MM: I would categorize my art style and medium as digital illustration. I rarely incorporate traditional media into my art, although I have been getting into animation lately which has involved some drawing and collage work.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
MM: I draw inspiration from almost anything. Random ideas pop into my head constantly and I quickly sketch them onto post-it notes, which later get conceptualized in adobe illustrator. I like to bounce ideas off of posts that I see on Instagram and Pinterest, take inspiration from patterns and shapes in nature, and mimic things that I see in everyday life. Life can become boring so my creative brain is always looking for things to imagine and create.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
MM: When I get an idea and I am not in front of my laptop, I sketch that onto a post-it, then during my studio time I like to choose which idea is calling to me and I start with that. I begin my process by sketching the idea in illustrator and then I develop the color and final concept. If none of my preliminary sketches are interesting me then I usually like to start with doodles and that usually leads to some fun patterns or illustrations.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
MM: I am a full time college student for the next year (studying graphic design) and I work two part-time jobs, so carving out time in my day to create art can sometimes be a difficult task. But when I do have a bit of spare time I sit in the corner of my bedroom which is my small “studio space” and I like to enjoy an iced coffee and listen to some music and let the ideas flow onto my computer.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
MM: Working digitally, you can make as many mistakes and changes as you want. So I usually just see where I go and start out with some scribbles or a preliminary sketch.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
MM: One major lesson that I have learned is that it takes time to develop your personal style. As a young artist, starting out, it can be very intimidating seeing everybody’s beautiful illustration with consistent touches. I am not saying that I am at that point (or that I will ever be at that point) of having a consistent style, but it is definitely rewarding looking back at my illustrations from the past few years and seeing how my technique and style has evolved with all of the hours that I have devoted to this craft.
MM: No, I think that it is very important to experiment with lots of different styles and mediums so that you can find out what interests you, and so that you can decide what you want to specialize in. I heard on a podcast that it is important to be an expert on two or three things and have knowledge of related skills, so whenever I am learning something new I like to keep that in mind.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
MM: I would say finding your niche audience. The internet is saturated with so many people so it can be difficult sometimes to become noticed with your message in the sea of millions of other people wanting to do similar.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
MM: I love reaching the end of a project (especially one that took a long time) and being able to look at it. That seems kind of cliche, but it puts a smile on my face seeing my hard work compiled into an image.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
MM: I love so many different illustrators for so many reasons, but my top three people that have been the biggest inspiration in my art career are Lisa Congdon, Ashley Goldberg, and Joy Cho. They are all creative, driven women and it is inspiring to hear their stories and rewarding to know that how they obtained their careers is through hard work. Also, I need to mention that my family has been a huge support for my entire life to pursue a career that I love.
MM: Well, as a digital illustrator technology is extremely important to my craft. I love all of the Adobe products and those are my go-to’s. Also, I think that social media has been so great for the art community to give ourselves exposure and spread awareness of the messages that we are trying to teach.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
MM: I think that anybody can be creative as long as they are driven, and have a message. Although, I do see myself set apart from the people that surround me. I have noticed that I think a bit differently and can pick out a lot of patterns and goofy little details in everyday life that they don’t notice.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
MM: I am not much of a traveler, I stay in Omaha almost always.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
MM: I am not a reader, but I do love The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst. It is written in such a unique way and has great advice for typographic design.
MM: I don’t like to plan into the future (because my plans almost always change), I just like to see where life takes me. But I would like to eventually do some local shows and maybe release a few products, but no promises, I am a busy gal!
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
MM: To me being an artist, is wanting to spread a message, and mine is to not take life too seriously, and to just be happy!
CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?
MM: Maneater by Daryl Hall & John Oates (I listen to a lot of the 80s).
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
MM: It has taken me years to develop my style and voice as an artist. I just want my viewers to take all of my creations in a light-hearted manner, and hopefully, it brightens someone’s day.