A lifelong doodler, Julie Murphy lives in Chicago where she draws pictures, edits video, illustrates for clients 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, production assistant, bank employee, radio station assistant, receptionist, waitress in a retirement home, and children’s shoe salesman. These diverse work experiences have inspired a rainbow of characters that exist in a semi-autobiographic universe of absurdity, and sometimes beauty.
Julie earned a BFA degree in illustration from Art Center College of Design in 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, Waxahachie, 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, 37-40 and Communication Arts Illustration Annual 57. Three short motion pieces have been selected for American Illustration Motion Art awards. Her illustrations have appeared in print and web publications including Columbia University Journalism Review, Poetry Magazine, Oxford University Press, Lumpen Comics, Soldes Almanach, Nylon Mens Magazine, Global Brief, National Parks Magazine, Fantagraphics, UCLA Department of Public Health and LA Weekly.
Outside of gallery and print, Julie’s work has appeared in the public sphere, as well as in film and video. In 2019, her artwork was selected among fellow Chicago artists to adorn the walls of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office at City Hall. Honeygrow Restaurant commissioned a wall-sized mural for their Fulton Market location in Chicago. Two pieces of her artwork were used as set decoration for the Spike Lee film, Chi-Raq. Mouthwatering Media incorporated her anatomical drawings in a video about cardiology for Houston Methodist Hospital. Julie’s work has also appeared on a larger scale as the guimard art for the Metra stop at Van Buren Street in Chicago, and as part of the Chicago Looks public art exhibition on the river, produced by DCASE. Her work has been displayed as set decoration in a Goose Island commercial as well as well as enlarged as a banner for the 2006 Lollapalooza festival.
In 2016-2018, Julie served as Co-President of ICON10, along with art director Len Small. As a board member of ICON9 The Illustration Conference 2014-2016 in Austin, TX, Julie served as the Workshop Chair. Additionally, she co-curated and edited the first ICON Motion showcase, Motion Commotion.
                                                                                                                Photo by William Moore
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
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
2011  3-person show at the Kitchen Sink, Chicago
2008  Working Studio, 3-person show, Big Cat Press, Chicago
2004  Tall Stories, Wignall Art Gallery, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Select Group Art Exhibitions                                                                                                                                                                    2022 This is Art!, Second Story Studios, Chicago                                                                                                                                                     2022 Staff Picks, Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, Chicago                                                                                                                    2021 Chicago Comics: Future Forward, Buddy Gallery, Chicago
2020 Deformer, Oliva Gallery, Chicago
2018-2019 Lumpen Magazine Group show, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago
2019  Blab! Show, Copro Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2018  This is Hell, Second Story Studios, Chicago 
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
2013  29 Hooligans from Chicago, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles
2012  83ism video projection show, Chicago
2012  Printmaking show, Synchronicity Gallery, Los Angeles
2012  Flag and Seal Revisited, Chicago Cultural Center
2006-2016 Annual Post-It show #3-12, Giant Robot Gallery, Los Angeles
2010  Selected to display work at the Art Loop Open juried competition, Chicago
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
2005  Lil’ Big Fat, Magpie Gallery, San Diego, CA
2005  Future Perfect, Riviera Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2004  I Love to Draw, I Live to Draw, TAG Art Gallery, Nashville, TN
2003-2004  Everything But the Kitschen Sink, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles
2004  Lawn Show, Froden Gallery, Los Angeles

Public Art and Murals
2019  Artwork selected for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office
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 & Web
●Selected and Published in American Illustration annual 26, 27, 28, 31, 34, 35, 37-40, Communication Arts illustration annual 57, Int’l Motion Art Award 3, 7 & 9
●Illustration for Columbia University Journalism Review, 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

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