In anticipation of this week's release with People's Printshop newcomer, Meagan Magpie Rodgers, we sat down with her to learn about her life, her art and this week's release, "Alone with My Thoughts."
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born and raised in Corona, California. I moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee 5 years ago with my family and boyfriend (now husband) after visiting on a cross-country road trip and loving it. My husband and I often feel homesick, though and would like to spend more frequent, extended stays in California.
What are your first artistic memories?
My first artistic memories are of my brother teaching me how to draw, making stop motion movies with him and making my own toys and clothes out of whatever I could find around the house. I made shirts cut and sewn out of pillow cases, vests made of taped together trash, toys sculpted from hot glue, etc.
How has your style evolved over the years - From your earliest interests to your current work?
I always dabbled with different art styles and in my sophomore year of high school I started getting into making creepier/darker art. I met my husband in my freshman art class when I was 14 and used to draw a lot of influence from him and my brother’s work as a kid/teenager. Later in high school, I became interested in making things out of bones and remains that I would find on walks. After graduating, I began working at a taxidermy studio to learn methods to create surreal taxidermy art. My interest in taxidermy greatly influenced my drawings and paintings at that time, as well as what I believed to be paranormal experiences I’d had in the house I lived in/grew up in. After experiencing the loss of my brother when I was 20, I began to create work that was more meaningful to me. Since then, I’ve continued to try and materialize non-physical concepts such as paranormal entities, loss, mental illness and emotions through my paintings and drawings.
Could you tell us a bit about your release with us this week, "Alone With My Thoughts?"
This painting was a part of my show “Solace” at Haven Gallery in October 2020. This piece, like most others in the show, embodies the feelings and challenges I faced mentally, especially after COVID began. It was inspired by feeling homesick, having not been able to visit California for a long time. I think the desolate desert setting also captures the loneliness that I, like so many others, felt at the time.
What is a normal day in the studio like for you?
I usually work on artwork in manic spurts, making a mess of my art room and working almost nonstop until I burn out for a while and so on. My productivity is very impacted by living with bipolar disorder.
What is the hardest part of creating?
I often have a hard time getting the motivation to start a new project, making time while caring for a baby and trying to get past the pressures of deadlines and monetization to enjoy the creative process.
And the most rewarding?
It’s a very rewarding feeling to sign and varnish a finished piece after putting so much into it. I love to hear from people that say my art has touched them in some way. Receiving kind feedback and having people like my work enough to take it home is so fulfilling.
When you're not in the studio, what are you up to?
When I’m not in the studio, I’m usually caring for my 5 month old son, spending time with family/friends, doing house projects or thrifting/antiquing for myself and for reselling. I share a booth at a local antique store and do vintage popup sales on occasion.
What can we look forward to from you next?
I’m planning to paint some shadow entities again soon, to get into more atmospheric work, and to start painting on a larger scale than usual. I’ll be focusing on some group shows coming up, commission work, and print releases for a while, then will be putting much of my effort into a solo show I’m having at Beinart Gallery in Australia in 2023.
"Alone With My Thoughts" will be available in our shop at 1PM Pacific on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021.