The Amazing Art of Everyday Women – Megan Fisher
I am loving Women’s History Month! Celebrating the women in my life is so much fun, and I love that I can shine a spotlight on their talents to share with all of you!
Today we’ve got an interview with a friend of mine who is uber multitalented.
The first thing I learned about her is that she is a photographer. Her Instagram is beautiful. If I’m being honest though, her whole style screams, “artistic spirit”.
Some of you may have noticed the sling wrap I carry my baby girl in on Instagram. Yeah, she helped me put it together.
Without further ado, let’s hear from Megan Fisher:
First off, I just want to say that I am so honored that Kim even considered interviewing me for this blog post. I don’t think I have ever considered myself an artist, to me I’m more of a creative hobbyist, but for someone else to see my work as art is thrilling!
Q- What is your medium of choice?
A- This is a hard question.
Yes, I am a photographer by profession, but I enjoy so many different types of crafts and art forms for so many different reasons.
Photography has given me the opportunity to stay home with my baby girl while also creating income for our family. Photography has been a guiding light for me as I navigate uncomfortable situations and it has pushed me out beyond my shell of comfort many times, which I am so grateful for.
I started out drawing horses when I was young, everyday after school. I’d draw them and then take them to my mom to critique. She’d tell me, “the bum is a little too big on this one,” or, “The face is a little too long.”
I’d go back and start over trying to draw a perfect horse to scale. I think that is what put me on the path of pursuing a creative career.
Thanks to my husband, I have recently rekindled my long lost love of pottery and that has been immensely therapeutic for me. Pottery has given me a time every week to do something that is just for me.
Trying to center the clay and balance all the moving parts has been a way for me to center myself and gives me a time to just be present in the moment and not worry about anything else, a type of meditation for me.
I have also been learning more about and becoming more conscious of recycling. Sewing (yes, I’m counting sewing as an art form, have you seen Project Runway??) has aided me in being able to remake articles of clothing in to other things that I would have otherwise just thrown away.
I hope to eventually be able to make most of my own clothing as a way to sustain my love of unique attire. I’ll need a lot of practice before I get to that point, but for now I’m just content remaking old shirts into leggings for my daughter.
So I guess my answer is my favorite medium differs day to day!
Q-What originally got you interested in this type of art?
A- Honestly, in the beginning it was out of convenience that I pursued photography.
When I was in High school I loved drawing, painting, and ceramics. It was near the end of my senior year that I had to choose something I wanted to study. I knew I wanted to pursue a career that would feed my creative personality but also allow me to be flexible in raising future children.
I was a lousy drawer/potter so I knew pursuing an education in either of those things wasn’t very practical for me. So without ever even touching a professional grade camera, I enrolled at Utah Valley University as a photography major.
With my creative nature, I was sure I would quickly learn the art, so it was a rude awakening when I got to school and realized photography wasn’t just pointing a camera at something and clicking a button.
I was very naive in thinking that this was the “easy” visual arts major. It was hard and I was terrible at it! In any visual arts major you are directly comparing your work to your peers’ work on the daily and the first few years were very discouraging for me.
Sometimes I’m haunted thinking about those first images I was trying to create. I cringe thinking about pictures I took for “clients” when I was just starting out.
It took a lot of hard work to get to a place where I was confident enough to proudly show off my projects, but after a while, I knew I had chosen photography for a reason. It became more than just a subject of study for me. It became a passion that I couldn’t learn enough about.
Q- Could you share a story or experience you’ve had because of your art?
A- When I was in school at Utah Valley University, I was taking a photo class, I honestly can’t even remember what the class was called, but we were instructed to pick one topic that we’d create a project for and work on throughout the entire semester. Then, at the end of the semester our class was to host a show featuring all of our projects.
I was engaged at the time and was going to be married at the end of the semester. Being the typical-unwed-devout-christian-young-adult I was, I had not only remained abstinent from any sexual activities, but also abstinent from learning hardly anything about sex at all (stay with me, this is going somewhere I promise).
This abstinence of sex education I grew up with, combined with the religion I was raised with had unintentionally attached my thoughts of sexuality to feelings of shame and disgust.
I was also dealing with some pretty serious body image and self confidence issues, so as you can imagine, I was feeling more nervous than anything about jumping in to a life of “wedded bliss”.
This was on my mind all the time, and I was mad that I had been so naive for so long, so I decided to do a project that’d help me get over the anxieties I was having towards my own sensuality. Basically, the idea I came up with was to photograph a man and a woman in the nude and adorn the images with various sexual items.
The idea was sort of an exposure therapy experiment, in the sense that I was going to get over my fears by putting up images I would normally feel uncomfortable looking at, and using objects to adorn the images I was scared of talking about, and then attaching my name to it for all of conservative Mormon Provo valley to see! Yikes!
Throughout the semester, I was pushed so far out of my comfort zone. I was describing in depth to my entire class what items I’d be using on the images, I was in the same room as a naked woman and (almost) naked man I had never met before, and I was actually going out to stores and shopping the “family planning” aisles you pray to never be seen in by anyone you know.
It was a lot.
But after awhile, I realized I was the one being weird about it.
My classmates were supportive and open in discussing the topic, the models I used were so comfortable and in love with their own bodies that it gave me a renewed sense of confidence in loving my own body, and I had found a safe place to discuss my deepest fears and struggles.
It was an empowering semester and had actually worked the way I’d hoped it would. Although I still had a lot of mental walls to break down, I was slowly removing the lies I’d told myself about my body and my own sensuality one day at time.
When the day of the show opening came, I was proud to hang the images up and was able to laugh at the reactions of my classmates parents to my work and was so proud of myself for actually following through.
This was the first time I had used photography as a way to rewire how I think and overcome my fears of things I couldn’t understand. The lessons learned from this project have taught me the ways art can be used to change minds and heal hearts, especially my own.
Q-What piece of yours is your favorite and why?
A- I think my favorite images I have ever created have been of my daughter.
Just like how photography helped me navigate my emotional shame towards sex, it’s been a guide in showing me the many beautiful moments I have experienced in motherhood.
Becoming a mom comes easy for a lot of women and to others it’s a heavy burden. For me, it’s been both.
I have self-deprecating tendencies and I often convince myself I’m failing.
Photography has helped me to see magic in the mundane and has shown me the relief that comes with routine. It has forced me to be present in all the waves of motherhood, be that in the peaks of joyous times or in the valleys of grievous ones, and to embrace all that comes with this rollercoaster role of mother.
I love looking back at images I’ve created of scenes from our everyday life at home, and being reminded of how truly beautiful it is to have the opportunity to be here, and how grateful I am to have a front row seat watching my girl develop and explore in her world. These images may only be beautiful and special to me but, that’s why they are my favorite.
Q-Any favorite resources?
A- Honestly, Youtube is my best friend whenever jumping into anything for the first time.
I’ve watched countless hours of video on the topics of photography, sewing, pottery and even home renovation. It’s amazing to live in a time when we have so much information right in our pockets.
I also love the Google Arts & Culture app. I enjoy reading insights on my favorite artists and their work. Art history is huge source of inspiration for me.
Q- What does a typical day look like for you?
A- I usually wake up and spend the morning eating breakfast with my baby, playing fetch with our dog, and cleaning up the house.
Then baby’s nap time is my 2 hours of the day to get work done.
Editing through client jobs is a slow process this way, but it’s what works for me.
Then I usually try and find some activity out of the house in the afternoon to help us make it to when dad comes home from work.
Honestly that’s basically what my weekdays look like. It’s not glamorous, and the seeming mundane routine was a hard adjustment at first, as I was always go go go before I had Rosie. But like I said, I’m learning there is simple beauty in that.
Q-What does being an artist add to your life?
A- Again, its weird calling myself an artist, but the joy I feel from creating something beautiful, whether that be an image, clothing, vase, or even a toy mobile for my newborn baby, is indescribable.
Through art I’ve been able to understand the hardest of life’s complexities and creating has led me through some of my greatest mental and spiritual challenges.
Thanks to social media, I’ve been able to connect with other creatives and have found so much joy in the community I feel there. It’s been a relief and a blessing in my everyday life.
To contact Megan or find more of her work, visit her Instagram here.