Becky Simpson’s art is made with the goal of cheering you up, and we can’t think of a better purpose. Known for her relatable flowcharts and uplifting illustrations, Simpson’s work fuses her passions for connection, process, and play.
Art director, illustrator, and educator, she also runs her own brand and online store, Chipper Things, which sells apparel sporting her unique designs. According to her website, Simpson got her start in a small town in the middle of Iowa, where she was born and raised. After studying graphic design at Iowa State University and graduating in 2010, she moved to Texas, landed her first job, then wrote and illustrated her first book, I’d Rather Be Short.
“I worked at a design firm for a couple of years after college,” she recalled in an interview with The Great Discontent. “I knew I wanted to eventually work for myself, but it wasn’t until I landed my first book deal that I had the confidence—or the savings—to take the leap.”
“Leaving that design job to freelance full time was a huge leap because I had absolutely no business sense, no practice freelancing, and no real plan at all,” she says. “Looking back, I can’t believe that’s how I dove in, but I’m so glad I did. I’m so grateful and excited about where I am now. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if it wasn’t for the route that brought me here.”
Her advice for other creatives trying to make it? “It’s easy to look at people who are making things happen and think, ‘I wish I was like that. I wish I could be involved in interesting projects and take those sorts of risks.’ But the thing is: we all have that in us. Those people aren’t superheroes—they’ve just had practice.” Preach!