Meghann Rader is a mixed media fine artist living in Canada. Her work renders the natural world in a graphic way.
MR: My shop has gone through a bit of a transformation recently. When I first started on Etsy, it wasn't my main focus. My items were very random and didn't really speak to who I am. I've recently had the opportunity to put a full time effort into my business and I've been putting a lot of energy into making new items and rebranding to create a shop that's cohesive and represents me.
My shop is now focused on my experience living on the west coast of Canada, the landscape here and the plants and animals that live within it .
FR: Why did you choose to name your shop and business after yourself?
MR: I've used my name because I want to represent myself as an artist, not be a person behind a brand name. I want to be able to take my work to galleries and stay consistent with how I'm representing myself on and offline.
FR: Tell me more about the experience living in Canada. From the pictures I've seen on your blog, it looks so lovely there.
MR: I live on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. We recently relocated from Victoria, a medium sized city on the south island to Port Alberni a fairly small city that sits in a valley in the middle of the Island. I love that there are green tree lines and mountains in every direction. If you look at my work you will see that the view here has been a big inspiration for me lately.
FR: How did you get your inspiration to get started with a business?
MR: I guess the cliche thing to say would be I've always loved creating and have always wanted to work for myself, which is true. The real beginning of wanting to be a full time artist happened when I was in my third year of University studying a variety of courses that weren't really leading me anywhere. I needed another elective so I thought I would sign up for an art class. Art was something I was good at and I figured it would be easy. I went to the art department to inquire and was rudely rejected without even having shown my portfolio. I was insulted. “I'll show them” I thought. In the weeks that followed I decided to drop out of the school entirely and I applied to the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design In Vancouver. I like to say I did this out of spite, but it was actually just the kick in the pants I needed to pursue something I actually liked doing. I did get into Emily Carr, which is a whole other cliche-filled story for another day.
FR: I wonder if that professor knows that he actually was a boon to you on that day. Do you also have a day job, or is this your full-time business?
MR: I spent the last four years working at an art supply store in Victoria. Sometimes I think of it as having a second degree because I learned so much about the mechanics of creating. I love talking about art supplies and figuring out how to turn a concept into reality. When we relocated this past November I was lucky enough to be able to focus on my business full time. I feel like I'm still in the early stages of it but I'm working hard every day to get my work out into the world.
|At work in Meghann's studio.|
FR: It looks like you're off to a great start. What's your favorite item in your shop and why?
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like original artwork alone can be a bit of a hard sell on Etsy, so I'm always looking for ways to create artwork with multiple uses. I've recently started making my own pendant and brooch bases and painting little tree line vignettes and animal portraits on them. I'd have to say these are my favorite items right now because I am having so much fun making them. Each one is a little piece of wearable original art.
FR: What's your favorite folk or fairytale?
It's hard to pin down one favorite tale. Lately I've been listening to a lot of storytelling on sites like Librivox while I do my work. Librivox offers content that's in the public domain so there are many old stories to be found. There are a lot of wonderful modern folktales out there as well. One in particular that I've been fond of recently is called Night of Hunters. It's a song cycle inspired by classical music, written and preformed by Tori Amos. The story begins with the ending of a relationship. It follows the woman's psychological journey through the night where she is confronted by a shapeshifting being named Annabelle. Annabelle helps the woman examine the destructive nature of her broken relationship and leads her to the Fire Muse who then shows the woman how to regain her strength and to see the world and the loss of her relationship in a new way.
Here is a little video about it:
Please visit Meghann at www.meghannrader.com. You can find her shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/MeghannRader.