Meagan (@magpie.rodgers) Rodgers is a 22-year-old artist residing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We had the opportunity to ask her a little bit about her artwork, her experience as one of the small number of women in the Dark Arts community and her inspiration for her haunting, dreamy pieces.
When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist?
Meagan Rodgers: I’ve wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember. Since I was little, I was always drawing, making sculptures, and making clothes from whatever I could find around the house.
What mediums do you prefer? Why do you select a particular medium over another for the creative process?
MR: I have the most fun with pencil since it’s a bit less intimidating than paint and I don’t have to worry about picking colors just yet. I prefer the finished product of paintings though and I feel more accomplished when they’re done.
What does dark art mean to you?
MR: For me, it isn’t deliberate. I just create to capture feelings or memories. It’s often the negative ones that impact me most and that I feel are worthy to capture. I have other works that I wouldn’t consider dark. They may still be a little creepy to some but they’re meant to convey positive things.
How long do you feel like you've been a professional artist?
MR: I’ve been selling art since middle school but I think shortly after high school is when I started to be more serious/professional. It wasn’t until last October that I was able to quit my part time job and do art full time though.
One thing that a lot of folks don't talk about is the lack of women in the dark art community. Can you please speak to your experience as a woman in the community and why you think that is?
I can’t think of a whole lot of female dark artists now that you mention it. I’m not really sure why that is! I am fortunate in the sense that I haven't had any barriers as a woman (that I know of) so the fact it's very small population of women is really interesting.
Your style is incredibly unique. Where do you draw your inspiration from and can you speak a little more about your creative process?
MR: I'm inspired by nonphysical concepts like emotions and paranormal entities, my bipolar disorder, nature, life and death, and memories/past experiences. I find that I’m most inspired after really good or bad days when I have strong emotions to work from.
I’m a very introverted person and have an easier time expressing myself through my work than verbally, hence the lack of jaw on my subjects.
Who are some of the artists who have inspired you?
MR: My brother, Zak was an incredible artist and has always been a huge inspiration to me. Even after his passing he’s continued to inspire my work both with his talent and the impact his loss has made on me.
Who are five artists everyone reading this article should follow right now?
MR: Some of my favorite artists are Allison Sommers, Matt Gordon, James Jean, Miles Johnston, and my boyfriend, Lewis Crow.
In a day and age where media is being censored and banned, how has the internet affected your exposure and the art you create?
I’m very surprised and happy that none of my posts have been removed yet but I won’t be surprised when the day comes. I see a lot of art online being unnecessarily removed and artists having to censor/take away from their work.
Besides dark imagery, we have noticed a reoccurring theme of frogs in your pieces. Could you speak more to this?
I often use frogs in my work because they’re my favorite animal. When I portray them leaping or floating, it’s to represent joy or the positive side of my bipolar disorder, when I feel boundless or overjoyed. And I often use the demon to represent the negative/manipulative side.
We have a lot of budding artists following our page. What is some of your advice to them about how to pursue artwork professionally?
Classes really help, but practice is everything. Always try new mediums and concepts until you find your style. It's good to actively post work on social media. You can try doing local art walks to start selling and get exposure until you’re ready to apply for galleries if that's the route you’re trying to take. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get accepted! I haven’t been accepted to every gallery I’ve applied to. There are successful artists who just sell online too. Most of my income comes from internet sales through big cartel, Instagram auctions, and commission work. You have to work hard but try not to get too caught up in the business aspect so you continue to love what you do.
Support Meagan Rodgers by following her on Instagram and/or checking out her Bigcartel.
All of the images in this interview are taken from pieces that are available on her store.