Last week I had the pleasure of chatting with Becky Simpson all the way from Austin, Texas. Becky has worked as a freelance illustrator, and as of yesterday has published two books, AND through a creative residency with Adobe now runs her own store called Chipper Things. We talked about what she learned from her year-long residency, finding structure and routine in a role that is always changing and some of the nitty gritty that makes up her daily work life. She is honest, fun, optimistic and overall a great person to talk to. Enjoy!
You’re a self-employed illustrator, author and you just launched your own online store. With a million different things on the go, what are your main focuses right now?
I’m super focused on my new book at the moment. It’s coming out June 28th and it’s called “The Roommate Book.” I’m so excited about it. It’s 150 pages of illustrations, really short essays, flowcharts, hypotheticals and a bucket list. It’s for all the young adult women who want to celebrate roommate life. That’s currently taking up the majority of my focus. I’ve been working on it for over 18 months. To finally have it in my hands and not just be a project that I’m talking about is awesome. I'm also focused on Chipper Things - my new online store.
Tell me a bit more about what your role looks like between those two things?
I’m trying to relearn a bit of a routine because I’ve been used to working on my own for years. Previously, I did a lot of freelance illustration work, which is a much different workflow than producing a product line and launching a book. It can also shift every few months. For example, I’m not going to have the same tasks with the book in three months as I do now. I’m still figuring that out, but I’m trying to focus. One thing I like to do is batch things to help me get into a flow. If I can do a lot of something in one sitting, versus peppering it throughout the week, that’s ideal for me.
Currently, my role involves a lot of emails and researching stores that I want to get into. That’s been a fun process, because I get to find my spirit stores, and be like, “I love you and I think we’d be a great team.” That kind of outreach is a big part of my day.
Everything I do right now feels so new. I have this friend and we get together every week to talk business and accountability. We're running partners in that way. I was just texting her and saying, "This feels like amateur hour... I need to figure out how to schedule my days." It's really easy to just be reactive when you have so much to do.