Sunday, August 19, 2012

Megan Eckman

Name: Megan Eckman             
What do you do?
I’m a pen and ink illustrator who rekindles wonder by reminding people of the magic they felt as a child.  In my artwork, anything is possible and the unusual is the norm.  The magic exists in the everyday and it’s my job to help others see it again.

Where can we find your work?
You can find my work on my website at and several galleries and boutiques across the country.  A full list of shops is available on my site.

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
I’m constantly inspired by young adult books and the classic fairy tales.  I always get my best ideas when I go for a walk, however.  My mind begins to play with the possibilities of what could be.
What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
Content!  I’m a narrative artist and if the content doesn’t let me tell a story, it’s not going to grab my attention.   

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
My father used to read me the dark Grimms’ fairy tales before bed along with the work of Edward Gorey, especially his Gashlycrumb Tinies, an unfortunate alphabet book where 26 children meet untimely ends.  Max Ernst’s crazy engraving mishmashes really influenced me in art school as well.  

If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Sophie Hatter from Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle.

When do you get your best ideas?
When I’m on a long, afternoon walk by myself.  It never fails!

What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
Rapidograph pens and smooth Bristol paper.

Are you self taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
Both!  I attended art school and received degrees in art with an emphasis in drawing and English with an emphasis in creative writing.  However, I taught myself most of my technique since pen and ink is only taught in the most basic forms nowadays in college.  The formal education was the best thing I ever received because it allowed me to learn the history of art and that really helped me put my work into the larger context of art history, art theory, and also English lit theory.

What would your creative work taste like?
Lemon poppyseed cake!  Sweet with just a hint of tartness.

When you are not creating what do you like to do?
Bike!  My boyfriend got me addicted to cycling a few months ago and now I love putting on those padded shorts and riding into the mountains.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
I grew up with a very supportive family who always pushed me to show off my work.  It took years to gain the confidence I have now but I still get nervous when I call gallery owners.  However, if I don’t share the work I make, then what’s the point of making it?  If I want it to have an effect on people, if I want to rekindle wonder in the magic that exists around us, I have to show everyone I meet!

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures? 
I actually just wrote an article on this for DesignSponge!
But to sum it up, it takes professionalism and ambition to be a self-supporting artist.  You have to present yourself as a real artist if you want to be taken seriously and you need to have the ambition to contact hundreds of shops and galleries so that a handful can say yes!

Deep Sea Dreamer

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