No Idea is ever too big
Is being an artist the path you intentionally set out on or did something change your direction to where you are now?
I always dreamed of becoming an artist, but life took me in a slightly different direction at first.
I studied art and Spanish in college, began teaching high school after I graduated, and then pursued my MA in Spanish Literature. I love travel as much as I love art, so the two loves have always been in competition. I had an incredible art teacher in high school who made me feel, even though I was a little bit of a disastrous adolescent, that I was loved and that my dreams weren't too crazy. So three years ago this month I decided to pursued my art career full-time, and I haven't regretted the crazy choice since.
Can you tell us about you and the inspiration behind your work?
I am most inspired by travel, seeing new things, challenging myself and changing perspective so my works reflect an attitude of experimentation and a curiosity regarding the beauty created by the transparency and overlapping of ideas. I am heavily influenced by my travels and my memories of happy times near bodies of water and am obsessed with light, sunrises and sunsets, and capturing the color schemes associated with reflections, bright bursts of light, and ripples of water. The ocean has so much movement, texture, and unique color schemes, so I am always inspired by its power and mystery.
I feel my paintings are such a memory. So often, I visit a place and immediately look around and think, "I will paint this moment." Whether it is a beach scene, beautiful flowers in a tote bag on the subway, or a simple moment walking in nature, I collect memories and turn them into my paintings.
I have learned some of the most poignant lessons in my life by being placed into a position of being "the outsider," whether it be in my schooling, my travels around the world, or as a new business owner. I learn the best in a trial-by-fire situation, which is grueling and exhausting but so rewarding when it works!
What inspires you personally?
I love things that are ever-changing and powerful, just like strong women. I am inspired by the women who have come before us and fought VERY hard so that modern women can continue to raise the bar and demand equal respect and access to success. I am blown away by women who follow their passions around the world in situations of war, political tension, and other oppression and by women, especially mothers, who chase their dreams even when societal expectations may not be in their favor.
How do you feel your work can help empower other women?
One of my goals as a one-woman business is to show other women who dream of running a small business that it is achievable. I think that we are in a powerful time for women seeking to make their own paths, and I have admired so many strong women in my industry who set out to prove that following a passion is a beautiful gift. I hope to inspire others to do the same, but also offer the necessary reality that needs to be publicly acknowledged as far as the challenges of running a one-woman show! I have felt so lucky to have the chance to run after the dream I've had since I was just a little girl, constantly coloring, making things, and dreaming of being a "real" artist someday, so I wanted to share this with younger artists and young people in general — your ideas are not too big! My young daughter even knows that no matter how messy or wild her inventions are, we think they are just awesome.
What advice would you give to those reading?
My mantra or favorite quote is, "Be kind, because everyone is fighting a hard battle." I feel that if human beings could just possess a bit more compassion when dealing with others, there would be far fewer problems in our world. If women especially could see one another as assets, supporters, and inspirations, instead of competition, we would excel much faster and be much happier long-term.
Megan is an abstract painter living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She hosts and teaches painting classes for people of all ages. Inspired by oceanscapes, light, and horizons, her work is constantly exploring the overlapping of ideas and layers with her color schemes. Find more work by Megan here. Follow @artbymegan
Words: Megan Elizabeth