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Conversations with the Inspiring Deborah Becker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deborah Becker.

Deborah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I started out doing sketches for friends and family just for fun, while I was working as a graphic designer. Through various connections in the design world, I started getting requests to do custom illustrations for social media, brand launches, editorial content, and print and digital marketing. I got a rush from those first few paid illustration jobs, and I was hooked. It was much more fun and less stressful than graphic design. It was then that I decided to have a go at being a full-time freelance illustrator.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

It definitely has not been easy. I had long periods of time where I wasn’t creative at all and thought I could be happy in another corporate job, but then realized I was miserable and only in it for the paycheck. I struggled with imposter syndrome and self-doubt, and that still creeps up now and then, but I’ve learned that I’m happiest when I’m following my own path rather than working for someone else.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Deborah Becker Illustration story. Tell us more about it.

I love what I do because I’ve had such a wide range of interesting jobs and clients. I’ve designed t-shirts for a corporate golf outing, sketched a bulldog in a suit and tie for an accountant’s personal branding, illustrated a children’s book, etc. It’s always something new and different. Currently I’m focusing on building my own brand of fashion illustration mugs, phone cases, and pillows for my Etsy shop, and a line of greeting cards, including a holiday collection. I’m working out the details with a clothing boutique to feature my cards in their store. I’ve recently started doing event sketching, where I set up a small table at a company soirée, wedding, boutique opening or similar, and sketch the guests in real-time. They get to keep the sketch as a memento of the event, and it’s a great way to break the ice and get people talking.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?

I’ve long felt that we need more women in government, and I’m encouraged by the recent swing in that direction. Things have become unbalanced in Washington, to say the least, but we now have many amazing, fierce women leaders who are changing things for the better. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, is a fantastic role model for women, and really all of us. I’m so inspired by her passion and tenacity. Women are standing up to the patriarchy, finding our individual superpowers and making our own opportunities. We still have challenges, such as fighting for equal pay, but I’m grateful for the leaders who are striving to make things better.

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Deborah Becker

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