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

Behind-the-scenes: Podcasts I love!

I am a "lifelong learner" as they say and cannot get enough information, inspiration and ideas from all over the place.  So, one of my favorite places to get amazing inspiration recently is through podcasts.  I often listen to them while I paint at the studio, but also love them at home while my little one does homework or while we hang out in the evenings.  It's an easy way to engage my brain without total visual distraction.  So, here is a list of my favorites! 

photo by Amy Frances Photo.  

photo by Amy Frances Photo.  

Best podcast for kids: 

Wow in the World. This podcast is GENIUS.  It explores fun scientific concepts and is super silly and fun.  My 1st grader is OBSESSED and we have learned some awesome new trivia and science facts from just listening to it together on weekend mornings or in the evening as a "bedtime story".  Mindy and Guy Raz (of How I Built This Podcast on NPR...another absolute favorite!) are hilarious for both adults and kids, so I highly recommend you give it a listen! 

Best podcast for female run businesses: 

Second Life by My Domaine and Hillary Kerr.  I LOVE this podcast and am so thankful that I discovered it recently for my long drives for work events.  I found the questions and inspiration of women who own businesses after pivoting from other areas of expertise and other jobs so interesting.  The host, Hillary Kerr, does a great job asking probing, important questions to the guests and I just can't wait for the next episode to air!  

Best podcast for artists and inspiration:

I could go on and on about my favorite art podcast and most of you have probably heard or seen me gushing about it on instagram, but that won't stop me from sharing it again.  Listen to Danielle Krysa on The Jealous Curator's Podcast called Art for Your Ear.  I love hearing the stories of artists who have chosen to follow their passion, what they were like as little artists and how they got to where they are today.  It's so intriguing and really a great way to stay inspired in the studio as I paint.  

Best ridiculous and funny podcast: 

My Favorite Murder is a new one that I have gotten hooked to. You definitely have to be in the right mood to listen to it, but the satire and general ridiculousness of it all is so fun and funny.  Try it out if you like making fun of the news, people in general or if you need a good snort-laugh.  

Some of my future podcasts are within these curated lists, so take a look at these lists! 

Levo League's 10 best Podcasts for Women

 Buzz Feed's 13 Podcasts by Women you should know about

Life design 101... (aka "jumping ship"!)


20120817-194250.jpgThis week has been my first at a new teaching job. It's been a true breath of fresh air and an inspiration in every sense of the word. Side note: need some inspiration? Check out children inspire design and the shine project.

Ok, back to my story... I had been VERY nervous about basically "jumping ship" with a major life decision this past spring when I, indeed, jumped ship. Change scares the bejesus out of me sometimes and I felt like I had finally lost it this July when it hit me that I was leaving a job I love, with coworkers I adore, and students who made me realize that I had indeed chosen a vocation (ps- its genetic! My grandma and aunts are teachers, thanks a lot, guys!) and not just a job.

But, there's this little face I needed to see more, I did it. Love will make you do the darnedest things! I switched a hellish commute for a short one so that I could snuggle a bit more and spend non-commuting time with my favorite pigtail-wearing giggle-monster. I traded the Babysitter literally sent down from heaven (contact me if you need someone near DC because this woman is truly amazing...) for a (gasp!) stranger. It was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make,'s feeling good.

So, I leave you with this little story and no results. But maybe someone else out there who's about to splash into the water after jumping will feel a bit of solidarity.




Posters all courtesy of Pinterest. Look me up...I'm Megan Elizabeth!

Black and White Photo Love

Black and White photos exude confidence.  The subject matter of the photo is all that matters and the light can make or break a photo. I am taking some inspiration today from Little Brown Pen, ( a great blog written by a photographer who studied color and light in Paris for over a year and now sells her amazing work online.

I am thinking this might be a fun little project for this week - make a wall collage of some of our best (my hubby took them, give him the credit!) travel photos from around the world and frame them in simple white or black frames.

Inspiration: (from Little Brown Pen)

I love that each of the photos is the same dimension, it adds so much to the piece as a whole!

Stay tuned for the version that pops up at our casa.  Here are some photos I am thinking of working with.


Blog Finds (courtesy of my bff Kate)

Today's entry features an interview with my best friend Kate (Katie), who started a cool hi-tech inspiration wall online a couple of years ago.  It has evolved into a great way to find inspiring ideas and tag them for future reference.  It reminds me of back in highschool when we would look through magazines for cool ideas, cut them out and make collages - only a lot more efficient! Read below for Kate's thoughts on an online inspiration wall!

Some of my favorite images that she has collected over time are:

"I spend more hours than I'd like to admit skimming blogs online.  My favorites are the Apartment Therapy family- the original Apartment Therapy, Ohdeedoh, Re-Nest and The Kitchn.  I also scope out lots of Mom-written crafty blogs- women making cute things for and with their children, and general style blogs.  I got sick of going back and trying to find the images that inspired me, so I created a Google Picasa Album where I could upload the images that really struck me.

It's purpose is three-fold, it allows me to go back and remember those great ideas I want to emulate, it allows me to share the cool things I find with others and finally it gives me a place to see what exactly my style is.  By putting all these images in one place, I can see which trends and styles I gravitate towards- for example- I never realized how much I love built in bookcases and book displays until I realized I had 10 photos of them in my collection.  It makes sense, I love books, especially children's literature, which tend to have great artwork and lend well to being displayed." - Kate