about megan jewel
"My journey as a paper collage artist began in a small apartment overlooking Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. After studying photography in college, I missed the days that I had spent in the darkroom as I found myself caught up in the busy day-to-day hustle of city life. In my free time I would walk through the park and photograph all of the flowers, trees, and birds that inspired me. These long walks in the park would become the foundation for my obsession with the colors and patterns found in nature.
Wanting to work with my hands again, I began making handmade greeting cards with an old typewriter and colorful art papers that I had collected over the years. I opened up my Etsy shop in 2008 and sold handmade cards online and in boutiques in San Francisco. With the support of local shop owners and friends, I began creating larger cut-paper illustrations and collages on a variety of medium. Using tiny scissors each shape is cut by hand while I get lost in a whimsical world where the birds are larger than life and the flowers bloom all year long. Just like the darkroom was to my photographic practice, the process of creating my illustrations by hand from paper is my favorite part of my work.
Soon after moving to the vibrant city of New Orleans I began showing my collage artwork at local and national art shows and craft fairs. My journey as a practicing artist continued as I experimented with new mediums and fell in love with the art of indigo dyeing and hand dyeing after taking several introductory workshops at a craft conference. What started as a backyard hobby quickly became a practice that taught me what it means to "let go" and truly experiment. The nature of ice dyeing is that no matter how hard you attempt to control the results, you will always be surprised. This practice is in stark contrast to my extremely detailed paper illustrations, where each cut of the scissors is planned, and the placement of each shape intentional. Hand-dyeing became a way for me to learn about adapting and growing in life, not just in my creative work.
Different as they may be, both my illustration work and my hand dyed projects are a meditation on positivity. Themes of color, joy, and curiosity run through each practice as I believe that we all need more reminders of simple joys and happiness in our homes and everyday lives. The work I create aims to share this sentiment, especially right now, when we cannot be together to craft and create as a community." - Megan Jewel, December 2020
Megan has been teaching craft and art workshops for kids, adults, and organizations in the New Orleans area since 2017. In-person workshops are currently on pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic but will resume as soon as it is safe to do so.