She/her | #femalecreatives
Hey Megan! Hows things?
Hello! Things are good thanks - the sun is shining and I am currently sitting in my studio with a nice big cup of tea and a dog on my lap!
For those that do not know tell us about yourself!
So my name is Megan and I'm a freelance illustrator and printmaker, based in the UK. I've been working as a freelance illustrator for the last six years but I also teach part-time at a university and I have been working in the creative industries in some capacity for about 10 years now (which feels like a very long time!).
Was illustration always your favoured career path?
Kind of! I always knew that I wanted to work in the creative industries but when I left school at 18, I didn't really know what options were available to me or how to get into the industry. I initially enrolled on a foundation year at a local university but left after a week because it didn't feel right for me. I knew I needed to get a proper job if I wasn't at uni (I had left home at this point and had rent to pay!) so I started looking for anything and stumbled across an internship as a graphic designer and illustrator for a confectionery company. I didn't really know anything about graphic design or illustration but I applied anyway and through pure luck, I was offered the job. It was such a huge learning curve for me and looking back now, I cringe at the work I made! But it really gave me a passion for illustration so after working there for a year I decided to go to university and do a degree in illustration and graphic design.
Let's talk about your Lush work! (I hope you appreciate the pun)
Haha, I do love a good pun!
I noticed that you met with Suzie Hackney after graduation, any advice for someone looking to build connections out of uni?
Yeah! I met Suzie at New Designers, which is kind of like a graduation exhibition in London for university students from all over the UK. I think my biggest suggestion is to take every opportunity that comes your way and just be friendly. You never know when you'll meet someone - whether that someone is a potential future client or a lifelong friend! Go to networking events, art fairs and exhibition openings, chat to people on Twitter, join collectives and Discords and Slack groups - the illustration community is wonderful and supportive so become part of it!
So big question coming up, digital illustration or traditional printmaking?
Ooh, that's a tough one! They're both integral to my work - digital is great for short deadlines and working with clients but printmaking is where I developed my style and approach to illustration. If money was no object, it'd be printmaking all the way!
I think it's fair to say you are incredibly talented and it's a privilege to have you joining us, any advice on creatives that might be struggling to find their style?
Thank you, that's very sweet of you to say! Style is a tricky one, a lot of new illustrators put pressure on themselves to develop their 'style' and I think that's counterintuitive. It's frustrating (And if someone was telling me this as a student, I'd have some choice words for them!) but a style of work is something that develops naturally with time so the only way to find your style is to make lots of work and see what you keep coming back to!
Look at the artists that you love, the techniques and processes that you enjoy, the colours that you gravitate towards and lean into those things!
Looking on your site there are exhibitions and interviews galore, are these things you enjoy doing and explain to us what it's like to see your work out and about.
I love doing group exhibitions because they're a great way to create new personal work and get to see work by other illustrators. Interviews are interesting but tricky, the first few times I did them it was a bit odd to just talk about myself but they're a good way to think critically about what you do and put it into words. Seeing my work out in the world never gets old, it's always exciting and delightful!
As soon as I saw your work I was immediately in love, how would you describe your style?
Thank you! I'd probably describe my style as vibrant and joyous. I like my work to make people smile, bring people happiness!
What do you look for in a brief?
Briefs are tricky things but ultimately I'm just looking for as much info from my client as possible. It's always super helpful when clients give me a selection of my past work that they particularly like because then I can get a better feel for what they're aiming for.
Leading on from this who’s your fave client?
I've been super lucky, I've always had wonderful clients to work with!
I want to start featuring more people on this platform so with this in mind, who are your standout creatives?
For my final question, what's next?
I have a few things in the pipeline that I'm working on and I received an arts council grant at the start of 2022 to develop some new work so, at the moment, I'm in the process of creating new illustrations. And I'm always on the lookout for fun new projects and opportunities to take part in!