Working on a new line for 2016 that I'm so excited about! I've been creating some inspirational blog posts for the "Livin' the MAD Life"™ way of living along with original art to inspire all of us to live a happier, fuller life each and every day. These new product lines will help us to be reminded of that :)
I'm particularly excited about the "Home Hearts"™ designs, such a fun way to show your love for your home state, currently working on creating "Home Hearts" for each state.
Lot's more to come so stay tuned!
"It's not just about where we came from, but who we are, and the journey we take through life that defines us" ~ Megan Duncanson, "Livin' the MAD Life"™
My first year at Miami Art Basel is a wrap! It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by so much art and creativity, as well as the opportunity to share my art with even more people that might not have otherwise known about it.
I showed at the Spectrum Miami satellite fair with Art Blend Gallery in their booth and also had my oversized 60"x72" "Living the Dream"© painting prominently featured in the VIP lounge, it was such an honor and all around amazing experience. In addition "Living the Dream" was also the cover art for the Art Blend magazine that was given out at the show and also sold in Barnes and Noble, Hudson Booksellers and other retailers across the country. I was also supposed to participate in the Art Basel Food and Wine Festival, but due to the non-stop rain, and threat of torrential rain, the event was cancelled as it was set to be outdoors. An unfortunate turn of events, but we can't do anything about the weather.
One of the most important things I came away with was getting ideas for how I want to show my art at next years Art Basel. I'm still debating if I want to go with a gallery, my own booth in one of the fairs, or be completely outside of the box and have my own solo show somewhere, or combined with a group of artists I know. To give me an idea of how to go outside of the box, I visited a lot of the smaller shows, such as Mijares, an artist whom I've followed on Instagram for quite some time, it was amazing to see his work in person and also how he set up his solo gallery show. He is definitely an inspiration and an artist to follow. Another great show was "The No Commission Dean Collection", put on by Alicia Keys husband, music producer "Swizz Beatz", Keys actually performed during Art Basel week at the show, which would have been amazing to see! The Dean Collection was by far one of the most "step outside the box" events at Art Basel this year, as Swizz Beatz organized the entire event centered around the idea that artists should be given opportunities to share their art without it costing a fortune. None of the artists in his show had to pay to participate and didn't have to pay a commission on any work sold during the show, this certainly got my head spinning with ideas for collaborations with other artists and brands.
There were so many events with artists collaborating with supportive art brands, such as the Hublot watch company, Bagghy Purses, Viber App Stickers, Bacardi, Absolut Elyx Water, etc., the list goes on and on, and as someone who knows how to work closely with brands through the licensing world, I think this would be so much fun to be involved with some artsy brands at next years Art Basel. Definitely on my To Do list to reach out to several different brands for collaborative events next year :)
In addition to all the ideas I came away with for next years show, and collaborations, I was blown away by so much of the art, here are some of my favorites and shots of my paintings on display as well. I hope you enjoy this little peak into what Miami Basel Art Week is all about, it's definitely worth the visit!! And I will be back next year :)
Isn't this just so cool??!! I was beyond thrilled to see the finished design wrapped on my collectors Teardrop Trailer using the painting "Blue Essence"©. It is amazingly well done and I wish I could see it in person, it's beautiful!
There are just so many different ways to share your love of art and it is always amazing to me to see how each person expresses this, from wall art, home decor products, stationary, phone cases, tattoo's, and now even this wonderful trailer. It would just be too cool to see something like this driving down the road, I hope they get lot's of comments and create fabulous new adventures in their custom art trailer :)
This truly fits in with my lifestyle of "Livin' the MAD Life"™ and following your dreams and passions, making the journey in life one that fits who you are, and living it to the fullest.
"It's not just about where we came from, but who we are, and the journey we take through life that defines us" ~ Megan Duncanson, "Livin' the MAD Life"©
"Quiet little eyes looked out over the rocky shoreline to a distant silhouette of a barren tree towering head and shoulders over the flourishing green forest that blanketed the land as far as the eye could see. It was the barren tree that drew the young girl's eyes to see something worthy of drawing, something mysterious and unique about a lonely, lost soul within what was once a living, monolith of the forest."
This is perhaps one of my earliest memories of being drawn to drawing, having a need to create something; I was sitting on the edge of my father's shop, no one but myself around and a few seagulls and eagles crying to one another and waves lapping gently on the beach. It was a still moment with nothing but the Alaskan forest and sea to engage and capture my attention, and it did so in a very momentous and profound way that has stuck with me to this day, a moment in time when I realized I could draw inspiration from anything and everything around me to create something new and unique. I think it was this moment that I realized I wanted to be a creative soul and share my creativity with the world...it just took me a long and winding journey of many, many years to make that happen. But, I never gave up, and here I am today, doing what I love, feeding my passion for art each and every day and getting to share with people from all edges of the earth.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are centered around art, particularly coloring in coloring books with my mom and siblings, which we would sometimes do for days on end. Coloring everything from Victorian fashions and architecture, to animals, fantasy, every kind of coloring book we could get our hands on, the Dover one's have always been my favorites. We would all try to emulate my mother's amazing ability to shade and shadow her colorings, something I have never seen anyone else do to this day, truly inspiring to be raised around a talent such as my mom's, and to be encouraged by her and my father and grandparents to always pursue my love of art. Check out my sister's blog post all about my mother and her coloring, plus lots of other stories from our childhood. I remember one time my dad came home from a grocery run across the 10 mile expanse of Alaskan waters with a tablet of oversized paper and pencils for me to create with...just because. And my maternal grandfather once bought me a book all about how to paint, to encourage me to try my hand at something new; these were treasured items to an artistic child living out it in the wild bush of Alaska. It was difficult to be exposed to art other than through books, of which there were many, but my mom did her best to encourage all of her children, five of us, to find our creative passions and always pursue them. I also have an uncle whom I lived with for my senior year in high school who is also an accomplished artist, and who also inspired me to find uniqueness with my art. Art was all around me, a part of me, and my future, but I had to overcome some serious detriments to get to where I am with my art today, but the difficulties inspired me to be even more dedicated and passionate about my art, and to never give up on my dreams. Here is a link to some of my mother's original art creations and my uncle's art link, both amazingly talented people!
I was one of the most introverted, shy people I have ever come across in my life! As a child, when I would be introduced to strangers, or even be around many family members, I would recede within myself, a shaking, bumbling, bundle of nerves. If someone talked to me or mentioned me and I was expected to respond in some way my face would turn beet red, my whole body and voice would shake to a point where I was completely paralyzed, inside and out, no words able to come forth. It was always a frustrating situation for me, particularly as a young child, not understanding why I was this way. It was embarrassing and something I simply could not control, which made it even more difficult to deal with, no matter how I felt or told myself to act, I could not escape this paralyzing fear of interacting with people. Perhaps it was a good thing I spent most of my childhood secluded in the bush of Alaska, until I was of an age where I could manage to control my shyness...at least to some extent.
When I was 15 I overheard the teacher (only one teacher for grades 7-12 in our little bush school) say to someone, that she never expected I would go to college or move away from Alaska or my family, that nothing would come of me as I was far too introverted and shy to ever make that leap, even though I had almost straight "A"s for my entire education. It was also at this time that I started to want to experience more of the life I had read about in books, of a world full of exciting adventures and places to visit, outside of my tiny little world in the Alaskan Bush. I made a choice to take what the teacher had said as motivation, and also my dreams of exploring more of the world, to heart, and moved in with my aunt and uncle in a nearby "city"...a town of 4,000 year round residents, so that I could go to a larger school and work towards college somewhere outside the state of Alaska.
It wasn't an easy transition at all!! For someone who couldn't bear to look at or talk to strangers, this was a whole new world filled with living, breathing obstacles to overcome. I was sick much of the time that I lived with my aunt and uncles until I finished high school, just being exposed to viruses on a constant basis was something I wasn't used to, and the stress of being around people all the time was overwhelming, but I didn't let it hold me back from maintaining my grades and my dream of going to college. I slowly overcame my shyness to a certain degree and even auditioned for some of the high school plays and ended up having small parts in them, a HUGE victory for someone so inclined to avoid people at all costs!! I did loads of research on where I wanted to go to college, how I was going to pay for it, as my parents weren't in a financial position to help, and ended up deciding on Hawaii Pacific University...the sun was calling my name. I did all of the paperwork for the scholarships, student loans, admissions, housing, travel, everything all on my own; NOTHING was going to stop me from going to college and discovering a whole new world outside of the small life of an Alaskan Bush child.
During all of this I would try to make time for creating art, and would doodle endlessly on all of my folders and binders for school, until they were completely covered in ink. Some of the students would even straight out ask me what kind of drugs I was on, hahaha!! My drawings were so random and abstract I could see where they might think that, but my mind doesn't need any outside help, it's strange enough all on it's own! When I was in college I wrote poetry as a creative outlet, as I moved so often that it was hard to find a place to keep any art supplies, but I did continue to "doodle" and draw on anything I could find, whenever and wherever I could.
As the reality of being a grown up set in, in the early 1990's, I was surrounded by the pressures to make a life outside of an artist, the "starving artist" myth became firmly rooted in my psyche and I unwillingly accepted that I wouldn't be able to make a decent living as an artist, so I studied Political Science instead and kept my art as a hobby and joy, a place to escape from every day life and revisit my true passion. I received a Master's degree from UCF (Orlando, FL) while raising a family, my now 22 year old daughter, a stepson and of course my husband, sometimes working two jobs to help ends meet and dreaming of a future where art was a larger part of my life. After college I worked as a teacher, and then a Political Science journal editor at UCF, and eventually ended up working with my husband in our lucrative custom home building business.
I would do some local murals for homeowners every now and then, and looked around for other ways to possibly incorporate art more wholly into my life, but family and work took such an enormous amount of time, I would be lucky to create a couple of paintings per year, and these were purely for my own enjoyment. It was when I created this pink sunset whale tale painting in 1998, and received such a tremendously positive reaction from friends and family that saw it, that I started thinking more seriously about my art and making time to create more.
It was in 2002 when I was finding a little more time to create art now that the kids were in school all day, and on a whim I decided to list a painting on eBay at auction. What happened next changed the whole course of my life and has led me to where I am today...a bidding war ensued in the last minutes of the auction!! When the auction ended I was so elated and thrilled that not just one, but numerous people wanted to buy this painting, I was hooked, and every chance I could get I would paint and list on eBay, and the paintings always sold. It was such an affirmation to me, and a hope realized, that I COULD make a living with my art, that I COULD follow my dream and be a full-time artist. But, it would still take many years before I was able to fully put this into effect, the housing business was booming, and I couldn't detract from that business to do my art full-time, but I knew the day would come soon when that would be a reality...and finally in 2007 it happened. We saw the housing bust coming, sold everything and moved to Alaska, to the city of Ketchikan where I graduated High School. My Jamaican husband wanted to experience Alaskan life, haha! I had all the time in the world to dedicate to my art, and I attacked it with gusto and passion, working 7 days a week, sometimes painting up to 10 abstracts in a day and listing them online! My dream had materialized and it was, and still is, such an amazing experience to live the life I've dreamed, and to continue to watch it grow every day.
We moved back to Florida after a short 2.5 year stint in Alaska, my husband, daughter and I all agreed we needed to move back to sunny Florida. I've continued my art business here, growing it internationally, locally, and working with 30+ manufacturers to place my art on their products. I have so many more things I want to do with my art to take it to the highest level of art success I possibly can, no barriers are too large for me to overcome. I look back to where I started and realize that there are no obstacles in life to hold us back if we truly believe in ourselves and what we want. You WILL see much more of me and my art in the future, we are here to stay!!
Footnote: Within the past 5 years, art sensation Megan Aroon Duncanson has created a name for herself around the world. As a young child sketching her surroundings at her home in the Alaskan bush, she could have never expected the amount of success she has had as an artist. She has sold thousands of originals around the world and her art graces homes in print form in the hundreds of thousands and steadily increasing every day. Her art has been seen on hit TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, Good Morning America, Celebrity Wife Swap, adorned in hotel lobbies and rooms, used on CD and book covers, featured in magazines from Family Circle to "O" the Oprah Magazine, in catalogs and is currently offered on hundreds of products by over 30 different manufacturers; just to name a few of her recent accomplishments in the art and design world. Megan also is very active on social media and has a following of over 50,000 along with 50,000+ monthly hits to her websites.
"It's not just about where we came from, but who we are, and the journey we take through life that defines us" ~ Megan Duncanson, "Livin' the MAD Life"©
I'ts been a busy weekend here at MADART Studios hanging art at two new location in New Smyrna Beach, FL. The first location that is now carrying original MADART paintings is the fabulous, and delicious, Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille at the New Smyrna Marina. When you first walk in the door you are greeted with my tropical artwork front and center, they look fabulous and are the perfect compliment to the tropical oasis setting at Outriggers. And the food is sooooo good, I've eaten there numerous times and everything is amazing! If you like seafood be sure to try what ever freshly caught fish they have on the menu, you won't be disappointed :)
The other location now displaying one of my paintings is the brand new, state of the art, New Smyrna Chevy Dealer. My painting "Fire and Ice"© fits so perfectly in with the crisp white of the space and their blue logo, it really ties in amazingly well and adds some great color and shows what a difference art can make in a space. And it was only fitting to transport the painting to the dealership in our corvette of course; had to represent Chevy, hehe :) Everyone that works at New Smyrna Chevy is fabulous, the customer service is great and highly recommend them for your next vehicle.
So, if you are in the New Smyrna Beach area and would like to see some of my art in person be sure to visit Outriggers and New Smyrna Chevy!!