Dylan Murphy Creations

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that my style has started to shift from mostly crazy prints and colors to relaxed black and white outfits, like solid black and striped dresses and tops, and black or dark wash shorts. I’ve been trying to find some good tee shirts, and I’ve found a few good ones from Kinship Goods and Stay Home Club, but not too much luck anywhere else, aside from basic striped tees.

I came across Dylan Murphy on Instagram, and quickly became pretty enamored with his shirt designs, so we’ve partnered up to get him some of the exposure that he deserves!

I love his edgy designs, and that they range between simplistic and detailed. Most of his shirts are adult unisex (which I love to wear with the sleeves rolled), but he also offers clothing for babies and children! His designs make his cause clear, which he shares on his website: “I believe in the little people, equal rights, caring for the environment, and not bowing down to the man. I am a rebel with a cause.” That’s something I can get behind!

Here’s a few of my favorites!

favoritesfavorites2In Dog We Trust, That’s Not Very Punk Rock of You, Overthinking, Camp Feel Bad

I got in touch with Dylan, who was happy to answer a few questions for my readers!

How did you get into designing shirts/What’s your background like?

I’ll try not to write a novel here haha. I’ll start by going through a brief history of my experience in the arts. After turning 18, I started gaining an interest in photography. Post high school life was very different than my high school life for me. I went through a lot of changes and almost became a completely new person. Now I’m straying from the topic, that’s usual for me though, I can have very extreme ADD and it shows in my work. Anyway, photography was the first art I gained a real passion in. I think my girlfriend, and now wife, played a huge role in my growth as a photographer. Outside of myself, she was my main subject. I went to a community college for the first few years of college trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. During that time I also worked as a designer and photographer for the college. I finally decided to pursue a major in photography, despite knowing it might not lead anywhere, as is the case with most arts. I attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and got my Bachelor of Arts degree in photography. While there, I also worked at the student newspaper designing ads. I’ve always enjoyed doing both photography and design, and there was a time where I combined the two, creating complex montages out of my photographs and creating surreal scenes. Eventually I started creating collages that did not include my own photography. I discovered there was a massive amount of untapped resources in the public domain: old photographs, vintage illustrations, even NASA images are public domain. I went through a lot of part time jobs outside of the arts after college and really just had a rough time. I would still work on my own photography and design/montage projects though. I finally got offered a full time job in St. Louis doing product photography for an e-commerce company. So my fiance (at the time), our dog, and I moved to St. Louis. The pay was good, but eventually I started to feel stagnant and uninspired. Last year during that time I tried to think of new ventures I could pursue. I eventually decided to try making shirts out of some of my montage designs. The first shirt I made available to the public was a surreal vintage space montage that had previously sold fairly well as a print. So I guess that’s finally how I got started. Eventually I tried other ideas besides my montages and began thinking specifically about what I could create with clothing in mind. Some of my co-workers also helped push me into trying new things as well. I lost the full time job as a product photographer in May. It wasn’t a good environment anyway, but I was paid fairly well. Since then I’ve focused a lot more on my own work and trying to make something more out of what started as a side project. I’ve been pushing out more designs and thinking hard about what I can do with this.

What inspires or influences your work?
Everything inspires me. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. It would take forever to name all of the artists and people that have inspired me in my life and in my work. It’s everywhere; all over social media, books, music, movies, television, the outside world, etc. Right now, the biggest thing that influences me are my personal beliefs and my outlook on life. It’s no secret that I can be quite cynical at times and it shows in some of my recent designs. I’m a constant worrier and have battled anxiety and depression for most of my life. Despite some of the “negative” or “dark” ideas, I also believe in good things for sure. I have a few things out already that have a more positive spin or message. I don’t think anything I do is meant to make people feel worse but rather to connect with people that have the same weird off the wall thought processes as me. We’re all human and have flaws and unique perspectives. I have a dark sense of humor as well.
What are your goals for this business? 
Right now my biggest goal is to increase sales. They are still relatively low, and right now this is my main project in life. I would love to be able to make even half of what I made working full time making weird shit for people. It’s definitely hard and the market is saturated, as are most markets. It’s not all about the money though, it’s also a way to connect with people from all over the world. Like all art, this is an outlet and a way to express myself and if people want to express themselves in the same way, then that’s amazing. I’ve had a lot of people say good things about my products and I feel it’s just a matter of getting it in front of more people to truly succeed.
Thanks so much, Dylan! It’s inspiring to see someone’s passions come to life, and gives me some hope for my future as well. Keep it up!

Road to Ohio

This year, for 4th of July weekend, Alex and I took a trip to visit his aunt and other family in McArthur, Ohio. I knew as soon as I found out which part of the interstate we’d be taking that we would have to stop and see a couple roadside attractions that I had been obsessing over for a while. Both were still within the Tennessee state line, so I really had no excuse as to why I hadn’t gone before, but this was the perfect reason! The day started out gross and rainy, and I was really afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the car and spend much time with this scaly beauty, who was once a prop at a fireworks store, which burned down a few years back. As luck would have it, the rain slowed to a mist as we came upon it! Thank you, universe.

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It was easy to get to, and we just parked beside the dollar store that it hides behind. I don’t know if it’s me, but being so close to and looking up at something so huge and exciting is overwhelming to me. My anxiety-ridden brain was sure that thing was going to fall over if I touched it. Alex clearly had no such fears, and stood on its foot, ready to become lunch.

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The our other stop is also a burned down fireworks store, and it just a few miles away from the dragon, on the opposite side of the highway.

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I’ve driven past this before, and could see from the road that there were two Ferris wheels, a couple other structures, a pink elephant, a giraffe, a tall rocket, a creepy clown, and a really long firetruck. This one lies behind a gas station, and is fenced in with a “No Trespassing” sign. I wrote a review for the place on the Roadside America app, which tells all about this place.

“I stopped by there today (July 2015) to get some photos, and it’s closed to the public. There’s a gap in the fence, so we went in anyway. Much to my dismay, the elephant and giraffe have been removed! There are still two Ferris wheels, plywood clowns, the rocket, and the World’s Longest Firetruck, but a lot of the allure was taken with the elephant. The place was kind of littered, and probably isn’t worth a stop unless you have a thing for large, abandoned camouflage bras. It still looks pretty and mysterious from the highway.”

Needless to say, it was kind of a disappointment, because the elephant was the reason I was so excited to go! Both the elephant and the giraffe were still there last time I passed by it (early June), and there apparently used to a horse, according to Kaylah’s trip to the place. We rushed around, feeling kind of creeped out, and got some pretty good pictures anyway!

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I can’t wait to go on another adventure! I think next on my list is the carved Abe Lincoln in Kentucky.


Back to Normal

Happy Monday!

The last couple of weeks have been completely crazy. Alex and I have been using all of our free time getting our new apartment in order. We’re still kind of living out of boxes, and we can’t find a few important things, like our vacuum and our pots, pans, and bowls! I’ve also been working a new job and making pretty frequent trips back to Knoxville, which is why I’ve been so absent here lately! Don’t get me started on Project 365.. Phew.



We had our housewarming party this past Saturday, and it went super well! Special thanks to Erin for all her preparation help, and our guests for lots of fun and some thoughtful gifts!


Yesterday was our first rest day in a few weeks, and it was much appreciated. We slept late, ate party leftovers for breakfast, and finally finished Season 3 of Orange is the New Black. Alex’s mom and her fiance came by and had a look around the apartment, and we talked about our upcoming trip to Ohio! We’re beyond excited. A little while later, we headed over to the river so Alex could go fishing. By the way, how cute is this little castle?! It’s at a house next to the river, and I need one.


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I’ve really missed my camera over the past few weeks (I misplaced the charger in the move). I snapped a few photos and made a new embroidery in the shade while Alex had his fun. Later, we made a trip back into the main part of town and had great Mexican food, and made a stop by Target, where I got the cutest scissors in existence, and a great new way to display my growing pin collection!

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After our trip this weekend, my goal is to establish a regular blogging schedule, and make some updates to my Etsy shop! Keep a lookout for a post about our trip next week!


Movin’ On Up

Happy Sunday, guys! This is a super exciting weekend for Alex and I, because we’re finally getting moved into our new apartment! It’s been a slow process, mostly because Clinton is about half an hour away from Knoxville (the furthest I’ve ever lived from home – eep!), but we moved two of cats up, so it’s time to make it official.

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The next week or so is going to be lots of unpacking, organizing, painting (the whole place was gross mustard yellow), cleaning, and moving other odds and ends. I’ve been washing dishes like crazy these past two days, and yesterday, Alex, with the help of his friend and stepdad, moved in our little green refrigerator (because the one that came with the apartment didn’t work).

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Maxwell hasn’t been thrilled about all the noise, and hid most of the time. Ringo, on the other hand, just wanted attention from everyone involved! They’re adjusting okay to the new place, and have found new places to curl up. Their new toy makes them feel better, too!

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Hopefully, soon I can show more progress and maybe even do a few room tours! We’ve been working on updating some furniture before the move, and those will be shared here soon. Alex, James, and I celebrated the end of a super productive day with pizza, because what could be better?



Thrift Finds 7

A couple of weeks ago, my mom, her friend Marie, and I went to a massive estate sale in Oak Ridge. This particular one started on a Thursday and ran to Sunday, and I went to three of the four days. I racked up so many treasures that I’m going to split the photos into the three different days! There were so many things in this house that, honestly, I don’t even understand how a person could live there. It makes for a pretty great estate sale, though.

Day 1

I’ve been on the lookout for so long for little squirrels and skunks. Still looking for deers!


This person had a pretty big collection of patches and pins! They must have been a big advocate for gay rights and safe sex. I thought the Quickie one was just a crude joke at first, but I’ve since realized that it’s a brand of wheelchair. Ha.IMG_7607IMG_7608

This person also had a sizable collection of the 1982 World’s Fair memorabilia, which gave Knoxville its beloved and iconic Sunsphere.IMG_7610

When I saw the online photos of this sale, what immediately caught my attention was the globes. I went expecting for them all to be snatched up, but was pleasantly surprised to see that only one was missing, so I nabbed all of them, except for one on a stand and one that was freestanding, without a base at all.IMG_7612IMG_7613IMG_7614

Who could say no to coasters as cute as these?IMG_7615

This weird thing I found rifling through a box of 50 cent items. It seems to be a pencil holder, and has tiny gold quarters floating in it. I wish the plastic was a bit clearer!IMG_7616IMG_7617

I didn’t keep this little guy, but he’s super cute. I gave him to my sister, who has a pretty impressive salt and pepper shaker collection. The guy had two of these, because you always need two squirrel s+p shaker holders, right?IMG_7619

I thought I was done with the house by this point, but as I was doing my last once-over, I saw this beautiful thing laying precariously on the arm of a couch. I almost lost my shit. I paid a whopping $6 for this beauty, after scouring eBay for similar ones for months. They usually go for anywhere between $30 and $70. Win. This one doesn’t have its key, so its not usable, but I’m alright with that. It would probably scare me!IMG_7620

Almost my favorite thing about estate sales is finding a big ole stack of linens that no one wants anymore. I love mismatch!

Day 2

I skipped Friday of this sale, and went back with Alex on Saturday. He grabbed a fishing rod and reel, and some new baits.

I eyeballed this sultry-looking pig the whole first day, and I was pleased to see him still there! And 25% off! I also now have another rainbow mug to match my other one, and have paid a whole 75 cents for both of them.IMG_7632

I couldn’t resist this little tray and these two ring holders. I have a kitty one that matches the swan, and I also think there’a a giraffe in the series. The mouse works great for washi tape, since I don’t have very many rings. I hope I can get that green spot off! Anyone have any tips?IMG_7633 IMG_7634 IMG_7636 IMG_7638

Day 3

Sunday was 50% off! I grabbed these few items, in addition to the two remaining globes that I left behind on the first day.


Always adding to my mismatched dinnerware. This is a really shallow bowl.IMG_7659 IMG_7662 IMG_7661

The people who lived in this Oak Ridge house must have been serious collectors. There were over 300 fishing rods and accessories (seriously), a collection of little glass shoes, wooden shoes, wall art like the one above (nature pressed in glass), globes, over 30 clocks, duck figures, chicken figures, swan figures, tiny metal pencil sharpeners, pocket knives, and boxes and boxes of books. This weekend, there was even a second estate sale at that house. I went again, and came out with a few goodies that I’ll be sharing here soon! I can’t help but wonder how they lived around all that, and if they were considered hoarders. At least it worked in someone’s favor!


The Little Things

As a 20 year old, currently unemployed, ambitious but unsuccessful Knoxville artist, life is hard sometimes. It helps to take a step back and enjoy the little things, and then go back to trying to get my shit together. Here are the small things that have been keeping me positive lately.

Like I mentioned before, I’m in love with the latest A Beautiful Mess book, Happy Handmade Home. This is my favorite page.

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Last week, I got the cutest little package from Jesi! I almost didn’t want to open it. It turns out she sent me the ring by mistake, but she let me keep it and got my little gnome to me quickly! What a sweetheart. (Also, check out my sweet nail art.)


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I always come home to kitties in the cutest spots. I’m going to miss these sweet girls when we move!

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I love eating Frostys in the park with boyfriend.


I went searching for a super adorable print from Fine Little Day, but it was no longer available, so I made my own!


My mom’s friend gave me some little ducks! One is a pencil sharpener, one is hollow, and the other two are solid. It’s strange that they’re all so similar, but so different. I also gave that jar its flair, just because I felt like painting something.

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I breathed some new life into these glass votives that my aunt gave me. I was originally going to paint the spaces and then pull the tape off of the one, but it looked too cute! I also found a Hello Kitty tin that I’ve had since I was little.

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In addition to all this happy stuff, I’ve got some great news! Alex and I finally got an apartment! It’s in historic downtown Clinton, above an antique shop! There are eight antique shops within sight, and two small restaurants. We haven’t moved yet, but we’re very excited. Hopefully I can share some of it soon!

Hope you’re having a great Thursday!


Secluded Fishing Spot

Over the past month or so, it’s kind of been our ritual to go up to Clinton so that Alex can go fishing. It’s never super exciting for me, because fishing is so boring, but a couple of weeks ago we found a new spot. It’s super secluded, except for the old man across the river who would not stop staring at us, and it has a porch swing! I must be a grandmother at heart, because there’s not a lot I love more than porch swings.


Alex insisted on having some photos of me having a weird hair day, because he thought I looked cool with my hood up, and I had to show off this week’s nails.

What I’m wearing: Dress: Dear Creatures, c/o my sister, Tights: Target (a few months ago), Shoes: Rack Room (two years ago), Jacket: American Eagle Outfitters (a year ago), Pins: a gift from my sister and Strangeways.
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Alex got some new lures and a knife earlier that day at a great estate sale, and has already lost two of those three lures to hungry fish. IMG_7651 IMG_7652 IMG_7653 IMG_7654 IMG_7655 IMG_7656

The fishing dock and swing are down what feels like a hundred stairs, and above it is this little sitting area. I can’t help but think that it would be a great place to have a little party, if it were cleaned up. We’re not sure who it belongs to, because it’s pretty far away from the house it’s behind, and it takes a bit of a walk through some thick woods to get to. Also, I don’t know whose owl lights those are, but I need to know where they came from, because I love them.

Found any new favorite spots lately?