Interview With Artist & Illustrator Miranda Meeks
Today we’re pleased to bring you the work of artist and illustrator Miranda Meeks. She’s worked with clients such as Potshot Magazine and Diesel, and is known for her abstract and mysterious drawings.
Hi Miranda, could you talk us through the journey you’ve taken as artist. We’d love to know about the roots of your artistic nature and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always been drawing, ever since I was little. When I was young, I was really into fantastical imagery, monsters, snakes, etc. During college, I experimented with a cartoonish and fun style for a while, then a more graphic, flat style, and after that period, I eventually went back to drawing realistically and with subject matter that I found appealing. You need that experimental time in your life to re-discover what you love and solidify that foundation which got you started in the first place. It was only by going through a large body of work that I began to discover my natural voice as an artist.
A lot of budding artists dream of pursuing art as a full time career. Is there a particular point in your career that you would describe as the moment you made the transition from drawing as a hobby, to becoming a professional illustrator?
A lot of people say that the moment you move from drawing as a hobby to drawing as a professional is when clients start paying you to create work for them. While I was in college and putting my work on the internet, I started getting random jobs here and there. Although they were completed in a stylistically different way than what I do now, it helped me to experience the concept of professionalism and to learn how to act accordingly. I believe when you decide to start acting like a professional and pour quality into your work, other people will see you that way, and the cycle continues to reinforce itself until one day you wake up and realize you’re actually a “professional illustrator.”
Your work could be described as having quite a dark and abstract theme to it, but doesn’t necessarily fit into a single genre. How would you describe it yourself?
I have trouble trying to define it myself, as it’s difficult to look at your own work objectively. It’s definitely representational, and it currently revolves quite a bit around subject matter. The subjects in my work are all really important to me and I think they can be appealing to others as well. Not only is my work defined by the subjects it portrays, but I try really hard to represent certain values and ideals in it. There’s this juxtaposition of beauty and strangeness that I find really intriguing and I’d love to help others who see my work to feel the same thing. The great thing is because my work is defined by something as abstract as values and subjects, it leaves a lot of room to grow creatively, meaning I am not stuck in one theme or genre of work. I have the freedom to create environments, conceptual pieces, portraits, etc. This helps me avoid that feeling of being restricted to doing only one thing.
Lots of concepts artists reference films, books and other media as having influenced their development as an artist. Are there any in particular that have inspired your artwork?
I wouldn’t say there is one that I purposely draw from, but many things that, subconsciously or otherwise, I find fascinating and naturally leak into my artwork. With movies, I love films by Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, and I even draw some aesthetic inspiration from the designs of Guillermo Del Toro. One of my biggest inspirational books is actually a children’s book called “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” by Chris Van Allsburg. Each illustration in that book suggests a story, but leaves it to the imagination of the readers to dwell on the mystery behind each image. I got that book in third grade and loved it back then, and still love it now.
How do you stay creative? Do you have any special processes for finding inspiration?
Probably the biggest way I stay creative is to keep the momentum of work going. When I finish one project, I try to start another one right away. I find that if I let too much time go by, it becomes harder to pick up the pencil and keep going. Finding inspiration goes back to just sitting down and pumping out thumbnails and sketches – small drawings where the main objective is to record an idea then move on. Unfortunately not the most fun way, but it works for me.
A difficult question I’m sure, but if you had to pick a single piece of your work as a favourite which would you choose and why?
Wow, that is a difficult question! I think if I had to choose, it would be the piece Dawn. I just had a lot of fun creating it – I got to paint hair, skin, flowers, and clouds (some of my favorite things!), and play around with the subtleties in the skin tone. I love the idea of adding subtlety in my artwork, and I really got to experiment with that for this piece.
What can we expect from you in the future, working on any exciting projects?
Yes! I currently am working on a piece for Light Grey Art Lab’s Boss Rush show which exhibits in March, as well as a few other projects that I have to keep quiet about until they are officially published, so keep an eye out for those!
Take a look at Miranda’s personal website to see more of here work