This week we had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Megan Higgins aka @Dogwoodfinch as our Artist spotlight of the week.
Hello! Please can you give us a brief little introduction about yourself?
Hello! I'm Megan! Talking about yourself sure is hard sometimes isn't it? My background is actually in history and then I went on to study education. I work as a teacher full time now and make art in the evenings or on weekends. I'm trained to be a history and english teacher, but I've ended up as an art and design teacher at a small international school in southern Austria. I've been living here for about 11 years now, though I'm originally from Ohio in the US.
I started getting into illustration in 2013 as a hobby at first and I started working professionally in 2016 when I joined up with an agency.
I have a lot of sporty hobbies like skiing, running and kayaking to name a few. I also like taking long walks and playing video games. I'm a big Nintendo fan and I love playing Zelda games the most. I'm a terrible cook. You don't want to eat my food!
What inspires you?
This is a hard question for me because anything can inspire me. I do think a lot of inspiration comes from nature and beautiful scenery. Taking walks and going outside also help to allow inspiration to come and to take a break from everything. I also get a lot of inspiration from talking to and interacting with other creatives. I have a small art group that I chat with once a month and I always feel recharged and inspired after talking to them.
What is your favourite thing to draw?
My favorite things to draw are landscapes and cool kids. It's funny, at least to me, because I used to hate drawing people. I was really, really bad at drawing people so it's interesting that now I enjoy drawing them. I just like infusing them with all that personality. It's exciting to bring a character to life. I also love making forest and mountain landscapes. I make a lot of those!
What art goals do you have for this year?
I'm working really hard at the moment to get into picture books. I just want to have that feeling where I can walk into a book shop and see a book I've illustrated front and center. That would be really exciting for me and that gives me a lot of motivation to keep working hard. I'd also like to transition into more art jobs, which means I also need more time for them. Right now, I've got to balance teaching and illustration and I can be pretty time poor. I'd love to be at a place where I can just focus on illustration. I would miss teaching a lot, but I'd love to give illustration all of my attention.
What techniques/supplies do you use?
These days I draw almost exclusively on an iPad from start to finish using Procreate. I do use Photoshop and an old Wacom Intuos tablet I bought when I started doing digital art as well. I just prefer drawing directly on screen so I've moved away from the tablet in recent years. I don't use a lot of traditional mediums. I have a lot of supplies laying around that I feel bad for not using, but I'm most comfortable making digital art. I'm out of my element when it comes to using traditional art supplies. I do enjoy blending with colored pencils though. There's something really satisfying about laying down that color and then blending it all together.
Since I get asked a lot, I'll also mention that my favorite brushes to use on Procreate are the studio pen and derwent pencil. I also like to use brushes created by Max Ulichney. If I had to recommend one pack to everyone. I'd suggest starting with the MaxPacks gouache set.
What advice would you give to another doodler/artist?
It sounds cliche, but make art and never stop. The coolest thing about art is you can look back and see how much progress you've made. It's amazing the amount of improvement you can see with just a few months of practice and the improvement is continuous. That's also a good way of staying motivated, seeing how much progress you've made and knowing you'll just keep getting better each day.
Learn more about Megan Higgins by visiting: