RMCAD Illustration Student Shares Tips On How To Advance Your Craft

RMCAD Illustration Student Shares Tips On How To Advance Your Craft

Darryl Murphy is an online Illustration student at RMCAD on track to graduate in 2025. Even while in school Murphy is already making a name for himself, having worked with leaders in the illustration industry such as IDW Publishing (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Upperdeck Entertainment (Marvel), and Nickelodeon. Murphy sat down with us to discuss his love of illustration, how he got started, and pointers for other aspiring artists.

Like most artists, Murphy’s story began with a dream. He grew up on a healthy diet of books and cartoons, where he engaged with some form of illustration nearly every day. However, it wasn’t until he attended a comic book convention in Chicago, Illinois that Murphy realized he wanted to become an illustrator himself. “What excites me most about illustration is telling stories through the amazing art of images,” shares Murphy.

Image of Darryl Murphy in his artist studio.
Image of Darryl Murphy in his artist studio.

Murphy quickly took to the fast-paced creative environment of RMCAD. He explains that because of his education at RMCAD “I was able to enhance my own stories and utilize different inking techniques that I learned in my sequential art class.” RMCAD presented Murphy with many exciting possibilities that have pulled him out of his comfort zone both inside and outside of the classroom. Opportunities such as visiting New York City with the Illustration Department developed Murphy’s confidence. “I have been able to hone my skills and illustrate things that speak to me and to others,” says the illustration virtuoso.

As an accomplished artist even before graduating, Murphy imparts some of the tips that have helped him excel. He is disciplined in advancing his craft. “I’ll write down tips that I have learned over the past few years and I’ll study areas that I am weaker in.” Murphy implores aspiring artists to “Study, study, study,” saying “Study art history, study anatomy, and study perspectives. Murphy has found that taking the time to learn about all of these subjects has not only made his work more technically advanced, but has also given him the courage to take larger risks. Murphy says to “try new things, new line strokes, new ways of penciling and inking, and new stories.”

As Murphy looks ahead to graduation and beyond, he shares his biggest goal of all, “I hope to someday teach illustration to others.” He hopes to share what he believes is possible in the illustration medium with the next generation. While Murphy hopes to work in education, he isn’t giving up on his own illustrations anytime soon. “I also want to become an art director illustrating sequential pages for comic book publishers.” As a student and a working artist at the same time, he knows that education and professional development go hand in hand. “I have learned so much from other artists I met through networking. Don’t be afraid to show your work to others, especially strangers.”

Learn more about RMCAD’s Illustration program both on-campus and online. We think you would also like the blog, 5 Illustration Careers You Can Pursue with a Bachelor’s Degree

Some of the quotes in this story have been edited for brevity and clarity by the author, but are meant to retain the significance and purpose of the original speaker.


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