Happy 4th Birthday ART BY MEGAN!

Today as I sit here in my new home-studio and daydream a little after doodling a few new ideas onto paper, I am reflecting on my past 4 years as a full-time artist.

Brit+and+Co+++Art+by+Megan.jpg

I feel simultaneously like it has been 20 years and / or 45 minutes since I started this career in NYC just 4 years ago. SO MUCH has changed since the day I left my teaching career 5 years ago and decided to take this giant plunge into art making professionally. I am grateful, speechless, exhausted, inspired and hopeful for what’s next on the horizon.

Art by Megan

A few observations as I begin year 5:

  1. Everyone emails you back WAY after you give up and think that they never, ever will. So, just send the email.

  2. My paint jars which once looked pristine, now have a beautiful patina of paint on them and I love them. Don’t touch my jars.

  3. I thought that I was leaving teaching when I began my art career and I now teach 1-2 workshops or classes a month. I guess you can’t escape your calling!

  4. Watching fellow art-friends develop their craft over time has been really so satisfying to me. I love seeing other people (women, especially!) succeeding at doing something they love.

  5. I love social media because I think of the number of people I now know because of online friendships and I am AMAZED. It’s nice having met so many amazing people both online and in real life because of this new career. It’s one of my favorite parts of this business.

  6. It’s still really hard to feel confident in knowing everything about being a business owner some days. Other days, I feel like I am finally figuring out running my own business.

  7. Hire help & ask for help. I hate asking for help. I still hate it but I am asking and learning and it’s a giant breath of fresh air.

  8. Always buy the expensive white paint. The cheap stuff (isn’t this a great metaphor for all things!) never looks as good and you will regret it later.

  9. I need to clone myself. I am literally one of the most productive people on the earth. BUT, that being said, I still have so much I dream of doing. So, if you know anyone interested in testing cloning out, give me a call.

  10. I need to chill out and be thankful and soak it all in. I am bad at taking a break. I returned to work just a few months after having our second baby. We had also just moved. But, I just cannot STOP MAKING ART DANG-IT. The hustle is real, my friends.

    So, what’s up next? Write a few emails, dream up some AMAZING projects in the works, hire an intern, snuggle my baby and big kid, make some dinner, chat big dreams with my husband over a glass of wine and hopefully stay awake to watch some Netflix (a girl can dream).

    Thank you for supporting this dream.

    Thank you for being a part of the journey.

    Thank you for sharing my work with friends, family, and super kind strangers on the internet.



Art by Megan

Paint Night: Girls' night in!

Here’s a SUPER SIMPLE girls’ night in idea…host a paint night together!! I think it’s so much fun to try a new creative activity with friends and here is a list of the supplies to order that will make it easy to plan.

Art by Megan painting palette

My list of supplies on Amazon (affiliate site).

OR, email me at megan@artbymegan.com and I will come to you and host a class with you! It’s so much fun and a great way to unwind after a crazy week. I love hosting my paint classes and often teach people who haven’t had the opportunity to be creative since they were in school. I find that regardless of the level of each student, everyone has a blast!

Art by Megan in DC (Summer 2019)

I have had a great time moving back to DC and am loving re-discovering the city that I grew up in. Also, I wanted to share where my work can be found during the summer months in Washington, DC here!

Art by Megan X Whyte House Monograms

Art by Megan X Whyte House Monograms

Whyte House Monograms in Chevy Chase, MD (on the DC border at Friendship Heights Metro stop) is a beautiful shop in the Collection Chevy Chase’s new shopping concept. The shop is full of gorgeous home decor, beautifully monogramed items and fun, fashionable gifts and items for all. I will be there on July 31 from 6-8pm for a summer pop-up and wine tasting. Hope to see you there!

Art by Megan X Shop Shelter

Art by Megan X Shop Shelter

Shop Shelter in Union Market , DC (near Union Market and Galludet University, near Union Station Metro stop) is a cool collection of home decor, handmade jewelry by Mallory Shelter (PS I want all of her designs!) and fun gifts. The entire Union Market area is such a fun place to visit in DC and features some amazing restaurants and shops. My favorite restaurants are La Jambe, Red Apron, and Blue Bottle Coffee. There are so many fun places there to try out, stay tuned for more!




Summer Inspiration: Mood Boards + Pinterest

The number one question that I receive from people who look at my work is “how do you find inspiration?”. So, I thought I would break it down a bit for you today and show you a behind-the-scenes on how I think of color combos for my paintings.

Art by Megan X Pinterest

I often pin ideas in the form of photographs and textures on my Pinterest. These boards (and here and here) are really inspiring my summer palette. I am loving the colors and textures of travel photography, bright green and blue oceans (obviously!) and layers of light and darkness. Layers of all types really influence my work, hence my obsessions with old places full of peeling paint, sandy beaches and rocks with many beautiful variations in color and texture.

To help schedule my Pinterest account, I use Tailwind, which is an awesome planning app for visual content. If you are interested in trying it out, here’s a link for you to receive $30 off!

Another fun way to source inspiration for me is to create a mood board on Canva. Sometimes pairing like colors in unique textures helps me to brainstorm new ideas. It’s a fun way to explore texture, hue and color in a visual way.

Indigo and Blue mood board by Megan Elizabeth on Canva

Indigo and Blue mood board by Megan Elizabeth on Canva

Mood board by Megan Elizabeth on Canva

Mood board by Megan Elizabeth on Canva

Teal and Turquoise Mood Board by Megan Elizabeth on Canva

Teal and Turquoise Mood Board by Megan Elizabeth on Canva

Skillshare classes for Kids!

Annapolis Art Show + Painting Class

This past weekend, my friends Kim (@kimhovell) and Farah (@heyfarah) and I hosted an art opening and painting class in Annapolis, Maryland at Lightbox in Downtown Annapolis. The space is PERFECT for an art opening or event because its gorgeous and drenched in light with bright white walls and floors. I love it there.

Here are some photos of the event. Thanks so much to everyone who joined us!

Best Art Kits and On-the-Go (Mess Free!) Fun for Little Artists

I love fostering a little creative person’s mind and know that not much is needed to keep a little one creative! But I also know that sometimes the hardest part is thinking of what to get and how to stay relatively mess-free while on-the-go.

So after lots of trial and error and major experimenting on our end, here’s my list of favorite art supplies for budding artists:

  1. I love Alex brand craft kits for a great gifts. They are aged appropriately and perfect for even the youngest artists (with a bit of adult help).

2. We LOVE Kid Made Modern (literally everything they make!) in our house. These kits are well curated and full of fun ideas for little creatives.

3. Mess free art on-the-go? It’s not impossible. These little scratch off books are perfect for travel or for taking a young artist to a quiet place! Trust me, it really works!

4. Just add water. That’s it! And kids LOVE LOVE LOVE these. Seriously so much fun and I have even seen an adult enjoying themselves while waiting for brunch on this one.

5. Art on the go! This pencil case / carry-all is perfect for taking art supplies out on the town in a relatively easy manner. And it helps a little artist to feel responsible for their supplies and take pride in bringing their “art kit” special places.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CPHX9JK/?tag=aiponsite-20&linkCode=ic5&ascsubtag=amzn1.idea.1BW67FEQMFMO1&creativeASIN=B00CPHX9JK&cv_ct_id=amzn1.idea.1BW67FEQMFMO1&cv_ct_pg=storefront&cv_ct_wn=aip-storefront&ref=exp_cov_artbymegan_lv_dp_vv_d

I hope you and your little artist (s) love this list and be sure to check out my entire Amazon Shop by clicking here! Enjoy making a little mess and fostering the creative spirit in your family!!

xo

M

Art adventures in DC

On weekends, we have been trying to take advantage of the DC museums (free!!!!) and I thought I would share a few fun photos of our adventures + share some ideas for day trips with kids in DC.

A great museum to hit up with a little one (or 2) is the Hirshhorn. Also, we have heard that they have a killer Saturday morning story time for kids with a great art project and we cannot wait to check it out! We hit up the light installation called “Pulse” and it definitely did not disappoint + it totally mesmerized adults and kids alike!

Another super easy and fun family outing is the National Gallery of Art sculpture garden. I love these gardens and they are fun for a little one to run through and yell at the top of their lungs without getting into any trouble. Also, if you are up for a winter adventure, they have ice skating and hot cocoa! The museum is full of amazing exhibits as well and I could spend days and days looking at their collection. Plus, check out the Gordon Parks photography exhibition; it was beautiful and breathtaking.

Where to shop Art by Megan originals + prints...

Here’s a fun list of where to shop Art by Megan originals and prints!

1. My original works can be found in Georgetown, Washington, DC at Oliver Dunn DC. Also stay tuned for an upcoming event in Georgetown at this ADORABLE shop!

Art by Megan X Oliver Dunn

Art by Megan X Oliver Dunn

2. New works are headed to Salt Mystic in Mystic, CT. Check out this AMAZING store if you’re ever in town!

Art by Megan X Salt Mystic

Art by Megan X Salt Mystic

3. In Charleston, SC stop into Indigo Market for a peak at the awesome home decor selection + originals by Art by Megan!

Art by Megan X Indigo Market Charleston

Art by Megan X Indigo Market Charleston

4. If you’re in Fairfield, Connecticut, stop into the cute Saltwater shop for prints and minis by Art by Megan + cute kids clothing, beachy favorites and other summertime treats!

Art by Megan X Saltwater

Art by Megan X Saltwater

5. My work will be popping up in Annapolis, MD on April 12 and 13 at Lightbox Studio! Click here to RSVP for my joint painting class with artist Kim Hovell.

Join us for a  painting class  in Annapolis, MD on April 13, 2019 at the GORGEOUS Lightbox Studio.

Join us for a painting class in Annapolis, MD on April 13, 2019 at the GORGEOUS Lightbox Studio.

Motherhood X Art

Recently, I read this article on Artsy that really made me question the relationship between success as a female artist and motherhood. I know that I can do both, sometimes even well. Here’s a podcast all about the article, too!

But, the essential question is…can I do motherhood and art SUCCESSFULLY? My answer is YES. YES YES YES a million times over!

multi-tasking Mama here!

multi-tasking Mama here!

At an art show in 2018 (while visibly VERY pregnant), a man told me that I should stop having babies because they derail art careers. I was too tired and nauseous to care, but every time I juggle our new baby on my lap while responding to emails I remember that quote and think, “I am going to prove people who think that way wrong.” That’s a funny thing about me, I like to prove people wrong.

So, when Brit and Co called me last year and asked to film a HUGE project together, I thought to myself, “yep, I am flying to CA". The caveat was that I had been VERY sick while pregnant and wasn’t at all myself. And my ankles were HUGE…like scary huge. And I felt terrible. But, I did it anyways, because women are badass. I hid that 6 month baby bump behind some beautiful painting ladies and I filmed that show and I am so proud of myself for it!

Also, for any fellow mothers out there trying to achieve the ever-elusive balance of it all…listen to this amazing podcast (Artist Mother Podcast) for tips on how other moms are out there crushing it in the art world!

Art by Megan X Brit and Co

Art by Megan X Brit and Co

Recently, at Art by Megan...

hi friends!!

In the past few weeks, I have been back at work in my new studio and wanted to share some recent work with the internet world.

In 2019, I have been exploring some new color combinations in my smaller ocean abstract works and released a Valentine’s collection with some neutral blue shades + a set of pink works. Click here to see what is still available from the collection of fun minis that make great gifts or a little treat for yourself, too!

“Southern Shores” original painting by Megan Elizabeth, 2019.

“Southern Shores” original painting by Megan Elizabeth, 2019.

Up next, a few commissions of tropical beach paintings followed by a Cherry Blossom Series!

Stay tuned for updates as they arise and thanks so much for following Art by Megan.

“Morning Beach Walk” by Megan Elizabeth, 2019.

“Morning Beach Walk” by Megan Elizabeth, 2019.

As always, feel free to follow along on the adventures as I post updates on Instagram in my feed and stories! I love the feedback and fun that social media allows me to have as a small business owner.

To sign up for a 2019 commission spot, feel free to reach out by email to megan@artbymegan.com. I have a few spots left for the spring and summer!

Life: Cocktail recipes I am dying to try!

Now that I am "back in the saddle" so to say and enjoying the occasional cocktail, I wanted to share my newest Pinterest board featuring DELICIOUS cocktails and ideas for at-home cocktail recipes.  

1. Orange Blossom and Elderflower Cocktail.  YUM!  Courtesy of my friend Meredith at Cake and Confetti blog.

Image courtesy of  Cake and Confetti  Blog.  

Image courtesy of Cake and Confetti Blog.  

2. The Grapefruit Mojito from Best Friend's For Frosting's blog sounds amazing!  Click here for her recipe.  

Image courtesy of  Best Friend's For Frosting's  blog. 

Image courtesy of Best Friend's For Frosting's blog. 

3. Violet Fizz Cocktail, courtesy of Cake and Confetti blog.  

image courtesy of Cake and Confetti Blog.  

image courtesy of Cake and Confetti Blog.  

4. A Delicious Bloody Mary, courtesy of Bon Apetit.  

image courtesy of  Bon Apetit . 

image courtesy of Bon Apetit

Cute Halloween Costumes for Artsy Kids

I did a little round-up on Pinterest of the cutest kid's halloween costumes I could find related to art and this is a seriously fun post!  Here are my favorite Artsy Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids.  

1. Be Frida Kahlo.  Because she's amazing and you can put flowers in your hair AND draw a unibrow on with eyeliner in like 5 minutes.  Consider your Halloween planned, ladies and gents! 

Frida Kahlo wins!  Image courtesy of  Pinterest .  

Frida Kahlo wins!  Image courtesy of Pinterest.  

2. Be an Artist.  Because you can carry around a palette, wear a messy apron and a bun and call it a day!  Simplest and super cute costume idea, if you love art.  

Artist Halloween Costume.  Image courtesy of  Pinterest. 

Artist Halloween Costume.  Image courtesy of Pinterest. 

I love the look of this little artist!  Image courtesy of  Pinterest.  

I love the look of this little artist!  Image courtesy of Pinterest.  

3. Be a masterpiece!  Dress up like your favorite painting and wear a simple outfit to go with it.  I love this one from House that Lars Built on Pinterest. 

image courtesy of  House that Lars Built  blog. 

image courtesy of House that Lars Built blog. 

4. Be your favorite famous artist!  Dress up like Andy Warhol in all black and carry a soup can.  Be Vincent Van Gogh and wear a little red beard with an ear bandage.  The sky is the limit!  I love these Ideas from Oh Happy Day's blog!  

Image courtesy of  Oh Happy Day  blog.

Image courtesy of Oh Happy Day blog.

Happy Halloween!!  And remember, you probably already have the supplies you need for most of these costumes in your home, so get creative with your artsy little one and have fun!  

xo 

M

 

 

 

 

 

Behind-the-scenes: What I wish I had known before going "full-time"

As a solo-entrepreneur and artist, I have learned MANY lessons in the past 3 years of "full-time" working for myself.  Today I hope to shed some light on the real behind-the-scenes of the operation you know and love as Art by Megan.

Framed 8x10 prints / Frames courtesy of  Art to Frames  

Framed 8x10 prints / Frames courtesy of Art to Frames 

1. Make artist/creative/maker friends either online or in-person.  THIS is essential.  Working ALONE from home or my kitchen table has allowed me many freedoms such as motherhood multi-tasking like a champion, but it can also be a bit isolating at times.  Online friends, phone dates with friends, Facetime calls, and anything else I can get my hands on have saved my sanity.  Real life coffee dates are also my sanity-saver of choice!  I LOVE human interaction and when it is limited I can really feel drained, so I have had to learn to schedule this time into my work.  

2. Follow a schedule the best you can.  Hold yourself accountable to a schedule when you work alone.  Without one the days and nights can blur together and productivity can be completely lost.  I use a technique where I accomplish as much of a specific kind of task as I can in an hour and then move on the to the next thing on my checklist.  Which leads me to the world's best check-list technique...

3. Use a bullet journal.  I use a scheduling and brain-dump technique known as a bullet journal.  It's all over the internet and some people's journals are ridiculously beautiful.  But, the beauty of this type of note-taking and scheduling is that you can completely make it your own and tailor it to your needs as a mom/business owner, etc. 

 

4. Schedule time off.  YOU MUST be able to put down the business at night (sometimes!) and pay attention to your family or you will be burnt out and bitter over the long-haul.  BUT, I wish I had known how hard this would be.  The tricky part of owning a business is that you actually DO love what you do, even if it's some of the silly tasks or "boring" admin tasks.  I genuinely enjoy most aspects (most...I am looking at you financial planning and taxes!) of owning my business, so it's VERY HARD to turn it off.  Which leads me to...

5. Your business might take over your life sometimes.  I thought that I would be able to pursue many of my passions simultaneous to starting my own business and I think I was wrong.  I don't actually balance things well.  I am kind of an all-or-nothing kind of person.  So, that being said, I have learned that I love this enough to pour 100% of my energy into it on most days.  It's not a perfect balance, but I am ok with it because I love it and I have come to realize that things evolve over time.  

6. Be FLEXIBLE.  My scheduled time working on Art by Megan is often "migrated" (that's bullet journal lingo for rescheduled) to other days on my calendar as I am parent who does pick ups from school, after-school play dates, doctors appointments and all of the other fun last-minute stuff that comes with parenting.  My day really starts at 9 and ends at 2:30pm and resumes after bedtime if I have work to continue.  It's not a typical 9-5 and it changes rapidly on any given day, but this unique flexibility works for our family and you learn to do the best that you can.  

7. Celebrate the small victories.  Progress in any form (working out, parenthood, relationships, reaching goals, etc.) can feel so SLOW.  I often have to force myself to STOP, smell the roses and be grateful for how far I have come in the past couple of years.  I also think that being grateful for the ability to own a small business and pursue a dream is something that I need to tell myself at least once a week.  If you just keep going and going, you will lose the small moments in the process and that's just no fun at all. 

8. It won't always feel like "full-time".  Some weeks I work over 100 hours to make this business work and other times I have to travel FAR on weekends.  On different weeks, especially those in early 2018, I work only 20 hours a week and take naps on the couch to just survive.  There is not a hard and fast rule in regards to clocking hours when you are your own boss.  It's glamorous and awesome to be able to live like this, but it can also drive a person who loves structure and goals (me!) a little batty.  So sometimes I like to repeat the following after myself: "Be nice to yourself, Megan."

9. Tell people what you do all day.  Yesterday I was on a coffee date (yay! real human interaction!) with a friend and we talked about how there is a bit of mystery surrounding people who work from home or work for themselves - whether they be freelancers or creatives or what have you.  BUT, for me, I have found that I need to share what I do with those who might not understand or have context.  I want people to know that I am working hard, even if I am not at the studio.  It's not to prove how hard I am working, but instead to share what actually happens behind-the-scenes.  People are really just genuinely curious and don't mean to be offensive if they say things like, "so, what DO you do all day?".  It's a new type of job, relatively speaking, so SHARE SHARE SHARE what you do with the world!  Enter social media. :) 

10.  Being an artist is SO messy.  I love making a good mess as much as the next gal, but something I have come to realize is that I own literally 5 articles of clothing that are untouched by paint.  I am CONSTANTLY covered in paint.  I usually have some on either elbow, on my nails, and somewhere else on my body at all times.  If I have to do something formal like be in a wedding, go out in public with real life adults, or be even mildly presentable, I find that I have to do a full-body scan to make sure that I don't have giant paint blobs somewhere on my body.  Who knew the struggle would be so real to stay clean?  ;)

Art by Megan X Shop Denik notebooks

I hope this helps shed a bit of light on my journey as an artist working to build a dream. Thanks for reading and see you next week! 

xo 

M

 

Art: 3 must-knows before commissioning original artwork

Clients often reach out asking about what is required prior to securing a spot on my commissions list.  So, today I am writing a post all about the must-knows before commissioning original artwork for your home! 

Here's what you should know about preparing for a commission: 

image courtesy of Commission Client 

image courtesy of Commission Client 

1. Design details: color scheme, ideal location for the painting, and inspiration photos.  I always ask clients or interior designers to provide these 3 things via email when we finalize commissions.  A color scheme is important so I know what colors to include and which I might want to avoid in your original work.  Sending a paint chip of the color in the room or snapping a photo on your phone of the space is another perfect way to capture the overall look of the room!  Measurements of the wall or space where the work will hang are SUPER helpful and can help us to determine what sizes work best for the final work.  And inspiration photos of beaches or petals that you love are wonderful.  

2. Budget: Ideal budget is important to share right away.  My pricing for commissions is available upon request and I always strive to be sure that clients receive the painting that they are dreaming of for their space, but I understand that budget can be an important factor in deciding.  

3. Timeline: If you would like your work rushed for a specific holiday (birthday, anniversary, etc.) or can be more flexible with the timeline, this information is SUPER helpful for me as I plan my monthly commissions.  I can take up to 2 commissions a month, but often I have space last minute or can be flexible with timing, if needed.  

image courtesy of  Sweet Chaos Home

image courtesy of Sweet Chaos Home

One important note...

What not to send along: Other artists' work inspiration photos.  I know that Pinterest helps to curate a collection of works that may seem ideal, but as an artist I am very focused on staying true to my own style and form.  Therefore, sending along previous work that I have completed is MUCH more helpful!  I often tell clients to "shop my website or instagram" and to select their top 5-8 pieces from there to be sure that we are on the same stylistic and thematic page.  And it's a fun way for clients to begin visualizing their own painting, which I love!  

So, I hope you find this helpful and if you would like to get on the end-of-2018 commissions list, I have 3 spots left this year.  Feel free to email me at megan@artbymegan.com to chat commissioned original artwork.  

Have a great day! 

xo 

Megan 

Behind-the-scenes: My favorite Art Movies and Documentaries

I love to watch a good inspirational art-related movie or documentary to relax but still be thinking about my work as an artist.  Over time, I have compiled a list of my favorites and I am sharing them here today!  

Frida movie

Here are my favorite art-related documentaries and films: 

1.  "Bill Cunningham New York" chronicles legendary NYC fashion photographer and bohemian, Bill Cunningham.  

2. "The 100 Years Show" features 100 year-old Cuban artist Carmen Herrera as she prepares for her first solo show at the Whitney Museum of Art.  

3. "Frida" features Selma Hayek as Frida Kahlo and her acting is so believable it feels like a documentary.  

4. "Pollack" is all about a now well-known artist who remained a tortured, creative mystery-person to so many in his lifetime.  

5. "Joan Didion: The Center will not Hold" features interviews with the author about her bohemian life as an artist and writer in the 60s-70s plus a rare-look at her personal life and struggles.  

6. "Iris" features the cult-icon Iris Apfel and her life as creative person defying the odds and following her heart doing what she loved in fashion.  

7. "Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere" is about my favorite TV artist.  As a kid, I LOVED watching his show and found him so soothing and wonderful, albeit wacky.  

8. "Midnight in Paris" is one of my favorite films because Owen Wilson lives in his own little world, and quite honestly, I can totally relate!  

and one I am dying to see, "Loving Vincent" , a film that has been created entirely in paint!