EXCLUSIVE: Our Interview with Meagan Morrison

Photos courtesy of Meagan Morrison Meagan Morrison is a New York-based illustrator who isn't afraid of using colours, and it has paid ...

Photos courtesy of Meagan Morrison

Meagan Morrison is a New York-based illustrator who isn't afraid of using colours, and it has paid off.
Her work was recently selected to be exhibited at the 'Drawing Inspiration: Ladies of the Night' fashion illustration show, held at the prestigious W Hotel back in March.

She is definitely not your average fashion illustrator.
Read on to check out her insightful interview with us!

Hi Meagan! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 25-year-old female fashion illustrator; lover of life, travel, color, art, fashion, and culture. I grew up north of Toronto, Ontario and eventually moved to Montreal, Quebec in order to pursue my Bachelor of Commerce at McGill University. Upon completion, I returned home to pursue various positions in the Canadian fashion industry before discovering my destined career path. Once I realized that I could combine my love of fashion and art in the field of fashion illustration, I applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. I was accepted for Fall 2009 and never looked back. I just completed the two-year AAS degree this past May 2011.

Where do you get your ideas and inspirations from?
I would say the greatest rule of thumb is whatever you love will influence you most. I gather so many of my inspirations just from walking the streets in New York. I go into a lot of bookstores and read through stacks of magazines from Vogue Paris to Conde Nast Traveler. I especially love the store Bookmarc on Bleeker St. in my neighborhood because they have such an amazing collection of designer, artist, illustrator, photography, musician, and pop culture coffee table books. With eyes open, you can’t help but be inspired by New York.

Furthermore, I would say the other major source of inspiration for me is my world travels. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have explored so many different parts of the world. Truth be told though, whether I’ve actually been to a specific place or not, I’m influenced by different cultures just by meeting people from all over the world. For example, although I’ve never been to Iran or Brazil I have friends who were born there, I’ve read a lot of literature that takes place there, and can’t help but be inspired by their design aesthetic in my own artwork.

What do you have to tell from your illustrations and paintings?
First and foremost I want to tell a story in my illustrations and paintings. It’s never just about fashion; there is always some element of culture or historical context involved too. When I started my blog back in September 2010, I didn’t want it to just be about my drawings. I wanted it to show my love of exploring different parts of the world and how that feeds into and inspires my illustrations. Illustration is as much about art as it is about concept. The more clever and witty you are in your work, the better and more captivating it is. You never want people to overlook your work. You ultimately want them to stop, pause, and think about what’s going on.

You started the very unique project "Illustrators Drawing Illustrators", where artists draw and paint each other. How has that impacted you?
Illustrators Drawing Illustrators was such a fun and challenging concept. I formed the month-long project over my winter break before my final semester at FIT. It was the perfect opportunity to start building a network of blogger artists, illustrators, and respective enthusiasts, who could support and push one another to get better. Now I feel connected to a community of people who love the field that I love, who see the value in illustration, and really appreciate the many skills involved with being an illustrator. It opened me to different illustration styles and interpretations of portraiture. It forced me to be a stronger artist when I thought of combining both conceptual ideas and subject likeness in a portrait.

If you could only work with one color, which one would it be?
Oddly I wouldn’t pick a color, I would choose black, which is technically a shade lol. I say it’s odd because as you know one of my signatures in my illustrations are my color palettes. I’m always pumping up the saturation and making the color harmonies bold. But the truth is black and white can sometimes leave room for the viewer to interpret color. You can get so many shades and values with black when it’s watered down in paintings or when it’s stippled in pen. There is also something so sophisticated about black and white wash fashion illustration. Plus, if you used different colored paper as the background of the illustration then the sky is the limit.

Any upcoming projects we should look forward to?
In the immediate future I would like to get my online shop up and running on my blog. After the W New York Times Square show I had a lot of enquiries about prints of my work that were featured there. I would say within the next year though I would really like to experiment with translating my illustrations into patterns for scarves. I’m currently learning the ropes of art licensing and surface design. I don’t want to be just Meagan Morrison the illustrator, but also Meagan Morrison the lifestyle brand with various products showcasing my paintings and illustrations.

Where is the one place on the planet you have dreamed of visiting?
Hmm which place haven’t I dreamed of visiting is a more appropriate question for me lol. To be honest though, I dream of one day visiting Iran and seeing all the incredibly ornate, intricately detailed, architecture and mosaic patterns. They are known for their poetry, craftsmanship, and artistry. I would love to walk through the bustling bazaars and immerse myself in the culture. Persian food is so delicious. I imagine I would just gorge everyday until I was completely stuffed with Koobideh.

What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Honestly if I won a million dollars I would be doing exactly what I’m doing right now. I absolutely love being an illustrator but it would be so nice if I didn’t have to worry so much about the cost of living in New York and my student tuition. I would probably use the money to travel more and gather even greater sources of inspiration for my artwork. I used to say that the best way to know if you are truly happy is to ask yourself what you would be doing if money weren’t an object. I think it’s funny that now I’m being asked that same question and the truth is I wouldn’t really change a thing.

Meagan Morrison's Portfolio
Meagan Morrison's Blog
Meagan Morrison's Twitter page

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