nyc

A solo show + celebrating the tiny victories!

This coming Friday, May 11, I will be having the first solo show (at Captain's Daughters in Provincetown, MA) during my 3 years of "official" business as Art by Megan.  While I have been SO busy (and under the weather recently due to family expansion!), I kind of forgot until today to celebrate this big (HUGE!) step.   

So, I want to celebrate by taking a little trip down memory lane, Art by Megan-style.

Sometimes I completely forget that ONLY 3 years ago this past weekend, we moved to NYC and started almost completely over in a new city with just a few friends and 2 brand new careers.  It was exhausting and overwhelming and terrifying and completely amazing all in one breath.  

After some time spent unpacking, setting up a new tiny home, learning how to do things the "Brooklyn way" and teaching my little one some important life lessons like how to ride the subway and how to ride a scooter to school, I began to work full-time as an artist and small business owner in the fall of 2015.  I worked from the "Teeny Tiny Studio" aka the spare bedroom (aka the walk in closet in any other state) in our first apartment. 

It was my dream come true. 

I had dreamed of having a space to call my own as an artist for my entire life and this felt like the "big leagues" or at least my childhood fantasy coming true and I was so pumped.   A few months later, I was picking up a package from the UPS guy at our front door while covered in paint and he asked what I did for a living.  I said, confidently and maybe for the first time ever, "I am an artist" and he replied "wow, I have never met a real artist". 

I started to notice that I was saying to people I met, "I am an artist".  It felt amazing and surreal.  

The "Teeny Tiny Studio" - photo by  Amy Frances Photography  

The "Teeny Tiny Studio" - photo by Amy Frances Photography 

Time passed and selling occasional paintings became less infrequent, but each time I get an order for a print, small painting or large commission, I giggle. 

I always tell my family, "oh my gosh guess what?  I sold a painting!" when it happens and the "honeymoon phase" hasn't worn off yet. I sincerely hope it never does. 

Then, in March of 2017, I found my first studio outside of our home.  I was quickly outgrowing the "teeny tiny studio" and finding that paintings were always on the kitchen table, drying in the hallway, being photographed above our bed and our space for family was getting a little crazy.  So, I took a big financial and business risk and put the down payment on my first studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn in an old warehouse on a crazy street.  I loved it so much.  I will never forget the feeling of stepping into that empty room and thinking "oh man, this is just so cool."  

I cried that day, happy tears.  

My Gowanus, Brooklyn Studio, 2017 // Here's an awesome  feature  on our studio with photos by  Amy Frances Photography  and featured on Household Mag's Blog.  

My Gowanus, Brooklyn Studio, 2017 // Here's an awesome feature on our studio with photos by Amy Frances Photography and featured on Household Mag's Blog.  

This past February (2018), I moved in with 2 of my favorite business owners ever (Whitney of We Gather and Betsy of Sylvan Park) to our new space at Industry City in Brooklyn, NY.  Industry City is like a magical-google-campus-vibe for creatives and innovators in Brooklyn.  When I step foot into our studio each time I go to work in the morning, I sigh and think or usually say out loud, "dang this is a cool spot". 

My "roomates" often hear me say it and we all giggle or agree.  

As an impatient person with a fierce streak of overachiever, I often forget to take a deep breath and let it all sink in.  But, I am making a sincere effort to do so as I get older and, dare I say, a little bit wiser. 

So, this post is really just a little reminder to myself and to all of you who support me that I am VERY thankful:

  • I am thankful for the friends I have made while growing this business.  
  • I am thankful for the clients who support me by purchasing artwork and prints. 
  • I am thankful for the tough lessons I have learned while building a business from scratch in a crazy new city.  
  • I am thankful for the community of creatives that I helped to build in Brooklyn and who I now consider my dearest friends. (Tuesdays Together NYC) 
  • I am thankful for this chance to push myself and learn so much.
  • I am thankful for a husband who agreed it was time to jump into a crazy new adventure together.
  • I am thankful for 3 years that have felt like both the fastest and longest years of my life!  

Thank you and cheers to celebrating the little victories!  

Megan 

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A year in review...2017 in NYC

We just recently celebrated our 2-year-anniversary as New Yorkers and I can't fathom how time has passed so quickly but also feel kind of like we have lived here forever.  Our kid officially sounds like a total Brooklyn kid and says the following phrases with confidence, "I'm wahhhhlking here", "Whattyatalkkkinngbout", "Get online (instead of in-line)", "Ma, I'm taking out the Gaahhhhhbage", among other hilarious Brooklyn phrases.  Also, we have a serious laugh developing here.  Just trust me that it's a tiny bit like Fran Drescher on "The Nanny".  

a little subway notebook / sketchbook entry by @artbyipa 

a little subway notebook / sketchbook entry by @artbyipa 

A 2017 interview with my favorite little lady (LL):

(Read last year's interview here.) 

Me: What's your favorite thing about NYC?
LL: The playgrounds, the food, and the museums.  

Me: Where's your favorite place in NYC?
LL: "Gino's (Pizzeria in Bay Ridge)."

Me: What's better, Brooklyn or Manhattan?
LL: "Manhattan because there are lots of parks there.  Brooklyn because there's stores nearby."

Me: What's the best food in NYC?
LL: "The pizza."

Me: What's the coolest part of riding the train?
LL: "That man who plays music on his guitar or any instrument" 

Me: Do you miss Maryland?
LL: "Kind of."

Me: Where should we go next in NYC?
LL: "To all of the parks and the playgrounds and some new museums" 

Me: What's the best part of living here?
LL: "That we can scoot around and can ride bicycles instead of driving in the car. New York City has lots of good museums and lots of questions to answer."

Me: Do you remember the day we moved here?
LL: "Yes. Hard.  We didn't find any of our plates or silverware or forks or anything!"

Me: Who are your best friends in NYC?
LL: "June, Amina, Lukas, Jude, Teddy, Nicholas, Violin Nicholas, Miss Sotiria, Ivo, Nessa, Louise, Vesper, Alessia, Eli, Esteban, Cody, and Adam."

Me: Do you like New York?
LL: "Yes!"

A list of things that will never, ever get old about NYC: 

  • When the nice Mariachi guys come on the train and serenade us on our ride home.  
  • Ordering any cuisine or wine online and having a nice guy on a bicycle bring it to you like a genie.
  • Hearing 25 different languages at the park and wondering what everyone's unique story is. 
  • Being asked if I speak English.  Do I look like I am from somewhere else?  I am still confused. 
  • The food: OMG. 
  • Coffee Shops: The hidden, secret good ones. 
  • Family adventures all over the city: Picking a spot on the map (or subway map) and just going! 
  • Central Park & Prospect Park.  Every single time we walk through them, we find something new and awesome to explore. 
  • Christmas in NYC.
  • Springtime in NYC.
  • ok, fine, I am completely in love and there's literally no day I hate in NYC.  Except the days where the snow has melted just enough to create ENORMOUS puddles of slush.  Those days are gross.  Oh and the days where we catch mice in the mousetraps and I have to call neighbors and ask them to come rescue me like Rapunzel in her tower. But otherwise, yea, it's amazing here! 

But the biggest lesson learned in 2017 is as long as we are all together, anywhere feels like home!

photo by Chi-Chi Agbim of  Two Twenty  

photo by Chi-Chi Agbim of Two Twenty 

Home is wherever Iā€™m with you.
— Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

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