Selfishly, I love doing these interviews because I get to connect with such remarkable and kind people who are so enthusiastic about what they do. It is thrilling to see, and who would not want to be around more people like that? It's contagious and makes you part of a secret society of dreamers who get the work done.
When you're one of those people - who dream of having something "more" in your life, you will find yourself more fulfilled by meeting others who understand the internal urge driving you to make time for your "more". But it's not more consumption, it's more creation. It's ideas. It's concepts. It's connections. It's filled pages in your sketchbook. It's doing work that puts you into a frame of mind that lets you enter that blissful flow and forget the mundane tasks and stresses temporarily.
Megan is one of those people, and I know you'll love her. I also like the fact that her daughter pretends that she has her own art business. Megan's daughter should be friends with Kristine Brookshire's daughter who does the same thing! Too bad they have 3,000 miles between them. Isn't that great - artist mothers showing their little girls how to follow their passion, build successful businesses, and to put themselves out there even if it's sometimes scary.
Tell us about yourself. How old is your child? Where can we find you?
Hi there! I am Megan, of Art by Megan. I am originally from Maryland, but currently am living in Brooklyn with my family. I have a daughter, Isabel, age 4. She's a ray of sunshine and totally wacky & wonderful.
- Website: www.artbymegan.com
- Shop: http://www.artbymegan.com/new-products/
- Minted: www.minted.com/store/artbymegan
- Instagram: @artbymegan
- Pinterest: @artbymegan
How has your approach to painting, your processes, medium, or your inspiration changed since having children?
My painting career began because of my daughter. After I had her, I began to realize the importance of having an outlet that was solely mine. I began painting in the evenings in our kitchen weekly. This turned to nightly and I was making a giant mess! When we moved this year, I got an art studio in our home! It's absolutely amazing and I have really grown as an artist in the past 6 months since moving to Brooklyn.
Is it easy or difficult for you to find/make time to create? Did you have to give anything up? Do you have advice on what works for you?
When I was still teaching high-school full-time last year it was a little tricky to take time for myself to paint. I would begin working at 8pm and sometimes work until 12 midnight, but the next day would be a little tricky with high schoolers! Now that I am exclusively working as an artist, I have developed a schedule to help "balance" it all. It's also really special that now my daughter loves to paint with me, so it's a hobby we can share!
Advice - keep painting if it's your "Thing". I gave up TV time, evening "Relaxing", but painting is my creative outlet, so it became something that I needed to do often. I just love it so!
How does being an artist make you a better mother to your daughter? What do you hope she takes away from seeing you as an artist doing something that fulfills you?
I am not sure I can say I am doing everything (anything some days!) right as a mom, but I know that by being an entrepreneur and following my passion, I am influencing my daughter. She has helped me so much, I call her my apprentice! She mails paintings with me, packages paintings, works on artwork, talks to galleries and has even delivered work with me! She is very interested in how it all works, and I think that is really cool.
This year, she has begun playing "artist" at our house and it's literally the cutest thing ever. She sets up a shop, talks to her "buyers" (Curious George, stuffed animals and American girl dolls) and sometimes sets up a gallery in our house. Fostering creativity is something I can say is definitely happening in our house!
I hope that when my daughter is older, she can appreciate watching her mom be passionate about something that she loved. I want her to find that same passion, no matter what it may be, for her future.
Where do you paint or create? What are your favorite things about your workspace and what would you improve? Do you ever create art with your kids?
Until April 2015, I painted in our kitchen, which was messy! But, it was perfect because I could be with family and see what was going on and be part of conversations while I worked. This worked really well with a small child.
Now, I work in my "Teeny tiny studio" or "art gallery", as Isabel calls it - a spare bedroom in our apartment. It's amazing. Literally a dream of mine as a child has always been to have an entire room dedicated to making art.
Do you have any tips to streamline / delegate / outsource household and childcare activities so that you can focus more time on your art? Has your lifestyle changed in any major ways?
The biggest step I took towards streamlining was going full-time this spring. Full-time teaching and artist / mom / wife was a bit overwhelming. A couple of people really helped me to take this plunge and I am so grateful! Also, shout out to my handsome hubby for encouraging this terrifying career step!
Also, I would argue that there is no real way to streamline life...it's supposed to be messy and crazy, even though it can be really frustrating. It's "a beautiful mess", as they say. We live in Brooklyn without any family nearby and I sometimes wish I could have a little help, but right now I am thankful just to be doing what I love and raising a happy, smart, silly little girl!
Do you have any big goals or dreams for your art that you’d like to share? What would be your dream project?
I recently worked with two shops that were absolutely awesome! (Mintwood Home and Waiting on Martha) Both have been such positive experiences for me as an artist and I hope to work with more shops like them around the US and world.
My "dream project" would be to work with one of my favorites - Christina Baker, Michelle Armas, or Teil Duncan on a project or in a group show.
I hope to work with a shop like Serena & Lily or Lulu & Georgia too!
Also, I would love to be published in one of my favorite magazines - Darling Magazine or online on a blog like Design Sponge. Basically, I have a million goals!
Oh, and I would REALLY love to work on paintings for a summer in Spain. I think it would be so cool to return to my favorite place in the world and work as an artist (and travel with my family, of course!).
Thank you so much, Megan. Okay, go chase down those big dreams and report back to us!