After performing as a high fashion model in London and Dublin, Elaine became an illustrator for the renowned fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. At the same time she designed and illustrated for women’s high fashion magazines, including Image, Woman’s Way and U. Elaine soon expanded her creative pursuits from fashion to jewelry design to abstract and figurative art. She also founded her own factory devoted to her ceramic designs and home accessories. Her design work has been celebrated and sold worldwide; she has designed collections for companies such as Waterford Crystal, Celtic Jewelry and Riverdance.
In recent years, Murphy has focused on painting abstracts and the female form. A collector once best described her paintings as "loose and fluid, with emotional overtones conveyed by elegant lines. The combination of abstraction and bold figurative line conspires to make her expressions on canvas truly unique". Her paintings can be found in many private and celebrity collections. Elaine currently lives and paints full time in her studio in Sarasota, Florida.