illustrator megan eckman

US-based Megan Eckman works in an old-fashioned way - using pen and ink to create her illustrations. "I enjoy illustrating fantasies that take the viewer back to their childhood," she says. Megan gained degrees in art and English and started her business before graduating. Studio MME not only sells prints of her work but also lockets, embroidery kits and some beautiful cat cushions, which she's just started to make.

Which five words best describe you? Quirky, humorous, intellectual, detailed, organised.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My parents encouraged me to pursue creative degrees in art and English with one stipulation: I had to start my own business before I graduated. That's exactly how I started in 2009. After that, I've been doing freelance work for a few magazines, individuals, and selling my work online through my portfolio.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Keep learning. There is so much that they never ever teach you in art school, especially where business, marketing, and taxes are concerned. If you don't make time to read up on new tactics, new tax laws, and new tricks of the trade, you will never see your business grow.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Recently my work made its England debut in their illustration magazine, AMMO.
What’s been your best decision? Starting this business to keep a promise to my parents. And maintaining that business and not giving in to "easier" things.
Who inspires you? Whenever I'm in a creative rut, I always turn to Edward Gorey. He is the reason I went into art. My father used to read his stories to me at bedtime. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up.
What are you passionate about? Besides my illustration work, I'm very passionate about cooking. It's meditative and very much intuition and science blended together. I've recently moved to the big city of San Jose so there are hundreds of new foods for me to try.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Oddly enough, I would love to meet the children's author Diana Wynne Jones.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? It's my dream to live in Europe. I have two years to wait until my boyfriend finishes his graduate degree in photography and then it's off to Europe for us! We'll have to live in a place where they teach in English, though, since his linguistic skills aren't up to par.
What are you reading? Right now I'm re-reading The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber. Wonderful children's book!

images courtesy of megan eckman

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