Currently Listening To: “Ghost City” – Delta Sleep
If your dogs could talk, what would each of them say to you? That’s hard because both of my dogs have different personalities! My big dog (Floki) would probably be super enthusiastic and tell me all about how he’s had THE BEST. DAY. EVER. and my little dog (Molly) would be full of attitude and immediately demand food and belly rubs.
tell us about yourself and the kind of work you create.
I’m Megan and I am an illustrator and printmaker from Birmingham, UK. I started out my career as a packaging designer for a confectionery company (I ate a lot of free sweets!) and then worked in a screenprinting studio for a few years before going into freelance illustration.
I like to make colourful, conceptual illustrations that are full of texture and fun! I like to use my illustrations to bridge the gap between digital illustration and traditional printmaking techniques.
what is your typical day like? are there any challenges that you face on a consistent basis?
Very few of my days are the same, so there isn’t much of a typical day which is a challenge in itself! As well as freelancing I also teach printmaking at a University two days a week so balancing that along with the typical workflow of a freelance illustrator can be tricky at times. There’s a lot of late nights and working weekends!
your work utilizes a lot of nice print techniques and textures. how did you become interested in printmaking?
I actually got into printmaking when I was a student at University. Around the time that I started studying, an amazing print demonstrator was hired to work at my Uni and she taught me to print and just really made me love the whole process from start to finish. From there I got more experience in different types of printmaking before eventually landing a job as a studio assistant with a screenprinting company. I worked there for 2 years and it was the best!
a lot of your illustrations feature women and nature. is there a reason you decided on making that a focus in your work?
I think a lot of my work features women because I’m reflecting my own outlook – My family is made up of strong, determined, stubborn women and I think those are traits that I aspire to so I probably subconsciously project that into the work I make. The plants are more simple – I was brought up in the middle of the countryside and I miss that now I’ve moved to a big grey city!
on top of being an illustrator, you’re also a teacher. what have you learned about balancing your teaching life with your freelance life? can you give any of us future teachers some tips?
I am, I really love teaching and it’s something i’m super passionate about! When it comes to balancing the two jobs, it’s mostly just about being as organised as possible – I have a diary so I can plan out my time effectively and keep an eye on upcoming deadlines, and I’m constantly writing notes and lists so that I don’t forget anything. I know there are lots of people who can keep stuff in their heads but I am definitely not one of those people – if it isn’t written down, I forget about it instantly!
I also bought an iPad about a year ago so I can do roughs/bits of work on my commute home from the University. That has helped massively with balancing the workload!
I’ve only been teaching for a few years so I’m probably not the best person to be giving tips! However, I think my biggest suggestion for any future teachers is to get as much experience working with people of different ages as you can and get involved with community arts events. See if there are any opportunities in your local area or with your local university/college/school where you could help out in a classroom setting – any sort of experience doing anything like that is always worthwhile and will help you to learn how to work with people of different backgrounds and varying skill sets.
what are 5 things you would pack in your desert island pencil case? tell us your favorite item!
Posca pens, my Kuretake brush pen, a rubber, a pencil sharpener and my trusty 2b pencil! My favourite item is definitely a toss-up between the Poscas and my brush pen! The brush pen is super smooth and lovely to work with but I do like the crazy colours of the Posca pens…