Meg Allan is an artist and storyteller based out of Bathurst, New South Wales.
In her creations, she balances her skill using academic precision with a surrealist flair. Working in a variety of mediums, Meg’s pieces are both intricate and kinetic.
As a result, the pieces are often calming but provoke thought.
For Meg, the journey of creation is not just about the final result, but also a process of self-expression and personal reflection that she hopes to inspire reflection within her own audience to shape their journey as well.
Her work is impressive as it is prolific, as it was recently featured in exhibitions galleries both at home and abroad.
In our conversation, she discusses; which paint is almost like frosting, the importance of art in society and in our personal lives & the importance of self-expression as well. Meg was kind enough to participate in the following interview:
Who are you and what do you do? My name is Meg and I am an Australian Artist. I work with graphite, charcoal, pastel, oil, acrylic, and watercolour.
I use my art as a form of self-expression and self-reflection, but also as a means to speak to others. More and more, I am using oils and enjoy their atmospheric, buttery properties.
I strive to make art that is courageous and gracious, both in execution and narrative.
How do you work? At the moment, it’s usually one of two ways. I have an idea or something I feel compelled to draw and I’ll do a small sketch.
Once I’m happy with that, or if I see a series forming, I’ll then decide if I want to turn it into a larger piece.
I say sketch, but they are usually very detailed because I like to make sure each component is delivering the message I’m trying to convey.
The other way is a much more expressive and primal form of mark making.
I aim to draw or paint quicker than the previous method, with no preconceived ideas, to infuse as much raw emotion as I can into the piece.
Why art? Art exists to emotionally improve peoples perceptions, understandings, to stir and to comfort. An artist is able to speak through form, colour, and line in a way that words cannot. Observing how the tiniest of adjustments can alter the entire mood or message of a piece.
Art opens dialogue and continues conversations. In terms of creation, it is always a voyage of discovery. The incredible journey of visually exploring who we are and our ever-evolving perceptions.
It stirs thought and in turn, gives people the ability to understand their emotions. So, art is of great psychological benefit.
What memorable responses have you had to your work? People have said my work is powerful and truthful. I’ve been told that it appeals to their subconsciousness. It appears in their dreams. It inspires them to create.It has helped them understand their depression, their happiness, certain phobias, their inner thoughts or emotions.
To this day, I am always humbled and surprised by people’s reaction to my work. I am really affected by the stories people tell me.
It’s overwhelming to think that something I have created can impact someone so profoundly. More often than not, it’s someone I have never met.
What role does the artist have in society? I believe art is a cultural barometer and artists are both explorers and healers.
Art is a break away from the negative. With the advances in technology, there is no time to think and people’s emotions are more disturbed and therefore need more help.
I have observed that the role of the artist is to help slow people down enough, to experience a moment of clarity.
Should art be funded? Yes. It’s a very important medium for society. We live in a time where we are constantly bombarded with information and imagery.
Technology makes the world go faster and life is more confusing. So yes, artists should be helped, because I believe in the future there will be an even greater need for art, music, and film.
How has your practice changed over time? I have drawn my whole life. Everyone in my family has a creative streak of some kind or another.
Your artistic experience and human experience evolve together. I find to a certain extent they strengthen each others resolve.
It’s a lovely organic thought, but also an important one. That concept of evolution changes the way you think about the work. I think it makes you a little less precious because you are aware that your aesthetic and skill is always changing.
I’m using oils a lot more now. I’m always trying to refine the way I draw and paint, as your ideas are limitless, you are only hindered by your technical aptitude to execute them.
What research do you do? In the times I’m not physically working, I find myself reading or watching something about art.
Leaning about the Masters, either their theories or process, doing master studies.
Listening to podcasts about art, discussions or forums. I watch online painting sessions or I go to life drawing classes. Basically, surround yourself with art!
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it? It can be a solitary existence, but for me, I get up of a morning and I am excited about creating. It fills my day, so I don’t get lonely.
If I didn’t have to contend with the issues of getting physically tired or sore from painting or drawing all day, I would keep going.
Whats the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Just keep swimming.