We are the weirdos. Creatives and artists have for a long-time been associated with the strange, the weird, and the uniquely different. When I was younger, weird was used as a slur, something to make you feel badly about not being like the rest of them. I always found being weird as a badge of honor, not necessarily being different to be different, but being different because I knew no way else to be. We are all unique. This new series is to document those wonderful weirdos and what they do. I like photography (NO!!! NO way!) so I am also photographing them and interviewing them to get their story.
Now! Onto the first creative in the series. I met Meagan as a photographer when I was flip flopping between modeling and photography. She was a photographer, and while she still takes beautiful photographs, she is also an illustrator with her own coloring book!
I had Meagan try out my new star backdrop that I have been developing for a new themed set coming up, as well as shooting a very classic gothic piano scene. We talked about what got her into photography, how she translated her talents to illustration, and how she felt being on the other side of the lens for a change.
I met you as a photographer, how did you get started in that realm?
“I started photography in high school because it was always something that interested me. We had a great teacher and a chance to learn how to use a darkroom. I started taking pictures of whatever caught my eye but by the end of high school I realized that the human form was what interested me the most. I was the only one who took pictures of people. My friends were my first models before I learned about places like Model Mayhem. Once I moved to Northern Virginia a lot of opportunities became available and I was able to grow in a way I couldn’t have before.”
As someone who has mainly been behind the lens, how was your experience modeling?
“When you step into the model’s shoes you realize how you can improve as a photographer in terms of direction. I prefer a more hands-off approach to directing photography and usually let the model do whatever they can come up with. It’s harder than it looks! But because I know how things translate through the lens I feel like I’m more conscious of what may or may not look good depending on lighting and aperture. I love modeling, though. I feel like it’s just another creative outlet for myself and I would love to push the envelope.”
Your illustration work is beautiful! What would say inspires you when you sit down to create?
“Most of my creative works have a feeling of darkness or the macabre. Music is one of my best inspirations and the titles to my pieces a lot of times are song titles. Anything spooky and beautiful usually piques my interest. I find that I create the most during this time of the year (fall and winter). A lot of the ideas I have for drawings or photos stem from a good idea, and not much else. Only a few of my pieces have deep meaning to myself. I like hearing what other people think about the “meaning” behind my artwork, even if I didn’t intend any more than, “hey, that would look cool.” That’s the power of art!”
You have created your own illustrated coloring book. What do you see as the most crucial step you took to get yourself in a space where you were confident in publishing your work?
“I’ve always been most confident in my line work when it comes to drawing. Coloring has scared me for a long time and so most of my artwork was “unfinished.” Creating a coloring book seemed like a great idea because I could leave the “hard” stuff (the coloring) to other people! When I saw the lack of coloring books featuring realistic women I felt confident enough that I could create something worthy of publishing. I also knew that it would be a wonderful opportunity to help the conversation on body positivity.”
Do you have any plans for future projects that you would like us to know about?
“I’m currently working on a collaboration with my husband. He’s helped me create a custom coffin shaped shadow box picture frame for a series I’m doing on women who’ve been buried and left for dead. The artwork when it’s completed with be cut out and raised to varying heights to give it a 3D effect inside the shadow box. I’ve never done anything like it before and I think it’s going to be epic!”
Where can you see more of Meagan’s work or get a coloring book?
Are you an artist that sees themselves as a creative weirdo? Get in touch!