Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections on 2011

I Heart Art by Megan Coyle
2011 has been a wonderful year, filled with lots of firsts. I'm so grateful that I get to do what I love every day. So, to celebrate the upcoming year, here are 12 things that occurred this past year:

Duck and Fish by Megan Coyle
1) Finished illustrating and writing my first children's book, Duck & Fish

2) Had my first radio interview

Fields by Megan Coyle
3) Was published for the first time in a national craft magazine - Somerset Studio

4) Had one of my collages published in a major newspaper for the first time - the Washington Post.

5) First time having my artwork appear on a celebrity's website - Conan O'Brien

6) My artwork was accepted to be published in a book on Flower Art - which will be my first art book publication.

7) Created an education section for my website. Every year, students and teachers contact me to get more information about my artwork and process, so I figured I'd make things easier for them by creating an education section. I made sure to include process pictures, online lesson plans, and even matching games and puzzles for younger kids.

Meet the Bostons by Megan Coyle

8) First time having my artwork make an appearance on TV - even though it was only shown briefly, and on a local news station in North Carolina, it still counts :)

9) Donated a work of art for the first time to a nonprofit called The Cure Starts Now.

10) Created my first series of text collages called "Art for Everyone."

11) Ran my first day-long collage workshop

Green Coffee Cup by Megan Coyle
12) Lots of traveling for exhibits - solo show in Jasper, IN; group exhibit in Richmond, Kentucky; group exhibit in Lexington, NC

Overall, I'm grateful I had so many opportunities this year. I'm excited to see what 2012 will bring. And I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Grandfather and Grandson

Grandfather and Grandson by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Grandfather and Grandson"
Collage on paper
9"x12"

Here's one of the holiday commissions I completed a couple months ago. My client wanted me to make a collage of her friend with his grandson. Since this piece wasn't the smallest size I work in, it wasn't as difficult to collage two figures on the 9"x12" area. However, since 9"x12" is still somewhat small, it was a bit of a challenge to get the likeness down properly for the grandson. I did have a bit of fun collaging all those colorful badges on the grandfather's jacket.

I have a few more collages that I completed this year that I'll post in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great December!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bosty Gets Pancakes at Chapel Hill

Bosty goes to Chapel Hill by Megan Coyle
Bosty outdid himself this time - he made the trek all the way to Chapel Hill, NC to get himself a big stack of pancakes at his favorite cafe, Crook's.

Bosty goes to Chapel Hill by Megan Coyle
Then he met me for a stroll around town. He liked getting in the way whenever I took artsy pictures. Or any pictures, really.

Bosty goes to Chapel Hill by Megan Coyle
After an hour, Bosty headed back to Crook's for another helping of pancakes. I joined him for a cup of coffee. Brrr, it gets cold in Carolina in December.

Bosty goes to Chapel Hill by Megan Coyle
Later he helped me uninstall my artwork in Lexington, NC from the "Out of the Wild" exhibit. The show had animal artwork and a taxidermy collection. So we decided to pose beside the animals.

Bosty goes to Chapel Hill by Megan Coyle
Bosty wasn't sure if he liked posing around the wildcats. They looked a little too big and fierce.

Bosty goes to Chapel Hill by Megan Coyle
And he wasn't convinced that I looked like I was running when I posed next to the galloping zebra. That Bosty is a tough one to please!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's All About the Little Things Group Exhibit

Its All About the Little Things Exhibit
This weekend I did some gallery sitting for the Del Ray Artisans' group exhibit, "It's All About the Little Things." I took a few pictures of my pieces that are up in the exhibit - above and below you can see images of my "Mr. Quackers," "Scottish Terrier," and "Ragamuffin" mini collages. The show featured small works of art by local artists.

Its All About the Little Things Exhibit
The last day of the exhibit is actually today. And then the next show on my plate is a solo show in Manassas, Virginia in February.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Studio Update: Art Equals Joy

Art Equals Joy by collage artist Megan Coyle
"Art Equals Joy"
Collage on paper
5"x7"

So things have been pretty busy these days. I know I keep saying that - I suppose life keeps getting busier and busier because of all the new projects I start tackling all at once. At the moment, I've finished my last bit of holiday commission work (I'll post images of the commissioned pieces after the holidays). I'm also steadily working on a couple of collaborations and will post images from those projects somewhat soon. And aside from that, I've been busy applying to exhibitions and planning my upcoming exhibitions.

Anyway, I need to start making a few new collages since after all, art = joy. And as always, I'll post progress pictures of those when I get to it.

I hope everyone is having a lovely December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Landscape

Landscape by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Landscape"
Collage on paper
18"x24"

This is a piece that I completed a few days ago. My client wanted me to make an abstract landscape, somewhat similar to "The Artist from a Distance" collage. So now I just need to frame it and deliver it to its new home. I'm also beginning to do a bit of work on my first chinchilla portrait. Chinchillas sure are cute!

Anyway, I'm off to run a few errands. And I can't believe it's almost December and before long it will be 2012. Wow, it still blows my mind how fast a year can creep by.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Abstract Fields

Abstract Fields by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Fields"
Collage on paper
9"x12"

This was one of the background pieces I created for the Birdy animation project. We ended up using a different collage for the project, but I thought I'd share this one as well. This piece is a bit abstract and uses a lot of rectangular strips of paper - which is what I usually use with scapes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Noah

Noah by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Noah"
Collage on paper
9"x12"

And here's the completed collage of the smiling dog. Looking back at all the previous commission work I've done, it looks like dog portraits have been the most popular subject. When it comes to tackling pet portraits, I've found that it helps a lot if the subject is a happy-looking pup.

In other news, you can check out my article that was just published on Bourgeon Online - Art is a Story. I discuss the writing and illustrating process for Duck & Fish as well as the storytelling I do with my other art projects.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Progress Picture #1: Noah

Noah by collage artist Megan Coyle
Here's the sketch I did for my latest commission piece, a portrait of a dog named Noah. In the reference photo I'm using for this one, Noah looks like one happy dog. I always enjoy tackling portraits of smiling dogs - they're too fun!

In other news, I'm still working away on a couple of collaborations and will post progress pictures of those projects sometime in the future. I also need to change gears a bit and work on some new artwork for my upcoming solo shows in 2012. Anyway, I hope everyone is having a lovely week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Test Animation of Birdy



Here's the latest progress on the Birdy animation - a collaboration I'm working on with my brother Brendan Coyle. This video is just a test animation for the project.

And to break down some of the textured components used for this piece, here are the collages I created:

Background by collage artist Megan Coyle
I made a couple collages for possible backgrounds - this is the one we went with.

Bark by collage artist Megan Coyle
Here's the bark collage texture used for the tree.

Leaves by collage artist Megan Coyle

My brother took these collages and either wrapped them around 3d models or put them on different planes.

I'm thinking I'll create another birdy for this guy to interact with and then we can create more of a scene. We shall see...

In other news, I was the Artist of the Week on E-junkie. You can read my interview with them on their website.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Boo by collage artist Megan Coyle
I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! Above and below are a couple Halloween-themed text collages I created for my "Art for Everyone" series.

Eat Candy Corn by collage artist Megan Coyle

Friday, October 21, 2011

Illustration on Conan O'Brien's Website

Conan O'Brien by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Conan"
Collage on mat board
7"x5"

Today the Team Coco crew let me know that my artwork is now on Conan O'Brien's website. I put together this mini collage the other day as part of my effort to start up a series of famous faces. I'd like to sharpen my illustration skills with capturing the likeness of well-known figures.

Conan O'Brien by collage artist Megan Coyle

And I thought I'd share my favorite Conan quote with you:

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen."
— Conan O’Brien.

Anyway, I'm off to start the weekend. Looks like I'll have a chance to put in a few hours of studio work too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Art for Everyone

Art for Everyone Series by collage artist Megan Coyle
The other day I decided to try something a little different - collaging words and phrases. Instead of cutting out strips of colorful, textured paper for portraits or landscapes, I decided to focus on words.

Art for Everyone by collage artist Megan Coyle
This new series was inspired by some of my previous work, like the above collage called "Snowflakes." "Snowflakes" was a commissioned piece where I cut out bits and pieces of black paper to make the lettering for an Alice Childress quote.

Art for Everyone by collage artist Megan Coyle
This new text series is called "Art for Everyone," where I'm collaging art or art-related words and phrases. Instead of focusing on one color for the text, I'm using a variety of textures and colors. I'm also experimenting with different ways of making letters look more like simple shapes.

Must Create by collage artist Megan Coyle
Need More Art by collage artist Megan Coyle
You can check-out more pieces in the series as I list them in my "Art for Everyone" Etsy section.

Monday, October 17, 2011

3d Collage Character Study: Birdy in a Tree

Birdy animation by Megan Coyle
A few days ago I mentioned that my brother (an animator in NYC) and I worked on a 3d collage character study (Birdy). Recently I collaged a background for Birdy, and worked on some bark texture and a few collaged leaves. Above you can see what Birdy looks like in his new environment.

Birdy animation by Megan Coyle
Above is another image of Birdy, although this time a filter has been applied to the image.

Now all we need to do is animate the little guy and have him say a few lines.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Papirmasse in the Mail

Collage artist Megan Coyle
The other week I got my copy of Papirmasse in the mail, which is a publication based in Canada that features prints of artwork alongside writing. I was thrilled to be part of the September postcard edition, and was happy to get ten postcard-sized prints of artwork in the mail. Just look at them all! Looks like I have quite a few more prints to add to my bulletin board.

Collage artist Megan Coyle

Collage artist Megan Coyle
On each postcard, there's a print of a work of art on one side (above is a print of my "Snorkeling" collage).

Collage artist Megan Coyle
And on the other side is a short piece of writing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly by collage artist Megan Coyle

"Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly"
Collage on paper
12"x16"

And here's the final collage. Those two Bostons sure look like they're having a lot of fun...

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly with Bosty
So Bosty decided to squeeze into the picture.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Progress Picture #4: Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly by Megan Coyle
And it's almost complete! The next image I'll post of these two will be the finished collage. Here you can see I've developed the dogs more and have almost covered the entire background with magazine strips.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Progress Picture #3: Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly by collage artist Megan Coyle
Just a couple more progress pictures and then you'll see the finished image of this piece. At this point I blocked out the color in the background more and started piecing together bits and pieces of paper on top of the dog sketches. I really enjoyed collaging these two - they look so happy.

Anyway, I'm off to start working on a collaboration project for a 3d animated character study. Hopefully I'll have something to share somewhat soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Progress Picture #2: Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly by collage artist Megan Coyle
Here's the next stage of the Bostons collage. You can see I've started to block out the color in the background as well as parts of the dogs. These Bostys have got me thinking that I should work on some more dog and cat collages in the future. But for the time being, I'm busy busy with commission work, collaborations, and a few portraits. Whew! More progress pictures/completed collage images to come soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Progress Picture #1: Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly

Meet the Bostons - Ivy and Molly by collage artist Megan Coyle
I finished the commissioned portrait of a couple of Boston Terriers the other day, so I figured I should start posting some progress pictures of the piece. Here's the sketch I did before any magazine strips were cut and pasted down. The dogs don't look entirely like Bostons yet, but I was able to map out the basics of the dogs' expressions. They look pretty happy, don't they?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Artwork Published in the Washington Post

Megan Coyle in the Washington Post
One of my collages appeared in the Washington Post today. If you check out the Arts section, you'll see a black and white version of my collage "Bren."
Megan Coyle in the Washington Post
It's always nice to find your work in print.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Birdy Animation

Birdy by Brendan and Megan Coyle
About a year ago my brother (an animator in NYC) and I got started on a collaborative project. We put together a 3d character study of a bird. Now we've decided to revisit the birdy character and give him an environment. We might even animate him and have him say a few lines. Anyway, above is an image that my brother created to help plan out the birdy's environment. Now the ball is in my court and I need to come up with collaged texture for the tree branch, leaves, and create a collage landscape scene that we'll add into the background.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Papirmasse: The September Issue

Megan Coyle art in Papirmasse
Here's the image that Papirmasse put together to advertise all their artists in the September issue - can you tell which one is mine? You can take a look at all the art and writing in more detail on their website.

At the moment, I'm still working away on some commissioned portraits. The dog portrait has been a lot of fun - it's an image of two Boston Terriers (I hope Bosty doesn't get too jealous). The reference photos the client sent me are just fantastic - these dogs are so expressive! Can't wait to share the progress pictures!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Studio Update: Keeping Busy

Drinking Coffee All Summer Long by Megan Coyle
This image says it all - aside from working away on artwork all summer, I spent quite a bit of time drinking cups of coffee to stay awake and alert. I have a tendency of not sleeping very much, mainly because I'm a busy body - I always have something on my plate that I'd like to work on. And oddly enough, the less sleep I get, the more alert I feel in the morning, whereas the more sleep I get, the more tired I feel. Anyway, what were you up to this summer? Any traveling across the country/world? I just made a trek to North Carolina for a long weekend so I could install my artwork in the "Out of the Wild" exhibit. Other than that, my travels have been limited to wandering around DC.

Megan Coyle's Coffee Thoughts
My blog has been a bit quiet this year - I've been bogged down with work for Duck & Fish and recently I took on several commissioned projects. I'll post progress pictures of the commissioned pieces sometime in the future. I'm also going to take a few classes this year in graphic design and web design - I'm always eager to learn more about other creative outlets.

In other news, the "Out of the Wild" exhibit received a bit of press coverage from a local news station. Also, a writer from my college Elon University wrote an article on my work as an artist - "In The Spotlight: Megan Coyle '08."

Anyway, I'm off to get started on a commissioned dog portrait. I hope to post a progress picture or two somewhat soon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Postcard Artist for September Issue of Papirmasse

Megan Coyle Collage Artist
This is being re-posted from Papirmasse's interview with me that was posted on their website today. I'm excited to be one of the featured artists in the September issue of their publication. Papirmasse's postcard contest garnered entries from all over the world. If you would like to receive this issue, which consists of 10 postcards with art and writing, subscribe by September 10.

P: Who are you and what do you do?

MC: I’m Megan Coyle – a collage artist and illustrator currently based in the Washington, D.C. area. I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and studied creative writing and painting at Elon University. Since then, I’ve focused on making collages by layering bits and pieces of magazine pages. I’m drawn to art that’s made from one material but looks as though it’s made from an entirely different material – something I try to do with my own work.My artwork has been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions around the U.S. And recently, my collages appeared in the national craft publication Somerset Studio magazine.

Orange Monkey by collage artist Megan Coyle
P: Sum up your style in one sentence.

MC: “Painting with paper” – where I recreate the look and feel of a painting through the manipulation of magazine strips.

Chow Time by collage artist Megan Coyle
P: What projects are you working on right now?

MC: I recently finished writing and illustrating my first children’s book, Duck & Fish. It’s a story about a mallard duck and flying fish that switch places – Duck goes on an adventure in the depths of the ocean, while Fish explores the sky.I made about thirty paper collage illustrations for the book, and now that it’s complete I’m working on promoting it. Later this year I’d like to tackle another children’s book, so I hope to start brainstorming more storylines soon. I’m also working on a few lesson plans. A couple months back I put together an education section for my website. It was inspired by the students and teachers that contact me every year asking questions about my work. So I decided I should make things easier for them by putting together some materials for bringing collage into the classroom. I’m working on expanding this new section by putting together a couple new online lesson plans. I’m also dabbling with video editing programs since I’m interested in putting together video tutorials that share my work and technique with others.And in between work for these major projects, I’ve been busy collaging commission work and new art for upcoming exhibitions.

Duck and Fish by collage artist Megan Coyle
P: What did you do on your summer vacation?

MC: Lots of traveling to neighboring towns and major cities along the East Coast. I like exploring new places for inspiration. I like all the colors and excitement that places have to offer, and I’m constantly taking pictures of the interesting things I find. I often use my photographs for references for future works of art. So even when I’m traveling, even after a long weekend in New York City or another big city, I still have art on my mind.

I find I’m happiest when I’m constantly busy, but every once in a while I venture off to the beach to take a break, sprawl out, close my eyes, and listen to the water. After all, when it’s summertime it’s nice to clear your head and lounge around.