FYI this is another Megan, not yours truly.
I have been following Megan's work on Instagram for quite some time now. I love seeing how her work grows and shifts. She really does seem to have so much fun with her painting, and it shows. I am so glad Megan wanted to be a part of this series. Her work is colorful, stunning, and makes me miss the ocean (in a good way). Not only is she balancing her art with family, she is also making time for it along with a full time teaching career. Just goes to show if you want it bad enough you will make time for it.
Also, don't forget to connect with all of these awesome creative mamas on their social networks, by leaving a comment below, and by sharing their interviews. Connecting and sharing are what these interviews are all about.
Thank you Megan for participating, and for sharing your work with us!
ART BY MEGANwebsite: www.artbymegan.com
society6 - www.society6.com/megan_artby
instagram: @artbymegan #artbymeganblog
facebook: Art by Megan
Media: acrylics (sometimes with spray paint, ink and mixed media), watercolors.
My art is a reflection of my travels all over the world and my love of water, the ocean, blues and greens, and sunsets.
My art career is just recently "taking off" from a hobby to a part-time job. I am also a high school spanish teacher in inner-city Baltimore MD and a full time mom to a little one.
1. What is your earliest memory you have of creating?
As a child, my grandparents came to stay with me when my brother was born. My grandmother, who I adored, called it "project time"....and a passion for art was created. My entire family is very creative; my aunts, mom and grandmother all used art in their every day lives as I was growing up.
2. When did you realize you were an artist, writer, creative etc.?
I always knew I loved art, but never knew that that made me an "artist". Only recently have I begun labeling myself as such, but it still makes me giggle a little, as it was always my "dream job". I have always been creative and have loved challenging myself artistically. I was an art major in college, I have taken many watercolor, painting, drawing and other art classes as a young person, and now teach art, photography, and design.
3. Why do you create? How would you feel if you could not create anymore?
I create as a spiritual journey. In my first art show as a 21 year old, I remember feeling like my artwork was too personal to hang publicly for others to critique and comment on. However, I now know that sharing my work (and my feelings/perspective) is actually a wonderful way to connect on a spiritual level with others, not only artists, but all people.
I was on a hiatus from creating from college until I had my daughter. I was enjoying being young and newly married, I guess! However, the birth of my daughter taught me that I needed to make time for what I love, and that became a passion unlike before, for making art. I really enjoyed evenings painting and creating after a day of baby...it created the perfect balance!
5. What is the most challenging thing about being a mother and an artist? How do you handle those challenges?
The hardest part for me as a full-time teacher, mom, and artist is balancing it all. There are always so many opportunities for art that I must turn down in order to do my "real" job. However, if I could, I would paint every day. As far as painting with my daughter around, I love it...it's a total mess, but we have such an awesome time together. Sometimes, she "helps" with my paintings though, and that's where I have to draw the line sometimes. haha!
6. Do you ever involve your children in your art? Do they inspire, help, mimic your projects, ask to learn, or be involved in your art?
I guess I already answered this, but I make art almost every day with my daughter (age 3). We paint, do crafts, use sidewalk chalk...and no matter what it is a great way for both of us to enjoy some quiet, focused time together after a busy day.
7. What have you sacrificed in order to make art?
Starting an art business was a huge financial commitment for my family at first. As they say, it takes time to make money off of art, and it was a bit frustrating to barely be breaking even, but I continued to paint and create. Also, I would say that sometimes the stress of deadlines or the chaos of driving all over with a car full of paintings is a bit of a sacrifice, but it's worth it.
8. What have you gained from creating art?
I have gained a beautiful perspective on life from my art. If I have a hard day teaching teenagers (only occasionally!), I can paint and know that it's going to feel better soon. If I am worried, stressed or lonely, art has been my savior. I would say that art has also taught me patience, because it doesn't always "work". Some of my paintings have 3-4 paintings underneath them...I have to keep trying until it is JUST perfect.
9. Where do you want your art to go over the next few years? Goals?
My goals are to expand "Art by Megan" and gain followers through networking. I also hope to be able to sell my work in more locations. Currently, I work with a pop-up shop in Annapolis, MD and they have provided so many new opportunities for my work (Here.A Pop-Up Shop). I also sell my work at Twisted Sisters in Annapolis, and they are amazing! I hope to be able to continue a relationship with these wonderful people who helped me to get started and expand to other vendors, pop-ups, galleries and creative spaces in the next year.
10. At this time, what could you sacrifice, change, or simplify to help reach your artistic goals?
I mean, I wouldn't mind terribly if someone paid me a full-time salary to create art...am I right? hehe. But seriously, for now, I wouldn't trade much. I am happy "part timing it" and hope that more serious, challenging and full-time art days lie ahead.
11. Do the kids go to school? Do you homeschool? How does this affect your creativity and art making?
My daughter goes to school because I work Monday thru Friday 7-5..sort of.
Our schedule is NUTS. Art is my evening job...I moonlight :)
12. What does a typical day/week look like? Are you a morning or night person? Do you stick to a schedule or create whenever you can?
I am a morning person, with the help of coffee. I cannot work all night, because I LOVE sleeping, but sometimes I will stay up late if a painting is happening, all for the sake of making it work, or having an awesome time. In an ideal world, I would paint every day from 9-12, then go to yoga class, then play outside with my daughter, then make an amazing dinner. But, my world is ok too :)
13. Can you offer any advice or tips to other creative mothers on? Inspiration, wisdom?
My words of wisdom are:
1. Don't take criticism too harshly. I have had a couple of moments that have really hurt my feelings in my art career and I have learned a lot from all of them...just forge ahead!
2. Branch out, be friendly, and compliment other artists...a kind word goes a long way sometimes. I have made friends, internet friends and have met many great people this way!
3. Be FEARLESS. I go into restaurants and ask to see the person in charge of curating art all of the time. I go to stores, galleries, and other "artsy" places and strike up conversation, sometimes with a toddler on my hip. Just learn to be proud of yourself and your work and people will appreciate the honesty.
14. Finally, name an artistic mother who inspires you. Why and how does she inspire you?
I am inspired by so many women, but I would have to say my Aunt Mindy who makes pottery for her own company "3 sisters" in Maine, my mother who is amazingly creative, my Aunt Debbie who crafts, creates and imagines everyday and my late grandmother who would save me fabric scraps, paper and other little pieces of her life for "projects". These strong, beautiful women have made me into the courageous and relentless artist that I am evolving into!
Are you a Creative Mother, or do you know one? Want to be interviewed? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the interview questions and info that I need.
I'm no longer doing Creative Mothers interview, but this will remain as an archive. Thank you for all of the love!
About the Series
Let's face it, being a mother can be the most challenging, and the most rewarding thing. Being a mother who needs to be creative can be even more challenging, it can even feel lonely at times.
So let's dig deeper into the lives of creative mothers, share their amazing work, and get some insight into creating while parenting. Hopefully, inspiring other artistic, creative mothers, and women who may one day be mothers themselves, along the way.
Explore Past Interviews
Suzi Banks Baum
Shelli Bond Pabis
Elizabeth B. Borowsky
Kellee Wynne Conrad
Kisco Print Shop
Art by Megan