Megan Stulberg on Freelance Illustration and the Evolution of Her Style

I’m in awe of super-productive creative people who get a lot of shit done. Nothing is more inspiring to me personally. Except maybe a super-productive creative person who also travels a lot. Megan Stulberg is one of the latter. She recently moved the LA from Toronto within three weeks of getting a job offer there and is now soaking up the sun and working as a full time social media specialist in the TV and fashion industries. In addition to her full time gig, she’s also the co-founder of vegan recipe resource Vegan Girlfriend, a blogger, and freelance illustrator. I asked Megan to A my Q’s about her creative process. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s your general goal when you sit down to draw? How do you want to make the client feel, respond, react.

Lately, my goals are usually client-oriented. My client goal while drawing is kind of two goals in one. The first goal is draw something that will make the client as happy as possible the first time around so I don’t have to start all over again. The second goal is to draw something that I actually want to draw, without compromising my style or creativity. Being able to make both myself and the client happy is a challenge, but I usually manage to do so.

When are your most productive hours?

Usually in the evening. I have a 9-5 job so if I want to get something done, I usually start when I get home from the office and push through until I’m finished, which sometimes goes late into the night. I like doing as much as one sitting as possible, otherwise I risk losing interest in a piece halfway through.

Where are you most productive? What conditions do you need?

Either at my desk or in a coffee shop. I need minimal interactive distractions as possible, if that makes sense. I can be out in a noisy place and get a lot of work done, or have a movie playing in the background and that’s fine too, but can’t attempt a conversation with somebody or else my level of productivity is totally shot.

What kind of art did you make when you were a kid? How does your inner child play into your work now?

Lots of doodles, outfits and things like that. Went through a manga phase that I wish I hadn’t. Went through a draw-all-my-friends-as-Hogwarts-students phase that I wish I hadn’t even more. My style develops and changes regularly, but I still like to incorporate some elements from my childhood. Usually I do that with my digital colour palette, incorporating brights and pastels.

You’ve written about art as therapy. Why is this topic important to you?

Art has done a lot of good for me. Creating artwork can channel anger, and help to digest and heal real life trauma. It’s an outlet, and a positive one at that. If it’s played a part in me being who I am today, maybe talking about said experience can help others do the same.

How does Toronto play into your work?

It’s home. I’ve had the best of times and the worst of times in Toronto. I moved to Toronto when I was 18-years-young to attend university. I almost moved to a small town instead, and I’m so glad that I made the decision I did. I got involved with an art collective immediately and started making it a priority to produce work. My style grew as I did. Being in a city with such a strong sense of an artistic community, surrounded by like-minded and driven individuals, really affected my role as an artist.

Do you keep a sketchbook? A journal?

I keep a sketchbook but it’s a total mess. It’s 40% sketches, 60% to-do lists.

Check out Megan’s illustration portfolio at cargocollective.com/meganstulberg, and find out what else she’s up to at meganstulberg.com

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