SoCal native Megan Blanco grew up loving art, but it wasn’t until her teenage years when she learned how to use oil paints fell in love with the process. Megan took art classes throughout high school and college, and now that she is no longer a student, she makes time to pursue her love of painting. When the 24 year old isn’t making art, she enjoys yoga, fashion, eating Mexican food and reading.

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All Photos Courtesy of Megan Blanco

When did you start making art and pursue painting?

I had always loved drawing as a kid, but I learned how to use oil paints when I was a teenager and fell in love with the process. I took art classes throughout high school and college, and now that I’m out of school I make time to pursue it.

What inspires you? Where do you find inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from the natural world – plants, the ocean, the human figure. We live on such a beautiful planet! So a lot of my work comes from an appreciation of nature. It’s also about celebrating those little everyday joys in life – a bunch of flowers that brighten your day, a cup of coffee with good friends, exploring new scenery. I’d like to think my work captures those feelings. I’ve experienced loss and I know how important those small moments can be in getting you through the day. Life can be painful at times so I want to highlight the good parts of it!

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Do you have a specific process while making your art?

I’m usually working on multiple projects at the same time, but I try to stay organized. Commissions take priority over my own pieces! If I have an idea for something I’ll write it down in a little notebook and sketch out the general shape. Once I actually start painting I work pretty quickly, but I always step back from time to time to make sure it’s going in the right direction.

What is your favorite piece you’ve created? 

It’s now sold but I love this little coconut painting on a wood panel. I got the idea for it and busted it out within an hour. I love when everything just falls into place like that! It came together so organically and I didn’t over think it.

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What is your favorite part of painting?

I love the actual process of painting. I’ll open all the windows, turn on some music – I’m obsessed with Lord Huron’s newest album – and mix all my colors. It’s almost therapeutic for me. I could spend all day in my little studio. I also love seeing people’s faces when they get one of my paintings!  It’s so rewarding to know that something I made brought joy to another person.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I would call my style something like “relaxed realism.” I like the challenge of depicting something accurately, but I also try to leave room for experimentation. I feel like the stuff I enjoy doing – portraiture, landscape, still life – isn’t very popular in the art community right now. It’s not trendy or cool, and is seen as pretty old-fashioned. But that’s why I like it! It’s timeless. You don’t have to be an art snob to appreciate it.

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Do you create any other type of artwork besides painting?

Lately I’ve been trying out watercolor more. It’s fun to do quick little sketches or even calligraphy with it. I also love woodworking. I did it in college and made a coffee table shaped like California. I would love to keep doing it but I don’t have access to any tools right now.

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Besides art, what are your interests? What do you do for fun?

I love yoga, interior design, gardening, reading…I’m a huge book nerd! The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are my all-time favorites, and right now I’m slowly working my way through the Game of Thrones books. I also love traveling. I haven’t visited very many places yet, but I did a study abroad program in Italy a few years ago and it was incredible. I’m dying to go to Australia, Bali, Cuba…the list is never ending! I even love taking weekend trips around California. I just went to Joshua Tree for the first time and it was magical.

How do you stay active? Favorite outdoor activities?

There’s no better outdoor activity than a good beach session! My favorite feeling in the world is plopping down on a soft towel after swimming. I hate the gym, but I make a point to do yoga every day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. I love going to donation yoga in the park above Dana Point Harbor. I’ve also recently started slack lining, where you basically walk on a cord between two trees. It sounds weird but it’s a great workout and so good for your balance and core strength.  People stare sometimes but when I ask them if they want to try, they always say yes!

Check out more of Megan’s art on Instagram @made_by_megan and Etsy! 

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