Artwork Archive Featured Artist Liz Murphy

Featured Artist Liz Murphy is no stranger to starting over.

Liz Murphy has enjoyed a diverse career as a studio director, a New York Times best-selling children's book illustrator, a designer of kid's products, and a director of London-based design agencies. However, despite the success, she was plagued by the feeling that her creative career meant always creating work for someone else.

In 2017, after a cancer diagnosis and the end of her long-term marriage, she was faced with a big question: "Who would I be, and what would it look like if I just created for me?"

Ready to explore new opportunities and find what truly brought her joy, she found abstract expressionism.

Liz began attending workshops and permitted herself to create just for herself. Now liberated, her goal is to simply be present, open, and vulnerable enough to surrender to the process. She allows her expectations to be left at the door and has discovered that inspiration starts when she takes risks.

"My only responsibility is to show up and lean into what feels authentic and feeds my soul," said Murphy. "Some days I need the experience to be exhilarating and stimulating. Some days I need to be soothed and comforted. Some days it is simply a battle not to let my own limiting beliefs take over and hold me captive."

Murphy considers her works as souvenirs of her journey—sometimes a snapshot of where she is, sometimes a complete surprise that connects her to a deeper feeling she wasn't aware of recognizing. Her work in abstract expressionism has been an act of meditation for her, leading her to a deeper connection with herself and what she considers a greater power. 

"My hopes and desires are that my work allows you to hear that quiet, inexplicable voice within," she said. "A voice that communicates and connects you to an emotion or a feeling that only art or music can evoke. I now know from experience this to be the portal that can transport us to wherever it is we want to go."

You can see more of Liz Murphy's work on Discovery and read more about her process below.

Has your work changed over time—do you find yourself understanding your art career through different periods of expression?

Yes definitely! My work is constantly changing and developing. I have only been focusing on my fine art business for the last three years. I am also an interior designer and often paint commissions for my design clients. While I feel my work has an overriding style and unique "voice," my work needs at times to adapt slightly to fit into different interiors and aesthetics.

I can see a shift in my work after working on large-scale pieces for a while. I am now drawn to creating pieces that have simplicity combined with a strong design element.


See more of Liz Murphy's work and process on Instagram.


Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your process?

Not really—I love it all. But, if I had to choose a favorite part, I would say the very start of the process. 

It is at this point that I feel complete freedom. I feel fearless and love randomly creating a history that may or may not come into play further down the line. 

Painting by Liz Murphy.

What has your artistic education consisted of (formal or not)? If you did receive a formal education like an MFA, did you find it necessary for your artistic growth, or did you find that elsewhere?

I have a BA in Graphic design. I have not received any formal education in painting, but I have however attended many courses by some wonderful professionals.

 A look into the process of Liz Murphy's abstract paintings. 

What routines—art-making and administrative—are essential to success in your art career?

I don’t really have a routine; I recognize that there is a creative cycle at play in my art practice. 

There is a commitment to be present. It’s about being in the moment, absorbing the journey not focusing on the destination. I surrender to the process, accepting and noticing all that transpires without our harsh critic sitting on my shoulder!

Then, I simply react and respond to the energy of the marks and forms. This is where I allow intuition, curiosity, wonder, experimentation, exploration, playfulness, and discovery to guide me.

     Painting by Liz Murphy.

Why did you decide to inventory and archive your artworks with Artwork Archive?

It was recommended by a coach I worked with and was exactly what I need. I do not know of any other platform offering such a service!


What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?

Take a business course on how to market and sell your work.

Do not try and sell too quickly before you have established your style and voice.


Liz Murphy uses Artwork Archive to share her artwork online and present her paintings professionally.  

You can make an online portfolio, catalog your artworks and generate reports like inventory reports, tear sheets and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free 30-day trial and start growing your art business.