For a Chicago-area artist, Lindsay Megahed’s paintings emit quite the California vibe. From the beach scenes of “Weekending” and “Sea Wall” to the bright, dreamy colors in many of her other limited-edition prints, she’s got a lot of West Coast going on. But the Cali energy isn’t all that Lindsay has to offer. She’s a multi-talented artist-designer who’s won 109 awards across Minted categories: holiday cards, Valentine’s Day stationery, fabric, and, of course, art. Here, Lindsay talks about raising two boys, developing her career, and her insightful advice for up-and-coming artists.
What’s it like to be a work-from-home artist?
Very messy! Inspiration can strike at any time, so usually my studio is covered with works in progress—paper scraps, canvases, paint tubes, and palettes (I can’t throw anything away.) My studio is right off my main living space, so I don’t really have consistent start-and-stop working hours, and there are a lot of distractions. But being able to be so flexible with my time makes the haphazard work environment worth it. I can volunteer at my boys’ elementary school and attend all their events and activities, which is my main entertainment these days. Being home a lot, I do miss talking to grown-ups, so it’s always nice to hop online to see what’s happening in the Minted community.
Your work is so colorful. Do you have a favorite color combination?
I always start out trying to freshen up my palette a bit, but blue/green and orange/pink always seem to take over in the end.
“Big Sur” by Lindsay Megahed
How have you built your career as an artist?
My degree is in advertising, but after graduating college, I mostly worked in web programming and design. When my first son was born, we moved and I had to quit a great web job. I had always enjoyed painting as a hobby and I decided to start selling art so I could stay at home with my son. The marketing, web design, and programming I had worked in all came in handy when I started selling online. I learned to listen carefully to my customers and take their feedback to heart because they were essentially telling me what the market wanted. I started personalizing my art and turning it into prints and photo cards at a time when custom design was fairly new. I still enjoy researching the art market today, and I like to keep my art fresh by experimenting with new mediums, new outlets, and analyzing the social response to these endeavors.
What’s your advice for up-and-coming artists?
Always remember that spark that drove you to want to work in this crazy competitive industry. Create because that’s what you love to do. It’s OK to not love everything you create, and it’s OK for others not to. Art is subjective. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about that feeling you get when you are creating and doing what you were meant to do. If someone else happens to grasp that same feeling from something you create, then that’s a bonus but shouldn’t be the reason why you create.
How would you describe your last month in a word?
Inspired. We just got back from a few days in San Diego and just feeling the warm sun and taking in all the bright colors makes me want to transfer that onto paper.
What was your most memorable moment or experience in 2015?
2015 was the first year that both my boys were in school all day. I no longer had an excuse for not turning my art into a full-time career. I was excited for this new freedom but unprepared for the unexpected pressure of feeling I had to make money from my hobby. I’m still learning how to keep that pressure from encroaching on my creativity but feel that surviving that first year of the unknown now has me appreciating my work days more.
LINDSAY’S MINTED EXPERIENCE
How did you first hear about Minted?
I spotted a Minted ad on Facebook and was drawn to the idea that anyone with any level of experience could give it a shot. In 2011 I entered a few submissions into a baby shower challenge. I received decent feedback but was disappointed to not get a pick. Two years and one West Elm Art challenge later, I gathered up the courage to try again, and this time was pleasantly shocked to receive a third place!
“Flora Fantasy” by Lindsay Megahed
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Minted community?
Instant, constructive feedback from designers at all levels not only helps me see my work in a new light but ultimately pushes me to become a better designer. I’m also continually inspired by the many talented Minted artists and designers I’ve met, online and in person.
What have you learned from being part of the Minted community?
Being in a creative and highly competitive field means encountering many highs and lows. Whatever I’m feeling before, during or after a challenge I know there are others feeling that way too. It can make this field of independent work feel a little less lonely.
What’s your favorite Minted artwork or design—that you created?
“Tropical Still Life” was one of my very first art entries and one of my few digital illustrations. I wanted to mix up my usual art subject and medium by taking a traditional still life set-up and giving it a fresh and modern feel. It wasn’t picked up until the second round, which has since encouraged me to keep trying new avenues of art. This piece will always warm my heart and I hope others feel that same burst of cheery optimism when they view it.
“Tropical Still Life” by Lindsay Megahed
What’s your favorite Minted design or art—that a fellow Minted artist created?
The hand-drawn shapes, colorful palette and subtle texture in Sue Prue’s “Bird Rock” creates that perfectly content feeling, satisfying both the kid and grown-up in me.
“Bird Rock” by Sue Prue
Who or what inspires you: Unexpected combinations of colors or shapes in magazines, on TV, but especially out in nature.
Favorite recent discovery: My very first laptop! I’ll never leave my couch again (except for snacks).
Favorite kind of music: My shuffle on Pandora: from Aerosmith to Brian Eno, I never know what style or tempo is coming up next which keeps my painting interesting!
Favorite Minted artists or designers: Melanie Severin, Makewells, Jaime Derringer, Betty Hatchett
Favorite non-Minted artist: Lately I’m into the “vintage” abstract expressionists: Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Richard Deibenkorn, Franz Kline
Favorite place in the world: Any warm beach
Favorite movie or TV show: Anything on the Bravo network
Last stamp on your passport: I don’t have a passport.
Favorite publications and/or websites: Real Simple, Pinterest
“Flags” by Lindsay Megahed
QUICK! TELL US…
Movies or TV? Movies
Modern or Vintage? Modern
Morning or Night? Night
Summer or Winter? Summer
City or Country? I am far from living in the country but always felt my heart belongs there.
Favorite restaurant: Olive Garden
Favorite vacation spot: Any beach in California
Published February 1, 2016 • Become part of the Minted Artist Community. Submit to a Challenge here.Comments Off on Meet a Minted Artist: Lindsay Megahed