (I know, AGAIN?! You should really just read that blog). See more athletes on the NY Times.

Robert Croma & Nicaragua

Gersh dernet! I wasn’t going to do a post because I have too much to do… but THEN…I saw these gorgeous portraits taken by Robert Croma in Nicaragua (Managua) circa 1990.

I’m still trying to figure out the art of taking strangers’ portraits. Whenever I asked people in Chicago, they looked at me like I had a psychotic agenda and waved me off. I did, but how did they know??? Any tips?

Monday Funday

What a great weekend it was! We celebrated Julie’s birthday and friendship time was at its finest. I have so much more to say, but even more work to do.

Becky out.

Via Cuss Yeah Wes Anderson

Grow basil or die tryin

Do you see this plant?

I killed it.

It was about two months ago. I thought she was immortal. I thought I could just water as I pleased. Maybe not even put her out in the sun. Maybe she would grow herself  LIKE SHE’S SUPPOSED TO.

How did the basil survive before humans got Italian and/or snobby? Riddle me that and then I’ll explain why I don’t have a dog.


via Oh Pioneer & Jesse Harding

Regarding Animals

I didn’t grow up with pets and I never wanted a pet. I didn’t understand why people would go out of their way to care for a creature that would never have the potential to tell a good joke.

Old Becky, as best articulated by Tina Fey in this passage of Bossypants:
“I don’t hate animals and I would never hurt an animal; I just don’t actively care about them. When a coworker shows me cute pictures of her dog, I struggle to respond correctly, like an autistic person who has been taught to recognize human emotions from flash cards. In short, I am the worst.”  

New Becky:
One time I accidentally prayed that the puppies wouldn’t get scared during a thunderstorm. I almost Instagrammed photos of myself and [dog] Robert cuddling. I sincerely “awww” when I see [some] pups. I don’t go out of my way to pet them, and I have almost have no idea how to play with them (thank you Charlie dog at work for being such a gracious teacher.) But I much enjoy looking at them. I’m not ready to invest, but I dare not speak for my future self. Regardless, if a French Bulldog or teacup piglet shows up at my doorstep, I can confidently say that I would give that animal a badass name and spoil it…with water. Just kidding — I would spoil it like Paris Hilton spoiled her dog. Just kidding — it would be somewhere in the middle. In short, I would actually love it.



Really digging these photos. Happy Monday!

via Jacquemus

linked in to links

I’m almost always down for link lists, but I have a feeling that you (like me) can only handle a few at a time. I shall keep that in mind when guiding you through the world wide web.

1. I got a helluva lot of mosquito bites whilst in Chicago. Ma sent me this link with oodles of remedies.
2. My friend wrote a great essay on authenticity + Facebook. I would write my favorite quote, but then you’d be less likely to read the whole thing. That would be a shame because it’s so good.
3. I’m sure you’ve seen the celebrities-as-real-people sites, but I just can’t get enough. Real knee slappers they are! Like this one, for example.
4. Who wants to go to Coachella in Jamaica or the Bahamas?

Photo via The Selby

Lazy bones? More like lazy BUNS.

I much enjoy the Top Knot.  Are you more of a sock bun or messy bun kind of lady? (OR guy?)

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