A New Chapter – Finding My Own Style (Part 1)

It’s been a long break but it’s been a wonderful time of reflection and contemplation. No matter where my thoughts take me, they somehow always take me back to my love of art. Not just the physical art, but the process of letting my imagination pour out on paper.

I’ve decided to lean into that heart beat and dive deeper into my “hobby” of sketching and see what happens when I let my imagination run loose! While doing so, I want to discover and embrace my own style. I have a massive appreciation for talented artists in the world, but what I’m learning is that the best way to appreciate and thank them isn’t to just do fan art, but to be my own artist. (Not discrediting fan art because it is still amazing and I love it too). But that’s where this next chapter is taking me, finding my own style and embracing it.

Step 1: I’m going to be stepping out on a limb and producing my own unique creative art where you’ll get to see my own imagination! Regardless of how it’s received, I’m excited to embark on the journey and get to know myself better through my own art.

Step 2: Name changes and social media! I’ve gotten married since I originally started this blog, and I thus have changed my name. I’m going to leave the blog name as-is because it was with my maiden name where I produced my favorite work of all time and had my dream come true by being selected as the Disney 2015 D23 Challenge finalist. I am still on cloud 9 from that!! But I’ve started an Instagram where I’m producing all original art! If you’ve enjoyed the blog and want to see where the next chapter of finding my own style leads, than please follow my Instagram! @meglaughlin.art

The Instagram is where I’ll be posting all my new creative endeavors for now. This isn’t goodbye but a “see you around.”

So here’s a sneak peak of what will be posted on my Instagram and Part 2 will be found there…

To start, I’ve been dreaming up a series of sketches that reimagine inanimate objects as if they had personalities as people. What would they look like? What is their personality?

Here’s the first bit!

a couple who loves to dance the night away by Meg Laughlinan baseball pitcher at the top of his game by Meg Laughlina dancing queen by Meg Laughlin

Thank you to all the followers and friends and I hope to continue to connect with you via Instagram!

Captivated by Baby Yoda

Who isn’t captivated by Baby Yoda! Disney created a character who has stolen our hearts. It goes to show, actions speak louder than words. Art is truly expressive because Baby Yoda is a leading character with no lines! His actions, expressions and gestures say it all. The character artists have done a fantastic job illustrating Baby Yoda in a way that makes us feel like he is speaking to us without any words. He is so full of life, emotions and inquisition. Well done Disney (as usual). So in the spirit of this wave of adoration for Baby Yoda, I decided to do my own fan art!

By Meg Laughlin (formerly Meg Carpenter)

Doodles….an ode to coffee

My favorite coffee shop is closing. It’s been a place where I spent some of my first dates with my husband. A place where I met friends and took family. This coffee shop has been a center for community for years. As I reflect on this place, and all the people it’s brought together, I started doodling….not really knowing what it was at first. The coffee shop was on my mind. As the doodle evolved I realized it’s becoming a statement of all the various ways people drink coffee, just like the variety of people that walk into the coffee shop every day. It’s all different, it’s all beautiful. We’re all different, we’re all beautiful. The more variety, the more beautiful the doodle (life and community) becomes. I’m so thankful for this coffee shop. And I love that doodling is a means of expressing/reflecting on my thoughts. External processing, as one might say. An ode to coffee. An ode to community. It’s all beautiful.

A Facial Expression Says a Thousand Words

The phrase is “a picture says a thousand words.” But what about the picture speaks? I wanted to sketch some fan art today and was exploring various options. I normally do classic Disney characters and images, but I figured I’d challenge myself with something more current. Wreck-it Ralph immediately popped into my mind, and as I started researching his character, I realize how expressive he is! Then I realized that his expressive nature is a part of who he is! So I couldn’t accurately depict Ralph without illustration just a few of his many facial expressions. Each of these speak something different but together they tell us how “animated” Ralph’s personality really is!

The Great Pineapple City

Who knew a pineapple could transform the image of a city, not just visually but culturally. My husband and I recently took a trip to Charleston and learned all about how the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality and the origin of how that symbol came to be. We learned so much history on so many levels, we certainly enjoyed our trip! Once I got home, I thought about the things that stick out to me the most. And if I had to describe Charleston in just six images, how would I do that? Well, this is how…

Personal Touch

What is more fun than a personal card! I love making cards for people because I think it adds a sweet touch of servanthood that speaks through the illustration, in addition to the words themselves. In my opinion, Art (especially through personal cards) has the power to sometimes carry more weight and emotion and love than words themselves. At least for me when it comes to my writing ability. I love drawing, so people who receive a personal illustrated card from me know that there is a lot of love behind the card.

I coach high school volleyball and at the end of the season I decided to make personal cards for each of the seniors. I wanted to capture their personality and stand out features with each depiction of them. I’ll write a personal note to the right of the drawing before handing them off. I hope they like them!!

Visual Itinerary

I recently got married and my husband and I decided we wanted to make most of our decor/signs/guest gifts by hand! We made a welcome bag for all the hotel guest and included an Our Favorite Things To Do card, so out of town guests could go exploring during their visit!

With each to-do item I drew and watercolored a little illustration to accompany! It was a fun activity and I think it make the card even more exciting to peruse!

It’s a Girl!

My best friend is having a baby girl! This is baby number two for her. When her first little one was born, I made her a baby rocking chair out of recycled window jams (last image. Their last name starts with a T and the room theme was florals and pink). So for this new baby I wanted to make her something as well! (Gotta share the love 😉 )

I asked her the theme of the nursery and my friend told me it was going to be baby animals and a neutral color palette! I was so excited because watercoloring immediately popped in my head! I had been on a kick of drawing and watercoloring elephants so I felt like this prepared me well! The tricky part was to make them cutesy and fun but still realistic. These animals were so fun to design and make! I gave them to my friend at her baby shower this weekend and she loved them! Yay! Now we are eagerly awaiting for the little one’s arrival!

The Gentle Grace of Giants

I love elephants. These animals are incredibly massive but they have such a gentle grace about them. Maybe that’s because we typically see them moving slowly, or standing still. But their creation is such an odd but beautiful balance of swift grace found in a large creature. It almost makes them appear like and huggable. I wanted this watercolor to enhance that feeling. I wanted this beautiful creature to reflect its small and gentle spirit.

Hosting with Character

I hosted a “Christmas in July” Party the other night, and went all-in with the food. There were traditional Christmas deserts but I took a spin on some things since we were in the heat of summer. I often see place cards at buffets and such, so I decided to take my own spin on place cards.

My goal: Fun and Witty Characters that portrayed each food item in style. Some characters are a play on words, and some are all about their expression!

These were super fun to make and experiment with Character design! So much can be conveyed by a raised eyebrow, arm position and ever posture of a character. And the place cards were a hit at the party!