A lifelong doodler, Julie Murphy lives in Chicago where she draws pictures, paints, edits video, animates, illustrates and exhibits in galleries. Professionally, she has taken a circuitous route through a diverse array of day-jobs in a wide assortment of fields, including administrative assistant for a pharmacology nomenclature group, video editor, bartender, grocery store cashier, printmaking teacher assistant, script reader, art department coordinator for television, stop-motion animation prop designer, TV production assistant, bank employee, radio station program assistant, receptionist, waitress in a retirement home, and children’s shoe salesman. These diverse work experiences have fueled an inclination towards the absurd, in addition to supplementing a rainbow of character studies for artistic creations.

Julie earned a BFA degree in illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, as well as a BS degree in radio/television/film from Northwestern University. She has participated in group art shows in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Waxahachie, Austin, Brooklyn, Seoul, Sacramento, San Diego, Portland, and Nashville. In 2014, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events hosted her first solo exhibition of drawings at the City Gallery of the historic Water Tower. Her artwork has appeared in American Illustration 26-28, 31, 34-35 & 37-38 and Communication Arts Illustration Annual 57. Her illustrations have appeared in publications including Soldes Almanach, Poetry Magazine, Global Brief, National Parks Magazine, Fantagraphics' Beasts! and LA Weekly. Two pieces of her artwork were used as set decoration for the 2015 film, Chi-Raq, directed by Spike Lee. For their new restaurant in Fulton Market, Honeygrow commissioned a wall-sized mural.

As a board member of ICON9 The Illustration Conference 2016 in Austin, TX, Julie served as the Workshop Chair. Additionally, she co-curated and edited the first ICON Motion showcase, Motion Commotion. She was Co-President of ICON10 which took place July 11-14, 2018 in Detroit.

Written by Celery St. Bernard

Notable Art Experiences

Solo Art Exhibitions

2014  Escape into Absurdity, City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower, hosted by the Chicago Department of Cultural  Affairs and Special Events, Chicago, IL

Small Group Art Exhibitions

2019  Bridging the Gap, 5-person show, One River School of Art + Design, Chicago

2019  The Originals, Yard Dog Art, Austin, TX

2018  This is Hell, Second Story Studios, Chicago, IL 

2017  Cosmic Characters, 3-person show, Miishkooki Art Space, Skokie, IL

2015  Mother Popcorn, 4-person show, Webb Gallery Waxahachie, TX

2015  Undiscovered Creatures, 3-person show, Sidetracked Studio, Evanston, IL

2014  Studiomates, 2-person show, Free Range Gallery, Chicago, IL

2011  3-person show at the Kitchen Sink, Chicago, IL

2008  Working Studio, 3-person show, Big Cat Press, Chicago, IL

2004  Tall Stories, Wignall Art Gallery, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Select Group Art Exhibitions

2019  Blab! Show, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2018-2019  Lumpen Comics Show, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, IL

2018  ICON10 The Illustration Conference Gallery Night, Red Bull Gallery, Detroit, MI

2016  Pegasus & Mermaids, Poetry Foundation Group Show, Chicago, IL

2016  Global Network, Seoul Illustration Fair, Seoul, South Korea

2016  Upstairs Gallery, 4-person show, Webb Gallery Waxahachie, TX

2013  Deck the Halls, Vertical Gallery, Chicago, IL

2013  The Economics of Art, Vertical Gallery, Chicago, IL

2013  29 Hooligans from Chicago, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2012  83ism video projection show, Chicago, IL

2012  Printmaking show, Synchronicity Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2012  Flag and Seal Revisited, Chicago Cultural Center, IL

2006-2018 Annual Post-It show #3-15, Giant Robot Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2010  Selected to display work at the Art Loop Open juried competition, Chicago, IL

2009  The Big Show, Silas Marder Gallery, Long Island, NY

2007  About Face, 1522 Gallery, Venice, CA

2007  Fire and Water, Toyroom Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2006  Soon and Very Soon, Renowned Gallery, Portland, OR

2006  Big Cat Booth, Nova Art Fair, Chicago, IL

2005  Lil’ Big Fat, Magpie Gallery, San Diego, CA

2005  Future Perfect, Riviera Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2005  I Love to Draw, I Live to Draw, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville, TN

2005  Everything But the Kitschen Sink, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2005  Lawn Show, Froden Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Public Art and Murals

2017  Artwork enlarged and reproduced as a wall-sized mural for Honeygrow Restaurant

2014  Bunnysnail, Van Buren St. Metra Guimard, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago

2008  Chicago Rooster, painting for “Chicago Looks,” a public art Exhibition on Chicago River walk, DCASE

2006  Where’s Marlon, 22’ banner displayed in Grant Park during Lollapalooza Festival, Chicago

Boards/Committees Volunteer Work

2016-2018 ICON10 The Illustration Conference, Co-President, Detroit, MI

2014-2016 ICON9 The Illustration Conference, Austin, TX, Workshop Chair & co-curator/editor of animation screening, Motion Commotion

2017 Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, judge for annual illustration competition

2015 Planning Committee & Designer for Echo Xtra high school journalism reunion, Lombard, IL

Illustrations featured in TV/Films

●Chi-Raq, two pieces of artwork were featured prominently on walls; credited as artist

●artwork used as set decoration in Goose Island commercial

Illustrations in Books & Publications

●Selected and Published in American Illustration annual 26, 27, 28, 31, 34, 35, 37 & 38    Communication Arts illustration annual 57, Int'l Motion Art Award, 3 & 7

Illustrations for Mouth Watering Media, Oxford University Press (The Sit Room), Lumpen Comics Issue, Soldes Almanach, POETRY Magazine, Nylon Guys Magazine, Global Brief Magazine, National Parks Magazine, LA Weekly, UCLA School of Public Health, Modernista!, Fantagraphics Books (Beasts!), Payseur & Schmidt (The Darkening Garden)


2002  BA, Illustration,  Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

1993  BS, Radio/TV/Film,  Northwestern University, Evanston, IL