Q&A with Megan of *ChinaDollIllustrations*

A little while ago I did post on the  incredibly skilled jewelry designer and hand forger, Jess from HelloThula. This past weekend I was in Durban visiting Farmboy, and just had to pop in for tea with this pretty lady...

Here is what we got chatting about while sipping on fragrant tea and stuffing our faces with basil pesto and mozzarella pannini's.



Q. What is your favourite food/colour/animal/place in the world/way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

My favourite food right now is an italian pesto salad with mozarella cheese and baby tomatoes mmmmm.

My favourite colour changes all the time but I have salmon pink on the brain at the moment. Lastly my favourite animal has always been the panda bear, they are so awesome and pretty and cute all at the same time :)

I am so lucky to have traveled a lot as a kid but my most memorable places are Lake Malawi ( I don't think South Africans realize how close it is or how beautiful it is) and Yosemite (national park in America) the surroundings and views are spectacular there.
Call me corny but my ideal Sunday afternoon would consist of me at home in my pj's with teapots full of tea, junk food to the max and unlimited amount of movies.

Q) For those readers who haven't seen your blog, what is it that you do?

I am a freelance illustrator. I illustrate for magazines and I do a lot of commission work for birthdays, and Christmas presents etc. But my work mostly consists of my personal pieces, these are the illustrations I market the most on my blog as well as face book and flickr. I literally just can't stop drawing and I have a portfolio full of art which I print and sell at markets and online. My goal is to develop my own style and world of art that will be recognized by many and eventually become an independent illustrator. Thats pretty much the entirety of what I do.

Q) I wish I could just pick up a pencil and go for it, alas, maybe I can learn? Did you study illustration?

I actually studied Fashion Design where Illustration is a big part of the work you do. Thats where I really saw the value in being able to draw and illustrate forms, textures etc.

Q) How long does it take to complete one drawing from start to finish?

Thats a tough question, each artwork is different really. Some pieces I want to be super detailed which take up to 3-4 hours whereas others are a lot more simplistic and only have a few pencil lines and only take an hour. How ever I have realized with myself that the longer I take and the more work I put in, the better it will look. I guess thats how it works with most things. 

Q) Do you ever got so frustrated that you rip up what you're doing and chuck it in the bin? Or does that just happen in the movies?

There are days where I just don't feel it and land up scrunching up sketch after sketch in frustration, this mostly happens when there is too much negative thinking and bad self esteem. On those days I realize it is time to put the pencil down and get some positive inspiration weather that be from hanging out with friends, taking a walk on the beach anything to relax your brain really. Even sometimes washing the dishes can do the trick he he.

Q) Now we know your just human and also get frustrated with your own work, Where/who do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration mostly comes from nature and animals, when I was younger I grew up having lots of animals from horses to hamsters and even chickens we also travelled a lot seeing so many places that changed my whole perspective on life. So naturally I have always been in love nature. But art in all it's forms also inspires me daily. On the web there are so many inspirational people, photographers, fashion, graphic and interior designers that produce phenomenal work. These people always push me to try to be better at what I do.

Q) What was the first drawing/illustration that you ever did?

 My mom was an artist so I guess she planted the seed, she had this awesome art room full of paints, canvases and easels, she always encouraged me to draw. Although I don't actually remember the first drawing I did, but the one thing my sister and I always use to do was draw rows and rows of girl figures in the best clothing designs we could think of, they would each have different hair colour, eye colour and each have their own outfit! We used to have a blast drawing them.

Q) What do you think about the future for illustrators in South Africa?

I think the world is full of talented people and that includes the people of South Africa. How ever I do think that we are a little bit behind and have not become aware of how we can use our skills to make money as well as become well known around the world. This is changing slowly which is really exciting as the potential for a community of successful artists is huge. I really hope to see some South African names in lights in the near future. It is totally possible for us to catch up with the international art and illustration community.

Q) Ultimately, where would you like to see your drawings/illustrations displayed? 

I would love to see my art in big magazines, children's books, design books, anywhere really. I always get a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I see my art featured and exhibited anywhere. I also hope to start my own stationary brand which will be branded with my illustrations and art one day, I would really love that.

Lastly, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I have absolutely no idea as to where or what I will be doing in 5 years time, I am the kind of person who takes it year by year. I don't really plan to far ahead but I would like to see myself in Hong Kong perhaps, maybe even somewhere else as an independent illustrator or even a part time illustrator, part time teacher. Teaching children is another big dream of mine. Marriage and babies will come in their own time but I see my boyfriend Dustin and I enjoying our lives either traveling, teaching and always always illustrating and designing. 

Thanks Megan for an absolutely wonderful morning!