Just Another Fashion Blogger?!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A few weeks ago I reached out to a fairly popular illustration blog to enquire about a possible feature of my work. When the response came back telling me, very sweetly, that the blog curator didn't feel I had found my voice yet in my illustrations, I was quite simply...crushed. I've never been one to handle criticism easily. I always, by default, cling to the bad feedback over the good. Positive reinforcement sticks to me like water on a window - it hits and it slips until it's gone. So when I got this first real dose of constructive criticism about my work in a while, I started reevaluating everything, and I mean EVERYTHING...my work, my blog, my graphic design layouts, my Instagrams, every social media post. In part this is due to my own crazy neuroses, and trust me I have plenty, but also because I have been completely and utterly engrossed in social media for the past month. I'm eating, drinking, sleeping BLOG.

Ever since taking the Blog for Fashion Business course at FIT, I've started seeing my blog, my illustrations, my professional website, basically my entire web presence, with a hyper-critical eye. Furthermore, I oversee all the marketing efforts and social media at my full-time job, where I really spend the greater part of my days scouring through blog after blog. And to be honest, the more I've seen recently, the more everything is starting to look the same to me. I feel like there was some sort of memo that was released to an exclusive set of bloggers with the perfect prescription for how to blog with grace, and clearly I was left off the email list. Every outfit seems impeccably styled, every Instagram of aerial view brunches, fresh cut flowers and feet, berries and ice cream cones, life through rose colored designer sunglasses...I started feeling like a total outsider, like a total blogger failure.

But then, something quite splendid happened. Somewhere between this week and last, the same blogosphere that seemed so uninviting, really started to inspire me again. After reading this brilliant post by Garance Dore 39 x Cooler where she embraced every part of her life's journey and encouraged that "the time is now. Live now. Make a decision. Become who you are.", I suddenly didn't want to be just like any other fashion blogger anymore. I wanted to be the original, first rate version, of me. I don't know when or how I ever lost sight of my voice in my illustrations or in my blog, but dammit, I want it to scream loud and proud now. As Maya Angelou said "you can't use up creativity, the more you use, the more you have." And I believe her to be true. When I paint, I feel like there are no limits for me. I can only learn, I can only get better, I can only grow bigger from here.

Have you ever faced a time in your life where you felt like you lost yourself, your voice, or maybe that you haven't quite found it yet?! If so, how did you find your way back? Dore once said "you can take five minutes to lose yourself, and years to find your way back." My loves, I'm happy to say I'm finally doing just that.

Much love,
Meag xx

28 comments:

  1. Soo amazing....keep your own voice. You are such a talented women and I noticed that during our class. XOXO Devyani

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    1. @Indian Fashion Police Devyani thank you so much, your words mean a lot to me. I felt like you really understood my voice and what I'm about. I know that you respect honesty and I hope more people will too. And the talent is ditto for you as well xx

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  2. Meagan, I am so happy you shared this. I walk a very fine line between checking out all the other fashion illustration blogs and not looking at any for days at a time because it is so hard not to compare theirs to mine! On the one hand it is simply wonderful to see the beautiful work that is out there but at the same time I start rethinking what I am doing with my blog, Instagram, etc. When I start to think that I need to draw what is "trending" or constantly worry about SEO I lose my confidence and it shows in my drawings. Fashion is fickle - be yourself - You are super talented and I am a devoted fan!!

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    1. @Beth I couldn't agree with you more. Sometimes I have panic attacks just scrolling through the hashtag fashion illustration because all I can feel is self doubt and how much better I could or should be. I think a certain sense of criticism with your work is a good thing so we keep improving but it should never take away from our authentic true selves, our voice. Thank you for your honesty. It encourages me to keep on this path of truth with myself and the world around me xx

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  3. Wow...I love this post. As I said in a precedent comment: keep on walking in this way, I like the way you think about you, your work, your professionnal life. You are talented, you drive your work smartly, don't have any doubt about that.

    xxx from Paris

    PS/ The reference to Maya Angelou is soooo edifying!

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    1. @Gigi Mind I'm so touched by your comment and the other one as well. I know you've been following from the beginning so you of all people have seen the transformation, the growth. Thank you for your confidence in me and my path. I feel the same for you. I'm so happy to hear from you and to connect again. This is the underlying purpose of Travel Write Draw. Lots of love to you xx

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  4. I'm sorry that something someone said made you feel less and not the awesome artist that you clearly are! It's tough to take criticism; as a creative writing student who's been through a ton of workshops, I feel you, but it's good to get a thick skin and learn to brush it off. That's not to say you shouldn't listen to people sometimes, but there's a saying in creative writing workshops to listen to the critiques that hit home. Lots of people will critique your work, but only listen to the people that understand you and your work, and whose words stick with you for a deeper reason. Anyway, your work is beautiful! Keep at it!
    ~Sara

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    1. @Sara Strauss I love this comment so much - listen to the critiques that hit home. That is so true, otherwise it's just noise. But honestly, I'm really grateful for the critic because it ultimately made me challenge myself in my work and forced me to grow. I love everything you wrote. Thank you and I can't wait to meet you xx

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  5. That's really brave of you to submit your work! That is an accomplishment on it's own! I was at Barnes and Nobel today and saw Dash Magazine. I don't know if you have heard of it but it does have a lot fashion illustration in it. It seems like it's right up your ally. I would love for you to write a post on how to submit work to publishers. I've been wanting to submit my work but the submission requires artists to write a statement and I have a really difficult time wording myself. Probably because I feel I am not fully confident in my work yet. Sometimes I question what I paint and illustrate as an artist. I need to spread my wings. Keep illustrating!
    Caroline
    Carolinebogush.blogspot.com

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    1. @Caroline Bogush yes I have heard of Dash Magazine! I covered the Custo Barcelona runway show for them during New York Fashion Week a couple seasons ago and they published it here :):

      http://www.meaganmorrison.com/dash

      It's an awesome magazine, filled with amazing illustrators! My experience in working with magazines is that they either reach out to you directly or to your agent. Otherwise, you reach out to the photo editor at the mag and send a few jpgs of your work plus your portfolio/website. I've never heard of needing to write an artist statement. You usually only need that if you are a fine artist which is different than illustration. Keep researching, following illustrators/artists you love, find competitions to enter, ask questions, submit, submit, submit - remember we have to make opportunities not wait for them! Keep on doing your thing xx

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    2. Thank you! I feel I will get better at submitting as I submit more and more! I've been very successful be reaching out to other artists but have not jumped into a company yet. Thank you for your response. Very helpful.

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    3. @Caroline Bogush yes it will get easier in time. Go in without expectations, all you have to do is try, try, and keep trying until it sticks xx

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  6. Don't take it personal. This is advice. Try to take every criticism like a good step, not a hard one. Well I find your work spectaculars, but of course I don't have an art eye;))) Well I'm glad that you've found your strength again. When I fell lost, I try to listen to positive trailers, movies, songs, people...:D and if this is not working, i let myself in suffering a few days, until someone says I look like hell and I really force myself to be positive again and to smile, this works in the end!:)

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    1. @Ella thank you so much, you are so sweet. Sometimes you do need to hear it from friends to push you out of your funk. I think the important thing is to keep trying even when you fall. Thats what makes the difference between those who succeed and those who don't. When you give up, you never know if you could have made it xx

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  7. Sometimes someone crushes us by saying something, but it makes us think and reinvent outselves. I think you have an amazing talent and are a true one of a kind. I just recently found out about your blog, like you know, and I have seen lots of them. This one stuck in my mind. Not everyone can make that happen, so keep up the good work!

    x Sandra

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    1. @MoreStyleThanFashion Sandra that is so true, the strong ones do think and reinvent! I'm so touched by what you wrote, especially because you've had such success with your blog. Thank you and I will continue to read and be inspired by you xx

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  8. Beautiful! wishing you a great start of the week…
    Kisses from Miami,
    Borka
    www.chicfashionworld.com

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    1. @Borka Gamero thank you, same to you xx

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  9. i lost my way several times in life. i wanted to be like this one and that one. only to realize THEY weren't as happy as what THEY portrayed. a lot of people i met were a facade. they had so many vices, i happily ran away from them. it's only been the past couple of years, i deleted everything and everyone that didn't work in my life. i now write and focus on the things that i love. concentrate on YOU. do what YOU love. someone will come along and recognize your talent. what SHE didn't see, someone will.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. @Kim Alston incredible, thank you so much for what you said. Concentrate on you, do what you love...those words really hit home!! Having this blog has honestly changed my life. It's amazing to me how connected I feel to people I've never met before. I feel very blessed xx

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  10. Meagen you have amazing blog. I am a illustrator and designer myself and can complete relate with the feeling. But, i am sure they will get around. Your work is honestly wonderful. :) And, bloglovin does show your website among best art reads. :)

    Love Elisha
    https://runwaymonk.com

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    1. @runwaymonk.com thank you Elisha you are incredibly sweet! I'm so touched that Bloglovin' lists me amongst the best reads. I'm going to check out your blog now and follow xx

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  11. Great post! I'm a first time visitor, but I definitely understand how hard criticism can be! You are very talented, though, so I'm glad you are using this to further fuel your work!

    Tiffany Ima
    Style Honestly

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    1. @Tiffany Ima thanks so much for stopping by and for what you said. I will be sure to check out your blog as well. Come back again soon xx

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  12. Your posts are always so personal and inspiring. I understand how you feel that everything is so posed on social media/blogging but don't worry about that because you have a genuine view & voice. #inspired

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    1. @ThatGreekChick thanks love! I do still feel a bit conflicted at times that I have to filter, be it here or on Instagram, but I guess you learn as you go and there is never a perfect science to this stuff. You just have to be true to you xx

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  13. I'm honestly not sure how you could ever feel down about yourself as a blogger, you are amazing. You are my latest blogging obsession and role model, honestly. I always feel like a little rejection is a winning ticket to make you travel to a better version of your former self. You are doing amazing work and I love your personal voice.

    -C
    i can’t afford my lifestyle

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    1. @Cassandra Dotzel you just made my day 100% - really, truly!! Thank you for saying what you said. I'm incredibly touched. The same goes for you. Your passion and authentic voice shine through and are so refreshing and inspiring xx

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