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Interview 2 with artist on instagram Megan (megantsai)

Today’s artists of the week is Megan (megantsai on Instagram). The reason we chose to interview her was because the energy and passion in her artwork can be seen in every art piece. The way a lot of Megan’s work is so monochromatic, it gives such a powerful image for the viewer to indulge in. The sharp edges you see running throughout Megan’s art really gives each piece life and energy.

women and her emotions
girl melting

How did you get started on art? 

Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you! Art is something that’s always just been a core part of my life. I remember getting super excited for “drawing time” every morning in preschool. Scribbling on desks in grade school. Drawing in my notebooks, drawing during class, drawing after school … just everywhere. As the years passed, creative art and expression became second nature. If it wasn’t drawing it was writing, painting, photography – you name it. It’s like a thirst, an insatiable appetite. You can’t help but want to quench it. Or else you risk feeling like a big chunk of you is empty and missing, somehow.

My amazing parents have been here for me since the beginning. They pitched in to help me build up my Crayola empire throughout childhood. They took me exploring to spark inspiration, told me stories to spark imagination. I’m so incredibly grateful for how patiently they’ve nurtured my love for art, always encouraging me to follow my passion. To stay true to myself. Now I realize how instrumental that was in shaping me into the person I am today.

Do you have a connection with other artists? 

100%, yes. Sometimes it’s almost intuitive – you can just sense that we’re the same breed, we seek each other out, we’re drawn to one another. I look at certain works of art and the emotional response it triggers is almost physical in its intensity. You can literally feel that person through their art. Oftentimes we’ll talk and it’s like the connection was always there – hidden beneath the surface – even if it’s our first time ever chatting. I think there are fundamental similarities in the way creative types see and experience the world. Many times there’s an overlap in the struggles and adversities we’ve faced growing up. It’s not always easy to march to the beat of your own drum. Especially when you’re up against society and trying to break free of its rigid expectations. But hey, that’s what we were born to do, right?

Do you get creative block and how do you overcome it? 

Once in a blue moon, yes. On those days it helps to try and not think so hard! Inspiration’s such a funny thing. It pops up right when you least expect it. Things that spark creativity for me are deep conversations with other humans, colorful animated films, creative photography, and just getting outside and exploring the urban landscape and/or nature.

I actually run into the opposite problem when left to my own devices. It’s quite the struggle to settle on a single idea when there’s an entire swarm of ideas buzzing around my head. The hardest part is learning to let go of all that “could be,” and putting that energy towards executing the ideas that are truly golden. Sometimes less really is more.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

This is a tough one. It’s hard to pin down a single source of inspiration because every facet of life has the potential to spark creativity! More often than you might think, it’s the tiniest moments of beauty that trigger an entire cascade of emotions and inspiration. I love exploring the urban jungle, experiencing all the different walks of life and secret gems hidden in major cities. I love quiet corners in chaotic places. I love seeing the connection between one living, breathing soul and another. I love flora and fauna in all its magnificence. I love change, transformation, and transcendence.

A common theme in my art is the idea of ephemerality and impermanence – essentially the fact that nothing truly lasts forever. There’s beauty in how fleeting life can be, the volatility of human nature. Experiencing loss really teaches you to cherish the things you love. People, places, relationships. Time. Our time here on earth may be finite, but the love and fulfillment that stems from truly embracing the present in its entirety – now that is absolutely invaluable.

How has art helped you in the lockdown? 

Here’s a secret that’s not so secret: art is absolutely everything to me. It has been my lifelong love affair, my best friend, my happy place, my universe. I’ve found solace in creative expression through thick and thin – in the moments of greatest joy, as well as the depths of darkness and loneliness and pain. Lockdown is no different. Art is a means of cathartic release from the anxiety I’ve found myself wound up in. It’s a way to reconnect with the child inside me. It’s a bond between myself and others, a point of connection as we cross paths on our respective journeys. Like I said … it’s everything. <3

How has the lockdown made you feel? 

First word that comes to mind is anxious. It’s the uncertainty and fear of the unknown above all else. Things are good on the surface because I’ve been lucky enough to work from home, with an awesome partner and two adorable kitties for company. Hermit mode is pretty awesome when you love staying in, cozying up, and recharging on some much-needed alone time from social obligations.

But what makes this lockdown difficult is the natural compassion you feel for those who are struggling in the world right now. It’s hard being an empath during a global pandemic where people are suffering on such a massive scale. It hurts when you see others hurting. Especially when there’s only so much you can do to help. You feel their pain. What they yearn for. Sometimes the feelings of overwhelm threaten to take over. In these moments, it helps to embrace the fact that we’re human, that we’re going to come out on the other side, and to seek comfort in art and intimacy and connection.

If you had to use three words to describe lockdown what would they be? 

Volatility. Vulnerability. Connection. These are the words that come to mind when thinking about what the energy has been like throughout the pandemic. It’s been such a mixed bag of emotions. It’s that push and pull … you’re caught between wanting to reach out and stay connected to those who are close to you, versus retreating into the most familiar place of comfort – your own inner world. But I do feel like the lockdown has reinforced just how strong our bonds are with one another. It takes more than physical distance to break something like that. And for that I’m grateful.

What has been the best thing and the worst thing? 

The best thing: my home is my happy place. A sanctuary. I love cozying up at home with coffee, art, the s/o and kitties. It’s been an incredibly smooth ride so far, especially given that we’re 9 months into quarantine and spend our time here 24/7. It’s honestly so important to make your living space, well, you.

The worst thing has definitely been the lack of time – despite the fact that I’m always at home. I’d love to spend more time on art. Especially when all these half-finished projects are just calling my name! People are turning towards creative expression as a source of comfort nowadays and it’d be amazing to help fuel that fire. The other worst thing is pretty straightforward: I miss connecting with the people I love. Friendships, adventures, music festivals. The freedom of wandering the city at night, carefree in our laughter. The euphoria of dancing the night away. The joy and intimacy of a simple conversation with a connected soul. All of it.

Have you learned anything in 2020? 

It comes back down to one thing: cherish the people and places you love. Love the little things as much as you love the big things, because sometimes it’s the tiniest moments that speak the loudest of volumes. I often find myself swept up in nostalgia nowadays. Despite the love for romanticising the past, however, sometimes I need to remind myself – remember to look forward to the future, too. The flip side to 2020’s pitfalls and struggles is the deep resilience and compassion people have shown for one another. In spite of everything, we are still here, connected virtually but connected nonetheless. There is still beauty in the world. With luck, the pendulum will soon swing back in our favor.

Do you follow / admire any specific artists? 

Oh, so many. A few incredible ones off the top of my head: James Jean, Conor Harrington, Lauren YS, Hua Tunan. All of them can be found on instagram if you’re curious to take a peek at their artwork! They’re all unique in their style and approach to art, but share an amazing knack for movement and storytelling. The composition, details, and color in their work evokes such a powerful emotional response in the viewer. That’s truly the beauty of art.

One of my favourite techniques Megan uses is the way she uses authenticity and passion to connect with others through her art . I’ve only known Megan a few months, but i know her art most definitely resembles her personality; fearce, fiery, strong and independent, I feel this energy, just from her words and creations. Not only is the art fantastic and full of loads of love and positivity, Megan is also great with words. I was so excited to read her interview because the way she writes really entices you to read more. She carries through her passion, strength, imagination and knowledge as an artist into every word she says. This is an interview you do not want to miss! I connected with this artist in so many ways. It’s weird, but its like i could just feel her soul and heart every time i saw her artwork. Then when i spoke i could feel the enthusiasm, passion and fun in her personality. This girl is an artist I have been very lucky to connect with, and if you would like to get to know Megan, ask her any questions or simply just enjoy looking at her beautiful artwork then please follow the link below.

black micro pen art
UK Artist Abbie Rose Nicholls