We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Darrough and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, have you built meaningful relationships at networking events? What makes you want to connect with someone, and what are things people do that make you want to steer clear?
There are many interactions that happen when networking – both good and bad. I appreciate the genuine connections made through mutual love of the arts. The kind of networkers I tend to avoid are those who connect to gain something rather than give or appreciate. A good networker is diplomatic and the ones I really wish to connect with are genuine in their approach. A successful network does not just pertain to those who can give job connections, but those who you can keep ties with and help out when beneficial opportunities come up for one another. Sometimes it just means becoming friends, and it hardly matters what we gain from the meeting. Networking plays a vital role in making yourself successful as an artist, and the best way to go about it is with an open heart.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe art acts as a peaceful siren to call people’s attention to their inner thinking and feelings. I like to create things in a way where it seems straightforward at first, but upon further inspection, you must dig deeper for the hidden meanings. My work speaks in a kind of hidden code in that sense. The act of taking part in looking for the essence of a work, allows people’s minds to engage in the work in a more personal way. I would like my art to evoke questions, and help find the answers along the way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love taking my friends to San Diego Comic Con when they’re in town for that week/weekend. Even if you don’t have tickets to hang out inside the convention center, sooo many events take place outside of the event hall that you could spend an entire day outside the area and check out the cool pop up installations and promotional events going on downtown.
I also love taking them to galleries all over San Diego – there’s so many! I work at a gallery called Arthatch in Escondido, so I often bring my friends out when they have an interest in contemporary arts.
Lastly: Nature! I love choosing which of the many beaches in San Diego will suit that particular friend. Carlsbad beach for a quiet beach walk, Oceanside beach for the boardwalk and BBQ, PB & OB for bar hopping beach walks. I honestly don’t think a week is enough to enjoy the many many aspects of San Diego, so a lot of my friends visit periodically whenever they can.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This list could go on and on!! I owe a lot of techniques to so many teachers and mentors from over the years. I’ve been taking art lessons from the age of 9, starting with oil painting and gradually moving to other paint forms as well as 3D and digital paintings. Luckily we live in a time of never ending online resources, and with so many opportunities to learn from great teachers via school and online resources.
There are too many people I owe my gratitude to that I can’t list them all, but I’d love to point out a few artists that taught me a lot of what I utilize today:
Barron Storey, for all that I learned about graphic novels and comic books in his sequential story telling. The advice he gave me not only in class, but also when I stopped by asking for advice at school, truly helped me break through barriers and invisible walls on how to tell a cohesive story with art.
Fumiko Ooyama, who taught me advanced BJD sculpting when I was just starting out from the very basics. She went above and beyond in teaching me what I know today with the short time I was able to spend in her classrooms over summer times in Japan.
Robert Hunt, some of the quotes he repeated in the class room still plays it self in my head. Watch out for tangents, the merits of simplicity, and to always prepare your tools before starting a session… I follow these rules religiously.
Finally, my family and friends. My family for their never ending support and honest critiques. My friends for their patience and interest in helping me get through difficult projects. Without them I don’t think I could have got as far as I have today. And if I did, the journey wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.
Other: For Prints & Goodies: www.society6.com/meganmdarrough
©Megan Misako Darrough