Editor Shelley Basinger: Meg, have you always called Central Virginia home?
Meg Davies: I was born and raised in Lynchburg. I studied art at James Madison University and then lived back and forth between Hawaii and Uganda for several years before coming back home.
SB: When did you first become interested in art?
MD: Since childhood. I would fall asleep with crayons and markers in my bed and ask my mom “Can I draw now?” the minute I woke up. That passion for art has only gotten stronger each year and to be a professional artist is definitely living out my dream.
SB: What types of training have you received?
MD: I did receive formal training through the art program at James Madison University. But my grandmother, Pat Dougherty, is an artist and she always had room for me in her studio when I was growing up. She gave me a wonderful foundation early on and JMU helped me find direction.
SB: What inspires your art?
MD: It’s a broad answer, but life! Life is so full of places to find inspiration. I have a series of bug art, which all started by collecting cicada shells with my son.
SB: What are some of your favorite pieces you have created so far?
MD: My sketchbooks are by far my favorite works of art. However, being fairly private,
I rarely let people see them. As far as what’s out in the world, I’m most proud of work that opens people up to sharing their stories with me. The bug series did that. I quickly learned that countless people have a connection to bugs whether through nicknames, memories, or funny experiences.
SB: What types of challenges have you faced as an artist?
MD: Learning to be flexible enough to embrace change can be a challenge for me in life as well as art. When I find myself in a creative rut, it is usually because I need to change my technique for a while, the structure of my schedule, or how I let the outside world impact my art. Making changes, large or small, can open the floodgates of creativity.
SB: What are you currently working on?
MD: I am completing commissions and mapping out what I want 2022 to look like. It’ll start with another series of botanical work, which is represented with Liza Pruitt, an art representative in Richmond, and a fresh set of landscapes for Findings Art Store in the Boonsboro Shopping Center.
SB: What’s next for you?
MD: Experimenting with new techniques is something that excites me. I’ve worked the same style for years—which is great—but I’m eager to see how I can continue to grow through controlling less, playing more, and pushing my style in new directions.
SB: What advice do you have for future artists?
MD: Some of the best advice ever given to me was to simply draw, draw, draw. It is so relaxing and also provides endless inspiration for future work. Something I’ve also learned over time is to separate yourself from your artwork. Creatives put themselves out there on a continual basis, which of course comes with judgment and sometimes rejection. As much as our art is a part of us, it is freeing to realize that our worth isn’t wrapped up in the external validation. Lastly, meet with other artists on a regular basis to support each other. It’ll be good for your soul and for the art community as a whole.