Megan switched tracks at school from drama to art. Over the last three years she’s become an accomplished illustrator, honing her skills in traditional print-making skills.
We talked to her near the end of her Illustration and Visual Media degree- she tells us how she goes about making work and her aspirations for the future.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from Portsmouth. I moved up to London when I was 11 years old. After finishing my A-levels I went onto do a Foundation in Graphic Design.
At the moment, I would describe myself as an illustrator, but also a teacher in the making. I want to help the younger generation turn their passions for art into a career.
Did you know right away what type of artist or designer you wanted to be?
When I started my foundation course, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career path, however, I knew which degree I wanted to choose after I saw a third year Illustration degree summer show.
I felt the Illustration and Visual Media course was the right decision as I was always drawing and creating work in response to what I saw in other artists and around London. I really enjoyed using the printing facilities and I believe that was the reason my passion to create work really stepped up.
What inspires you?
Right now, I find inspiration for my work comes more from passions that I love, for example with my dance project, I think back to old classes and lessons that I learned in the past. I have a performance artist that I have known for years that has inspired my project, Shen Wei. He performed a dance piece with paint which is what I what to use for the basis for my project. His work has also been a favourite for me, he created a piece that was performed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
How and where do you like to work?
I tend to work at home mostly when I am doing drawings, designing new prints and carving my work for lino prints. I don’t often work big, but I tend to work in bulk, so when I draw I will draw 10-20 in one sitting. It helps to keep my ideas and work nice and clean rather than having it all around the house and in my bedroom.
What been the best thing you’ve done so far?
I’ve worked on a wide range of projects including collaborative projects with big companies such as Ladybird books- new imagery; and Paperchase- cards for their stores.
I was also a project manager for another collaborative project with the Foundling Museum. We had an exhibition within the museum, and myself and the rest of my team designed and published for a publication for the exhibition.
Over the last year I have narrowed down my skills practice into printmaking with lino and using digital work for editing.
“I realised while I was creating work for the clients above, that I always had a pattern for how I worked and always used these two skills.”
I would love to have a small studio with a few friends to explore and work on collaborative projects together. We are into different styles of printmaking and believe we could create really amazing work together. I plan to set up a website where I can showcase and perhaps sell my work. I also plan to become a teacher in higher education, where the skills I learned on this course will be useful for students in the future.
See Megan’s project in progress on her blog
Follow Megan on Instagram: @meganellisillustrations
Find out more about the course Megan studied: