In today's Flower Person Interview, we talked with Megan Galante, a multidisciplinary artist based in Hudson Valley. NY. In her work, Megan works with a variety of media--from gouache to natural dyes. Her illustrations and prints range from playful to sophisticated and include a wide range of subjects from humans to flowers. She does it all and does it with attention to detail. We talk about the influence Hudson Valley has on her work, the unique vibrance of plant-based dyes, and the deliciousness of a good glass of iced tea.
Hi Megan! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do
I’m a multidisciplinary artist based in the Hudson Valley, NY. I mostly focus on textile and surface design from my studio in Newburgh. I also produce hand-painted silk scarves and natural dyes at the moment.
Hudson Valley sounds lovely! Where did you grow up?
I'm actually from the Hudson Valley but lived in NYC for 14 years. I moved back upstate 4 years ago and was bouncing between here and the city, but due to COVID 19, I've decided to commit to upstate full time.
I've noticed you often feature flowers and botanicals in your prints, illustrations, and art. Has nature in the Hudson Valley influenced your work? Where did your love for flowers come from or what first drew you to flowers?
My parents have always had lush gardens around the house and I learned a lot about the different species from them. We always had fresh hydrangeas and peonies in our house in the summer months. I think the anticipation of the rebirth of our gardens every spring and summer has built my adoration over the years.
I'd love to know what are you working on at the moment?
I just finished up a batch of watercolor + gouache painted floral greeting cards for one of my clients. I also have a batch of Logwood and Alkanet root dye baths brewing to dye some silks with. I'm working on some assemblage pieces that I make from the different swatches I’ve dyed using a variety of different plants - vegetables, flowers, bark, and herbs. It's interesting to see the variances of colors I'm getting when I submerge different protein and cellulose-based fabrics. I have a giant bin of swatches and I just love looking at all these brilliant colors.
It's fascinating to learn about how you, as a multidisciplinary artist, integrate plant-based dyes into creating art and how you are inspired by nature. What are some inspiring words you love and live by?
- Never work out of scarcity.
- Give yourself time to walk away from a project if you're frustrated.
- Be cool and love everyone :)
That is some great advice to keep in mind! We're much more productive when we take care of ourselves. What’s a daily ritual that’s made an impact in your life?
Listening to NPR every morning has been a constant since I was 21. I feel lost without Razia Iqbal and Brian Lehrer.
I used to drink copious amounts of coffee every morning but recently switched to iced tea a few years ago.
I try to work out and meditate every morning but sometimes I just rush out the door. When I do commit to these routines I definitely notice I am less stressed and more optimistic throughout the day.
I love iced tea--we actually have a recipe for rose mint lemonade ice cubes! And glad to hear Razia Iqbal and Brian Lehrer bring you guidance. Who is someone that had the most impact on your life for the better?
I think all of my painting and art history professors from FIT made a deep impact on my confidence and creativity as an adult. It's hard to choose just one.
Now, where do you find inspiration, or what have you found super inspiring lately?
I find a lot of inspiration from social media - Instagram and various natural dye blogs (remember blogs?) I stumbled upon a few that I like - one is by Emily Mae Martin, and another is called Maiwa. I also like to keep stocking up my art book library in the studio. A recent addition was a book I found at Powells in Portland - The Calico Jungle by Dahlov Ipcar. I am a sucker for beautifully illustrated children's books.
The Calico Jungle sounds adorable! I'm a big fan of cats, myself. But if you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Ha! Definitely a fat orange cat like my own, Chester.
- Favorite affirmation? A wink ;)
- Favorite book? The Abortion - Richard Brautigan
- Favorite food to cook? Grilled pizza
- Favorite city? NYC and Portland, Ore. are tied
- Favorite movie? It's A Wonderful Life
- What is one advice you would tell your “younger self”? Don't drink malt liquor.
Here you can find more about Megan and her work:
* All images credited to rightful owners.