BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
When Megan Elizabeth and I connected for our virtual coffee, Megan was already well into her day. Megan had already “force fed” breakfast to her daughter (sometimes you just can’t get them to eat the cereal, banana, toast, or a cookie!) and completed school drop off. After popping into her new studio and prepping for her day’s creations, it was definitely time for coffee (and a refill!). As we chatted about the challenges of “getting it all done”, the distance between Richmond and New York quickly faded away.
Our conversation jumped from topic to topic, like school girls catching up after summer vacation. We shared the same challenges and realities and lamented over the desire to make work fit into life in a way that is successful, fulfilling, and authentic. We laughed at the thought of balance and leaned more toward the desire for integration. Striving for the right fit between the work and family, supporting the shifts and changes over the course of a day, month, and year, as needed.
Coming across Megan’s early work through social media, you see a pioneer, figuring it out as she goes along. As a former teacher in inner city schools, Megan used to paint as a way to decompress from a stressful day. Megan discovered that painting allowed her to process the challenges that she could not fix. After years of putting paint on canvas as a “hobby”, Megan was able to realize her unique potential and became a full time artist. With a distinct perspective and grounded reality, Megan tries not to stress about the little things. Although she is always thinking about different pieces she wants to create, when she starts to paint she cannot predict what will happen; what twist or turn a painting will take. To an outsider it might look like play, but it is hard work. Megan challenges herself to keep at it and to persist – even when it is uncomfortable and challenging.
Megan likes to create big pieces of art. In her former “’studio space”, (otherwise known as the New York City apartment that she shares with her supportive husband and daughter), she could practically sit on her bed and paint a masterpiece. Listening to her gut, Megan ambitiously invested in her creative process and found real studio space to call her own. This new space brings a new commute (clearly longer than the previous one), new routine, new opportunities, and of course, a new excuse to decorate. With lots more wall space, Megan is able to spread out and work on multiple pieces, big and small, at the same time.
Over the last year, Megan’s work has evolved and she has gained confidence as a practicing artist. Megan is humble, grateful and proud of the work she creates and the creative community she belongs to. She creates work that is full of movement and life. It is colorful and tranquil. With an authentic touch, Megan pulls together colors and palettes that can both excite and calm your mood, creating art that is perfect for any room.
Go ahead, take a break, grab another cup of coffee and get to know Megan…
How did you find your passion for creating art?
I have always adored making art and never really thought about the fact that I am totally obsessed with it! As a kid, I barely watched anything on tv or movies, but I colored ALL THE TIME!
How has your work evolved over the past couple of years?
Practice really does make perfect. I have become more confident over the past couple of years and think that it’s from the repetition of making art every day. Also, having a space dedicated to making art has made a HUGE difference for me!
What is your process for creating? Do you have a time of day or place that you are most creative?
I am definitely a morning person and make my best work before noon. I am thankful because I am also a mom and the hours for motherhood are EARLY!! But, I make it work.
What is your biggest success as an artist? What are you most proud of?
I am honestly proud of the fact that I haven't given up. It hasn't been easy and I have had a lot of obstacles in my way, but I just keep going and doing what I love. It's hard work, but totally worth it.
What is one of your biggest challenges as an artist?
For me, I don't really get "artist block" or have too much self-doubt (anymore), but I just wish there were more hours in the day. All of my good ideas come at 10pm when I am too sleepy to act on them and then sometimes I get frustrated. Sigh, the creative brain!
What inspires you? What influences your work?
I am inspired by the ocean, florals and anything fleeting...sunsets, bright skies, blooming flowers, light and contrast. I love travel and adventures around NYC and I am inspired so much by the colors of spring and summer.
Where do you want your career to be in 2yrs?
In 2 years, I hope to be continuing to develop myself as an artist and I really hope that my daughter is old enough to come on as my official assistant by then. A girl can dream, right?!