This week's featured Etsy artist is Megan of Studio M.M.E. As long-time Mama's Magic readers may recall, I've been a fan of Megan's gorgeous artwork for quite some time now, because her work has a literary sensibility and quiet beauty that I find enormously appealing. In fact, I first interviewed her about a year ago, here!
I recently had my first SF Etsy "small world" moment, when Megan contacted me to join the team. "Hey, I know her!" was my first thought when I got her convo. Then, "Wait, she doesn't live in the Bay Area...." only to find out she was moving and would soon be in San Jose! I love little synchronicities like that.
Perhaps it's not surprising that an English major like me would love a piece like this one, titled "She Loved Her Shakespeare"
The listing explains, "Anne Boleyn's portrait was so close to Shakespeare's that I couldn't help but wonder if there was some connection there. So here is Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I, with her Shakespeare mustache. The entire piece is made from the text of the bard's famous play, "The Twelfth Night", in which Viola disguises herself as her twin brother."
It's the kind of piece I see online and think, "Oh! I would LOVE to see that in person!" And I'm super excited because on Sunday I just might get the chance -- Studio M.M.E. will be one of the many SF Etsy shops (including my own) at the San Jose Holiday Craft Boutique!
So I'm happy to present a second interview with this talented artist. Enjoy!
1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
I'm a pen and ink illustrator who specializes in quirky drawings. Most of my work is based on childhood fantasies, fairy tales, and my mind's ability to relate two or three very unrelated things. I pretty much taught myself most of my pen and ink skills. I received an art degree in college, with an emphasis in drawing, and an English degree, with an emphasis in creative writing, and those studies merged together nicely into the work you see today. Most of my drawings start with a story I invent or a question that generally no one asks, such as, "Who feeds the moon when it's hungry?"
2. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
1. I'm almost completely blind in one eye. I can see color but that's about it. As such, I have no depth perception (don't worry, I don't drive much) which makes it unusual that I chose a career where I make three-dimensional items on two-dimensional planes.
2. I have a thing for crossword puzzles. My boyfriend figured out early on that if he picked up the free school newspaper on his grad campus every day, I'd be one happy roommate.
3. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?
I honestly wish I could sew. I have all these great ideas to put my work onto pillows and purses and I absolutely cannot get the machine to cooperate. My mother just bought a new machine before I moved cross-country this summer and now I have my boyfriend's antique Viking to work with. I think I could learn to sew but first I need to bribe the Swedish machine (which easily weighs 25 lbs) with some lefse.
4. If you had to live out the rest of your life as a famous fictional character, who would you be and why?
She may not be too famous, but I wouldn't mind too much if I had to live the rest of my life as Sophie from Diana Wynne Jones' book, "Howl's Moving Castle". I'd get to reside in a castle always on the move with a sarcastic, and dramatic, wizard.
(Note from Jen: as someone who is a huge Miyazaki fan, I adore this answer. I've never met a Studio Ghibli movie I didn't like.)
5. If money were no object for just one day, what would you do?
I would buy the biggest, nicest scanner that I could find. Oh, and I'd make sure it had a photo negative scanner attachment for my boyfriend. (Best to keep him happy too!)
6. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
You can learn more about my creative process, see in-progress photos, and read some cool business knowledge (as well as life knowledge) on my blog. I feature Etsy artists and artist bloggers weekly, in addition to all the other neat stuff already listed.
I also sell numbered prints of my work through my website.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your shop or your work?
You'll be able to see me and my work in person at the year's SF Renegade Holiday Craft Fair!