Inspiration comes in all different forms. For Megan Elizabeth, she finds it through memories and experiences. Megan not only creates lovely and inspiring paintings, but she has mastered the art of marketing her work on social media. People are drawn to Megan's authenticity and pure passion for what she does - it also doesn't hurt that her art is gorgeous! Read on to find out how she turned her hobby into a full-blown career.
Hi, Megan! Please introduce yourself.
I am a former high-school Art and Spanish teacher turned professional artist just two years ago. I have always made art, ever since I was a little tiny girl and it has been my way of expressing myself, exploring my ideas, and it's just so fun! I began my official career as an artist when our family moved to NYC two years ago and am so thankful for the opportunity to pursue my passion. Not a day goes by where I am not grateful.
Describe your aesthetic and painting style. What inspires your work?
My style is elegant, free, feminine and a little bit wild. I am inspired by the beach, light, and movement. I love walking around NYC for inspiration and also seeing new places with new color schemes that sneak up into my work!
Has Social Media played a part in marketing your artistry and how has it helped you grow your business?
Social media, especially Instagram (and my FANTASTIC PLANOLY app!) has been HUGE in developing my business and making contacts. I love being able to communicate with anyone all over the world at a given time, sharing my work with others, and being part of a huge community of artists all over the place. Social media has given me a platform to share my behind-the-scenes stories, new work, and truthful triumphs and struggles as an artist. I am so amazed by the creative community online!
Your IG is amazing and you do a good job at showcasing your work and life as an artist! How do you choose what content to post and how do you keep your grid true to your brand?
Oh, I have a strict system, but it took a long time to develop my authentic "voice." I didn't want to share too much of my personal life but wanted to show my audience that I am a real human being. Finding the happy medium took a lot of thinking. I have a rule that I share behind-the-scenes, funny quips or silly jokes, paintings, sales, and adventures in my feed. Those are my favorite things and have helped me to find an audience that I align with, and they are the aspects of my personality that are the most welcoming.
When it comes to creating, executing and posting Instagram content, what would be your best advice for artists like yourself?
- DON'T BE LIKE EVERYONE OR ANYONE ELSE! There is a voice inside a lot of people that says "do what she (or he) is doing." But don't. Do you. It's so much more authentic and inspiring, even if it takes a LONG time to develop that voice.
- Be a real human. Talk about what inspires and motivates you. Don't try to overshare because that's just too intense for people to digest in the few seconds that they are scrolling through.
- Be authentic! Ask a friend who has known you for a long time if your voice is consistent with your actual personality. It's super awkward to meet someone and have them be a stark contrast to their online personality or presence.
Do you often travel for your work? Where is your favorite place to visit and which destination inspires you to paint?
Ideally, my tax guy would let me travel for a living and write it all off. Jk (not really!). I love to travel, but often find inspiration in the simpler moments in life too, like simply walking through the park or seeing a beautiful flower bouquet. A little family joke when I am spacing out is that I am collecting ideas for my next painting or series. My husband knows that if I am in "Megan-land," something huge is about to happen! I am most inspired by anything "new" and also the beach. Something about the power and beauty of the waves just amazes me and has my entire life.
What has been your biggest lesson in your art career and what can we look forward from you next?
Don't stop. Even if people aren't nice, even if you are frustrated, even if life is complicated, even if you are exhausted or overwhelmed or upset - just keep going. I take time off, of course, to be with family and friends, but I never let a denial email or silly troll comment on social media get me down. I am too in love with what I do to let anyone stop me from following my dream.
Up next...new products for my shop, new travel adventures, a summer break with my daughter and adventures together, and hopefully a collaboration with a HUGE company! (Fingers crossed)
What advice do you have for aspiring painters?
Paint every day or as often as you can. If you can't paint, draw. If you can't draw, make a collage. If you can't do anything above, travel or read books about artists. Keep the fire inside you alive and feed it with good information from the incredible sources out there. Also, make a creative friend who tells you the truth and celebrates your wins with you over a glass of wine!