Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MEAGAN BOONE






What is your name and tell us a little about where you're from?

My name is Meagan Boone, I was born in Greenfield, Indiana, and grew up in Carthage, Indiana. I currently live in the small southern Indiana town of Palmyra, with the population being 924 people, it's 21 miles NW of Louisville, Kentucky.




When did you decide you wanted to be an artist?

When I was a girl I never thought of growing up and becoming an artist. My hearts desire was to be a nurse. I was always artistic in school and influenced by my 2nd grade teacher Miss Neal, who saw I had a “natural talent”. I realized I wanted to be a artist, after selling my very first oil painting when I was in high school. It was a picture of an owl flying over a log. My parents worked art shows when I was growing up, dad engraved redwood signs for people and my mom, made Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. I would also paint all the eyes on mom's other hand-made dolls. Later on I would sell oil paintings at fairs and craft shows that we did as a family. Back then, people thought we were “gypsies.” I have to admit, we were a different kind of family, not the typical blue collar folks.


Who inspired you as an artist?

I was always inspired by Norman Rockwell. But I find myself these days inspired by all the master artists...Claude Monet, Wassily Kadinsky, oh and Paul Klee. It's really hard to pick one, but the very first one was Norman Rockwell.

My dad took me to my very first oil painting class when I was 10 years old. Zola Wright, from Mays, Indiana was my teacher, and from my understanding, she did not want a 10 year old in her adult class. Somehow dad influenced her to let me attend, and she was pleased with me, since I was so eager to learn. It was a little intimidating at first as the youngest student, but it was then that I fell in love with oil paints. Oils will always be my first love, but somehow, I ended up doing more in the acrylics and mixed-media art.





Do you have a studio ? Where is it?

I have a home-based studio, called My Joyful Art Studio, it's right off of my kitchen. It's my favorite room in the house, it's what I call my “happy place.” I can seat up 10 students in my studio.



When did you become a mother?

I became a mother when I was 24 years old, I would oil paint with my son laying on my lap. It seemed to come natural for me to juggle, motherhood and art. Now I have 3 other boys, I home school, and manage my art too.


I am a joyful mom with 3 boys, ages 14, 13 and 10, plus I have a 23 year old son who is married. They are expecting a baby boy soon. I am very excited about becoming a "Me-me". We are very happy with the size of our family and the ages of our kids. To arrive to this point in my life has been a pleasant journey.



Have you ever considered giving up art in order to be a mother?

The thought of giving up art to be a mother is very painful. So much of me is really an artist. One time I cleaned my studio and took a huge amount of my acrylic paints down to the basement. For a few days in a row, I would go in my studio for something, and almost hyperventilate, because my paints were downstairs. I ended up retrieving all of the paint and put it back in the art room, it was like a breath of fresh air for me. I can honestly say art is like oxygen to me...it's essential.








What are the challenges you face as a mother artist?

 My biggest challenge as a artist/mom is to set aside that time for me to create. I am very creative and have to let it out, and disappear for a little while. I always feel better as a mom, when I can take time out to be ME.




What is the driving force behind mothering and being an artist?

The driving force behind mothering and art-is the fact that I know myself well enough that, if I am not being creative, I get grumpy, short fused, and not fun to be around. That's how I know it's time for me to go in my “happy place” and create. For me, mothering + creative time = a well balanced joyful momma. And I want to be joyful! I have given myself permission to create something everyday and not feel guilty. As mom's we tend to take care of ourselves last, because that's just what we do. Or if we do something for ourselves, we are plagued with guilt. But I have found that by taking care of me and allowing that creative time, I am a better person, and by getting rid of guilt, I have freedom to create and express my true feelings in my art.





When do you spend time creating art?

I spend time creating late at night...when everyone is in bed. It's in the quiet, I can hear myself think, and ideas just come.















Do you have support from your friends and family to continue as an artist?

I have a husband who is supportive and a great group of friends and family who encourage me to create. They are a blessing in my life.

I don't think I have taken myself serious enough as an artist. It was even hard to say, I am an artist. Other people seemed to have noticed me, as an artist, long before I did. As most artist, we are our own worse critic.






Has becoming a mother influenced your artwork?

Mothering has definitely influenced my art. My oldest son, is in a lot of folk art prints I had made years ago. Also, I think being a mother makes you look inward, and become the best you can be for your children. Motherhood has been the best thing that ever happened to me.


Do you think that mother artists are taken seriously in society?

Personally, I feel mother/artists, are not taken seriously in society. People want to be quick to judge, that we are artists, so that automatically labels us as weird, and different from other professions. I have to admit, I am weird, and I am okay with that. When people find out I am an artist, and have a studio, they have asked, what's your husband do? My favorite reply is, “He works hard, so I can stay home and play with the kids and make art.” It doesn't offend me, it makes me laugh.

It began when some older women at church asked me to teach them to paint, so reluctantly, I said, yes. I would go every week and teach them a different painting. Then it was for a home school co-op, teaching children...art just began happening, and opportunities came. Now I have taught for nine years. I have taught children from the age of 4 to people in their 90's. There is so much more to my story, that I can't put it all here, but I think Zola Wright would be pleased to know, she made a huge impression on my life. 

Life is a balancing act...you just learn and go with it. Artist/moms, just have to learn to schedule a special time to break away from the kiddo's and go create, write, dance or sing. Passion always shows up when I schedule my creative time.



What advice can you offer other mother artists who are trying to balance both worlds?

My advice for other artists/moms, is to be true to yourself. True as in identifying-you have a real need to create. It's something that God does, he places it in you. So take time to grow your gift, as that grows and you are nurtured, then as a momma, you can nurture, care and love your children better. No matter your situation, you can always find time, to create, a little something.



What would you like to be remembered for as an artist ?

I would want to be remembered as a Christian artist, who was passionate about God, family and her art. I would like to believe that I encouraged others to follow their heart, follow their dreams and to live with passion. Don't be afraid to use your gifts and remember to be joyful!


To learn more about Meagan Boone and her work please visit : 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Joyful-Art-Studio/121682964577696


*All photos belong to and were submitted by the artist.

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