As part of our new blog post theme, that of ‘Meet the art teacher/artist’ each month we will highlight either an art teacher/tutor, artist or designer maker and ask a handful of questions, nothing too serious but something that could encourage some interaction between art teachers, artists also college tutors.
Welcome Megan Chapman artist – if you would like to take part or know someone who would then download the questions here and fire them back to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Megan Chapman. I am an American abstract mixed media painter. I currently work from my studio at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.
2. When did you decide you wanted to be an art teacher/tutor/artist?
I knew from the time I was old enough to think about such things that I would do something in the arts. I wasn't quite sure which art form I would choose as I loved them all but ultimately painting became the strongest calling.
3. Where and what did you study?
I studied art at the University of Oregon where I earned my B.F.A (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Painting and Drawing.
4. What is the best thing about being an art teacher/tutor/artist?
The freedom to create something that didn't exist before and then to be able to share that creation with the world is a wonderful feeling. I love the moments in the studio that are mine alone and yet also love the relationships I have created through the sharing of art.
5. How would you describe your style (clothes, art, home….whichever you choose)
I would have to describe my art as abstract expressionism. For me it's all about shape, line, balance, color, texture and relationships. My work is organic and intuitive with a nod to the past.
6. Do you listen to music while you're working? If so, what?
Yes! I consider music a material of sorts in the studio. If so, what? It depends on what I am working on but I mostly listen to either post punk (along the lines of Joy Division) or atmospheric music (along the lines of Brian Eno and Erik Satie).
7. Which artist or designer inspires you most and why?
Musicians inspire me most because they help me get the work done. Nothing like putting the right kind of painting music on my big headphones and diving into the work. Photographers, Francesca Woodman and Sally Mann inspire me as I love their sensibilities and the space they create. I love the paintings from the Abstract Expressionist/New York School movement and feel a connection to that time in art history. Some of my favorite painters of the time were Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Lee Krasner to name a few.
8. If you could give one bit of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?
Don't feel like a loser if you haven't figured it out yet. Stop beating yourself up about what you don't know and go out there and make some mistakes, take risks and don't look back. You are more capable than you know and you are still young and have plenty of time. Relax and try to love yourself more.
9. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become an artist or designer?
Go for it! Understand that you need to be strong, determined and willing to work hard. Have a good handle on your personal definition for success. Develop a good support network of other artists. Know when to ask for and accept help, do not suffer for your art alone.
10. What’s your greatest achievement?
Maintaining my artistic practice for the past 17 years after graduating from University. To be a painter in this day and age is not easy and sadly not always encouraged by our society but is ultimately rewarding.
11. What three things would you still like to do before you die?
Sing in a punk rock band, have a record store/gallery/pub/junk store and travel the world.
12. What’s your favourite food?
Ethiopian food, Sushi, Beans, Rice and Cornbread. Vegan cooking.
13. Where was the last place you went on holiday?
I can't remember the last time I went on an official holiday. As an Arkansan that recently moved to Scotland in my 40's I feel a little on holiday all the time.
14. What was the last book you read?
Elizabeth Gilbert: Creative Living Beyond Fear
15. What is your biggest distraction?
16. If you ruled the world, what single act would you carry out.
Universal income for all
17. Do you have any regrets?
I don't think of myself as someone who thinks about regrets. I guess I could say I regret suffering from low self esteem in my early adult years. I regret the times in my life I treated myself poorly and didn't believe in myself and my abilities.
18. In no more than five words, write your own epitaph. (Optional!)
She found everything impossibly beautiful.