Little Awkward Studio: Business Logistics with Megan and Amy

Episode 5: Business Logistics with Amy and Megan

Business Logistics by Amy Frances Photo

This week on “The Little Awkward Studio”, Amy and Megan chat about the steps that they took to start their businesses on solid ground.  They discuss how they formed their LLCs, how to save some money and time along the way, what steps to take when you can start reinvesting back into your business and taking the little leaps that seem so scary at the beginning of a business.  They talk about what they have learned in the past 2.5 years since working in NYC and how to stay strong in the crazy world of making your own rules as a small business owner.  

Seriously though, we go on a long tangent about women’s fashion and how the sizing is just so frustrating.  We also talk about how much we love one another, I think.  Check it out!!

So, are you ready?

Click here and join us for Episode 5 of Little Awkward Studio.

Want to reach out?  Email us at laspodcastbk@gmail.com and find us on Instagram @littleawkwardstudio.  Or you can find us online.  Amy is on Instagram @amyfrancesphoto and online at www.amyfrancesphoto.com and Megan is on Instagram @artbymegan and online at www.artbymegan.com.  

Little Awkward Studio

 

 

Behind-the-scenes: The 5 books you MUST read if you are a creative person.

Here is a list of "must read" books for creatives and entrepreneurs!  My favorite books listed here include stories of women CEOs, one-woman operations and businesses and people following their dreams and helping to make the world a better place in the process.  Enjoy! 

1.  "In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney". I have loved reading Design*Sponge for as long as I can remember and LOVED reading this book, which highlights 100 creatives in an interview-style format.  It's breathtakingly honest and raw, beautifully written and formatted, and gorgeous to stare at all day long.  My little daughter loves it and asks me to read it to her, too, so it's basically just the best book ever written.  Just trust me, you need to own this book.  

2. "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo.  This book puts a lot of things in perspective.  You don't have to be an organizational freak to read it, either (I'm a little disorganized!).  It just helped me to realize that what I own should bring me joy and what I am holding onto may not have value.  It's a wonderful book and it's an amazing reminder.  In a crazy world, it's important to stop and take the time to put perspective back into our lives and this book does just that! 

3. "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero. If you hate inspirational or self-help books, this one is for you.  There's ABSOLUTELY no fluff here, and its why I love this author so much.  Jen Sincero gives actionable, brave and courageous, and hilarious perspective in this book.  I love it and I appreciated how it focuses so heavily on gratitude as a key to happiness.  I also love that she says bad words and does irreverant things.  Because that's just so important, too.  

4. "The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp.  I have read and re-read this one countless times.  I love to read about the habits that other creatives develop to give themselves structure to be creative. Freedom, walks, naps and cocktails are featured, so it's basically the book I live by.  Read it!  And re-read it every year for good measure.  And then highlight it.  

5. "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work" by Mason Currey.  I love LOVE LOVE this book.  Again with the rituals.  Why do I have a ritual fetish?  Well, I will tell you:

  1. I work for myself.  
  2. I need someone out there to tell me to do things in order because otherwise my creative side takes over and I go wild.  
  3. I love traditions.
  4. I love drinking coffee every morning and need validation.  
  5. I love naps and I need to know that important people throughout history also appreciated the "siesta".  
  6. I am secretly (or publically?!) really nosey and love knowing what people do all day with their lives.  

The end.  Read it! 

So, my only remaining thought is, what is your favorite book?  Comment below! 

xo 

Megan 

Little Awkward Studio: Procrastination

Episode 4: Procrastination with Whitney of We Gather

This week, we had an extra special guest and one of the kindest people you will ever meet at the Little Awkward Studio, Whitney of We Gather.  You can find out more about Whitney on social media at @wegather and online at www.wegathergoods.com.  

Whitney is hilarious, lovely, super talented and so inviting and is one of the big reasons that the Little Awkward Studio exists!  She has helped both of us so much in our businesses and we just love her perspective on life, priorities, ethical dilemmas and being a good person.

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During this week’s podcast, we talk about Procrastination.  We talk about our favorite procrastination exercises.   We talk about college study habits and our favorite procrastination snacks.  We decide as a group that Megan is a big dork and loves doing things ahead of time. (I'm ok with it!)  And we define the word “tool”, as in “he’s such a tool”.  And SO MUCH MORE!

So, are you ready?

Click here and join us for Episode 4 of Little Awkward Studio.

Want to reach out?  Email us at laspodcastbk@gmail.com and find us on Instagram @littleawkwardstudio.  Or you can find us online.  Amy is on Instagram @amyfrancesphoto and online at www.amyfrancesphoto.com and Megan is on Instagram @artbymegan and online at www.artbymegan.com .  

Little Awkward Studio

"Waves" Series + Studio Visits

Hi there! 

Today I want to give you a little sneak peek into my new series inspired by my favorite oceans around the world.  "Waves" is a collection of 20 new abstract acrylic paintings on canvas ranging from 10x10 to 40x60.  The work is bold, textural, and full of happy memories of time spent staring at the edge of the ocean.  There are even some neutrals in there, too!  (Although, most are blues and shades of blue, obviously!) 

Art by Megan working on new painting in her Brooklyn, NYC studio

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and stories here.  I'll be posting sneak peeks and full paintings from today until release day on social media.  Be sure to share with friends!  

Painting closeup photo by Megan Elizabeth of Art by Megan

To hear updates about the release on Sunday, October 15 at 8am EST, sign up here. 

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I will be hosting an Open Studio day on Friday, October 13 from 10 am - 2 pm at my studio in Brooklyn, NY.  I would LOVE to meet locals and share a cup of coffee and chat about some art. If you are local and would like to stop by, feel free to sign up here! 

Megan Elizabeth painting an ocean in her studio in NYC

 

 

 

Behind-the-scenes: My favorite painting supplies.

As an artist, I often get asked by other creatives what my favorite painting supplies are, so today I am sharing a little list to help you get started on painting your own abstract wonders! 

"Autumn Sky", acrylic on canvas by Megan Elizabeth of Art by Megan. (photo by Kate Alison Photography) 

"Autumn Sky", acrylic on canvas by Megan Elizabeth of Art by Megan.

(photo by Kate Alison Photography

Here's my list of favorite art supplies for painting in acrylics:  

1. Paint: My favorite kind of paint and the best quality out there is Golden.  The investment is WORTH IT!  If you are just painting for fun, I recommend starting with a student brand paint, like the Basics line available through Liquitex

2. Art Supply Stores: My favorite art supply stores are Artist and Craftsman and Blick online.  Both have AMAZING deals and I usually shop when there are great discounts to help save some money.  Also, I secretly love trolling the aisles of A&C and just touching and smelling all of the art supplies. :) 

3. Brushes: I paint with Acrylic paints and I love to use a variety of brushes for my work.  This choice is completely based on preference.  I prefer to use flat brushes with strong bristles, as I apply the paints in a thicker, more "impasto" manner most of the time.  I like to use both synthetic and natural haired brushes, but I can offer the suggestion that it is worth pulling on the fibers a bit at the store to see if hairs fall off.  I HATE when there are rogue hairs in my paintings after the fact.  Insider secret: Ikea's kid department has AWESOME brushes.  

4. Canvas vs. Paper vs. Birch Board: This age-old debate (Actually, I guess the oldest debate was just stone, but I digress) is really 100% based on textural preference.  Most artists are really tactile people, so we all have our crazy idiosyncrasies based on them.  I am a canvas and paper girl for no other reason than just because "I like them"! 

5. Oil vs. Watercolor vs. Acrylic: Again, this choice is totally personality-based.  I LOVE acrylics because they literally match my personality.  I am quick, cheerful, bright, and stubborn.  We work well together.  Oil painting requires a bit more technique and ventilation as well as A LOT of patience (which is not my area of expertise!).  Watercolors are free-flowing and require a bit more control, but are LOTs of fun.  So, basically, just start experimenting and see what you enjoy the most.  

6. Water Jars: This is a relatively important issue.  It seems like any cup or jar will do, but that's just not the case.  (I know, it seems like I am taking this WAY too seriously!) Talenti gelato jars are literally the best because they are broad on the bottom and balance when full of heavy brushes.  Also, Mason Jars are perfect and come in both the short and tall varieties, which help with balancing really tall brushes.  The idea here is to pick a water jar that will not fall over and spill, which happens quite often if they are full of dirty brushes.  

My Favorite Painting Supplies

 

 

 

 

Oversized prints now available!

Oversized Prints! 

Oversized prints!  pictured here: "Summer Storm" print in 30x40.  Selfie by me. ;)

Oversized prints!  pictured here: "Summer Storm" print in 30x40.  Selfie by me. ;)

 

An affordable option for decorating your home with Artwork by your favorite artist (cough, cough!) is to order a large, oversized print of their work.  So many people have been reaching out to me recently about this, so I wanted to share all of the details with you today.

Sizes and Pricing:

How do I order? Just email me.  

Arrival time: 2-3 weeks.

Will my print be signed by Megan? yes! 

Where should I frame my new print?  Framebridge!  (New Framebridge Customers: Use code ARTBYMEGAN15 to receive a 15% discount on your first order!) 

NYC Travel Guide: A weekend in Manhattan

Hi friends! Here is a little round-up of some of my favorite places in NYC if you find yourself taking a weekend adventure here!  This list includes all of my favorite things to do in Manhattan.  If you're also visiting Brooklyn, here's a little post about Brooklyn, too! 

Whitney Museum photo from my Instagram @artbymegan.  

Whitney Museum photo from my Instagram @artbymegan.  

The Best NYC Art Galleries:  

The must-see galleries in Manhattan for me are the Whitney, the MoMA and the MET.  They are all amazing for entirely different reasons, so pick whichever is closest to your other destinations and go wild! 

MoMA- for an amazing selection of Modern Art plus a super cute cafe and awesome kids' area.  My favorite part at MoMA is the outdoor area, which is so lovely for a little rest during a trip to the city.  

THE MET - for the quintessential NYC experience, go to the MET.  It's stunningly beautiful, but HUGE.  Take a section and enjoy it, instead of trying to see it all in one day.  My favorite wing is the Egyptian wing, where the reflection of the windows on the indoor pool are amazing.  Also, you can spot Jackie O's old Apartment from the window; this wing was designed by her architect that way on purpose!  Also, the MET rooftop in summer is perfection. 

The Whitney - My favorite museum experience in Manhattan is the Whitney.  It's in a hip, fun area called the Meatpacking District, right near Chelsea Market and some AMAZING restaurants, so it's a great afternoon during a weekend visit. Also, the architecture of the building itself is art.  It has terraces on each level, allowing you to go inside and back outside during your weaving through the galleries.  Also, they have my ALL TIME FAVORITE DeKooning Painting.  

@jgoldcrown mural / #lovewall

@jgoldcrown mural / #lovewall

Best NYC Restaurants: 

Ok, picking your top restaurants in NYC is nearly impossible, but here are my top 10.  Here's another great list if you need more ideas!  Also, here and here

  1. Fuku + (Midtown) - the most delicious Korean chicken on the planet
  2. Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien  (Midtown) - the coolest hipster (hidden) burger joint
  3. Café Medi (Lower East Side) - my favorite restaurant of all time?
  4. Eataly (Flatiron) - sit on the roof for amazing views and delicious food
  5. The Smith (Multiple Locations) - I like the East Village location, but they are all delicious!  
  6. Tiny's. Literally the cutest little pink restaurant ever.  Be sure to visit the Balloon Saloon next door, too.  It's a hilarious little balloon and gift shop.  
  7. Chelsea Market (Meatpacking) - try Los Tacos No. 1.  Trust me! 
  8. Jack's Wife Freda (Soho and West Village) - Brunch of the Gods.
  9. Big Gay Ice Cream (East Village, West Village and Meatpacking) - no explanation needed.
  10. Joe's Pizza (Greenwich Village).  Walk up and eat it at the window.  It's the NYC way. 
  11. Cafe Habana. (Soho).  I legit can't stop thinking of the food here.  Get the corn.

Best NYC Parks and Adventures: 

Central Park is totally worth it.  It is a touristy spot, but it's magical.  Be sure to see the Sailboats Pond, Bethesda Fountain and wander around to see the amazing views of the skyline.

The High Line, over in Chelsea is an old railroad converted into an above ground park.  It's so breathtaking and has amazing views.  Be sure to walk all the way down to the Whitney Museum where it ends at the southern point.  

Bryant Park is one of my favorite parks in the entire city.  I love how it's a manageable size, has a grassy area, a carousel, cafes, walking areas, and board games all in one park.  It's worth taking some time to explore and you might just end up staying for hours!  

Battery Park is beautiful is spans all along the Hudson River with amazing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and some amazing little spots along the water for resting, playgrounds, and cafes.  It's a really clean, gorgeous area and if you're up for it, take the Staten Island Ferry, too! 

Walk around Soho.  Be sure to check out the amazing shopping, cafes, and do some seriously fun people watching.  

Top of the Rock. Go to the top of Rockefeller Center for a beautiful panoramic view of the city and Empire State Building.  It's one of my favorite places in the city.  

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge from Chinatown to Brooklyn.  It's one of my favorite things to do in NYC.  The skyline views and beautiful history and architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge is just amazing.  

Best NYC Bookstores: 

Rand McNally.  Bonus points for cutest cafe, too!  Also, an awesome kids' selection downstairs. 

The Strand. The HUGEST bookstore with literally any title you can imagine!  No trip to NYC is complete without checking it out.  

Further reading: 

A weekend in NYC