MURRAY - Abby Murdock, a 2012 Murray High School graduate and 2016 Murray State University BFA studio art (emphasizing graphic design) graduate, is the designer behind Spotify Hot Country playlist ads hailing miles from her Murray hometown in Nashville, Tennessee, and strategically placed platforms throughout the U.S.
A three-year, full-time employee with ST8MNT, a boutique brand agency, has provided Murdock with opportunities to work with her team touting a large range of clients, including country music artists Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, along with hotel, restaurant and music festival branding.
Murdock credits the fine art skills she developed at MHS and MSU with the hands-on opportunities she’s been afforded, including designing and painting a mural that can be found on the rooftop of the Bobby Hotel in Nashville.
Murdock moved to Nashville in 2016, two weeks post-graduation from MSU, after being offered a job designing stationery products for companies including Walmart and Dollar Tree. After a three-month stint, Murdock left the job and spent the summer waitressing at one of her favorite Nashville taco restaurants, Taco Mamacita. During the summer, Murdock received an email from ST8MNT Brand Agency requesting an interview for an internship position she had applied for the previous year, after visiting with an MSU class tour.
“I loved the environment at ST8MNT, and their clients were dream clients. I never in a million years thought that I was good enough to intern there, and since then I have learned that we are our own worst critics,” Murdock said. “It came during a strange time in my life, but I decided to go for it, following the support of my mother and grandparents. “
After interning at ST8MNT for three months, Murdock was offered a full-time position as a graphic designer. “It was a dream job for me, so, of course, I accepted,” she said. “This month marks my three-year anniversary working full time for ST8MNT, and it has been an amazing period of growth and development.”
Murdock’s public school education foundation began while attending Murray Independent School District from elementary school, graduating in 2012. “We were always encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular activities. There was never a dull moment for me. In high school, I split my time between marching band, being captain of the dance team, a member of both the Japanese and Spanish clubs, as well as being involved and competing in FBLA.”
Entering her senior year at Murray High, she regretted not experiencing art classes. “I began to regret the fact that I hadn’t taken a high school art class, despite my love for creating things. Upon talking with my mother, principal, and several teachers, I made the decision to drop my fourth year of Spanish class in order to take an art class. The amount of support from my teachers to follow my passion for art still impacts me today. I am forever grateful for those teachers who really showed that they cared about me as a person and not just a student.”
Growing up with friends from all different walks of life helped shaped Murdock into the loving and understanding person she is today. “The communication and relationship skills that I built during my education in a public school district helped me to be successful in building true connections within my community and career bubble.”
Murdock credits the relationships with MISD teachers who made a profound impact on her life, even after graduation. One teacher in particular who influenced Murdock’s life is her middle school band instructor, Beth Stribling.
“I remember being terrified to start band in the sixth grade, hearing rumors of her strictness. However, I learned that the strictness was actually a passion for teaching and helping kids during the most formative years of life. There were times that she made me mad, as I’m sure there were times that I made her mad, but it was all out of love.”
Most recently, Stribling attended the funeral of Murdock’s grandfather. “She showed her support after eight years since my graduation. It’s those lifelong bonds between students and teachers that really mean the most to me looking back. “
Murdock’s love of Murray Independent School District is deep. “I am very proud of the woman that I have become, and I know that my education played a huge role in that. I have a deep love for the Murray Tigers and I always will. “
Murdock is the daughter of Angie Murdock of Murray, and Bill Ed Murdock of Murray.