"Stay true to your style."
From Snapchat app filters to Selena Gomez posters, Dempsey Murphy has designed it all for iHeartMedia. She shares her favorite projects, how she finds inspiration for her projects at the mega-power music company and how you can land the job of your dreams, too.
DesignRush: What inspired you to become a designer?
Dempsey Murphy: In high school, I was always looking for the easy way out. I took art classes to get out of harder extra-curricular activities but ended up being passionate about all aspects of design and media. I knew I wanted to go into a creative field, so I spent my weekends and summers taking marketing, photography, and graphic design courses in the NYC area at schools such as Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, and SUNY Purchase to see which path I wanted to follow.
Exploring these paths was so beneficial because I learned a ton about different parts of the industry. Ultimately, I ended up studying graphic design and pursuing that after graduation, and I’ve never looked back.
DR: What are some designs or projects of your own that you are particularly proud of and why?
DM: I love creating custom Snapchat Filters for both personal and business events. It adds a layer of context to an image or video at an event or celebration to let your Snapchat friends know where you are. Snapchat is great at providing statistics after the filters have run for 24 hours, and I love seeing the number of swipes, uses, and views each filter gets.
I’ve created Snapchat filters for some of our iHeartMedia celebrations and events such as Elvis Duran’s Birthday and Power 105.1’s Powerhouse concert. Each filter had millions of impressions within 24 hours and it’s so incredible to see work I created getting that kind of exposure.
DR: Take us through your creative process.
DM: Throughout college, I would always get points off my assignments for not following the structure of the traditional creative process. Being a graphic designer, you’re taught to visualize your ideas on paper before even touching the computer. I was never great at hand drawing, so I always skipped the pen and paper and went, and still do, straight to the computer. I’ll find inspiration online, organize it into a digital mood-board, then try to see what works with the subject. The undo button is both my best friend and worst enemy in all of my projects.
DR: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
DM: Friends, family, and every square inch of New York City.
DR: What items do you always keep your desk?
DM: I don’t drink coffee, so there’s almost always a can of Diet Coke or my giant Swell bottle on my desk. I’m also a total neat freak, so I need my desk to be organized before I can get any work done. My Moleskin planner, postcards/magnets from friends' travels, and FujiFilm Instax photos also my desk must-haves.
DR: What brands speak to you?
DM: Recently, I’ve been obsessed with the makeup brand Glossier for both their minimalist digital marketing style and their amazing products. Their design is super minimalist, but it has appropriate pops of color and fun stickers throughout the site. Not to mention, their SoHo showroom is Instagram heaven.
DR: You have the day off. What can we find you doing?
DM: I love long weekends away, so I’ll usually try to get out of the city and go somewhere. If I’m in the city, you could probably find me cleaning my apartment, doing a mid-day SoulCycle class, or spending all of my money at Sephora.
DR: Is there anything that helps you beat designer’s block?
DM: Stepping away from the computer is the best thing you can do when having designer's block. I definitely have my days where I’m feeling less creative, so taking a walk and finding inspiration in my surroundings always helps.
DR: What motto motivates you in your work?
DM: Stay true to your style.
This was something I struggled with throughout college because I was constantly adjusting my design style to what I thought my professors would grade highest or what my peers would react to most positively. Finding your own style and sticking to it is so important for your work and your brand. Stay true to your style and everything will fall into place.
DR: Any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone in the industry?
DM: Every company needs some sort of design work at one point or another. Love music? Look into jobs at record labels. Makeup? Research some of your favorite beauty brands and see if they’re hiring. There are so many different industries designers can go into, so go into one that keeps you interested in the work you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to be a fearless networker and ask questions about potential connections!
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