Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

In the past 6 months I had the pleasure of working on a collaboration with another artist. While I work with other people consistently in my visual marketing career, I never thought to work with others in my personal artwork. I’ve been in a collaborative mood lately, and decided to take a page out of what many people on instagram and social media do – collaborate! 12985347_3074752308073_8999664223126705948_n

I had been following Meghan Widger, or Hills and Thread on instagram for awhile, as I admired her work and skill with fabric and quilting. Then an idea struck me as I was working with the mandala form with my images and thought that they’d look awesome with a quilting technique, closely linked to traditional tapestries, so I reached out to her and we scheduled a Skype meeting.

One of the things I love the most about the internet is being able to network and connect with other like minded individuals. I, for one, wouldn’t have a career, if it weren’t for the internet, or maybe I would but it wouldn’t be where it is today. Anyway, I’ve successfully used the internet for networking and collaborations regarding my work, and when done ‘right’ can be a really amazing tool to help you in proceed your career.

I’ve sat down with Meghan Widger, owner of Hills and Thread and asked her a few questions about the work she does today.

10300425_3033096746710_6723044646097716898_n1. What made you start the work you do today?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved creating. But my sewing journey started at age 14. I got really hooked on the show Project Runway and just felt like I wanted to do what the designers did. I felt a spark, like this was something I could be good at. I wanted to learn, so my awesome parents gifted me with a sewing machine. I taught myself to use it and designed my own garments. However my interested shifted from fashion design to quilting, and has been evolving and expanding ever since.

2. Do you have a vision, goal, or destination in the work you do?
My main destination is to someday teach my own workshops. I want to teach people not only the skills and knowledge to sew or paint, but how to enjoy the process and how therapeutic it can be. I’d also like to travel around to display and sell my work at different festivals and shows. Basically I just want to learn, share, and teach.

3. What did you enjoy about working with me/us?
I enjoyed getting to know a new artist and learning about your Electrography project. Collaborating two completely different skills and talents is such a fun experience. Not only did I learn a lot from you but I also gained a lot of inspiration from this project! 3_Beisecker_Pineneedles

4. What do you do outside of when you’re not designing/creating?
I spend most of my time creating. If I’m not sewing then I’m painting or making something else. But If I’m not making something then I’m taking care of my plants, practicing yoga, or listening to music/podcasts. I love being outside, reading/writing, and thrift store shopping.

5. What made you start Hills and Thread?
Starting Hills and Thread was actually a huge step for me. As an introverted person who used to be painfully shy, I never liked to draw attention to myself and was never one to show off my work. I realized that starting my own business would be constantly challenging me to go outside my comfort zone and, in turn, help me evolve and grow. It took a lot for me to just start posting things I made on social media for exposure, then I was terrified of starting an Etsy shop. But every time you do something that scares you, you take control and the fear loses its power little by little. I decided I wanted to overcome as many fears as possible not only for myself, but to inspire others to do the same.

I, myself, enjoyed working with Meghan and Hills and Thread and look forward to see how this project develops. We have plans to develop our collaboration down the road, possibly supporting a cause that helps Kenyan women through sewing and other awesome ideas. If you are looking for a unique gift idea, or a new home decor piece; check out our work at at: SHOP K GLYPHICS (http://www.facebook.com/electrography) and Hills and Thread (https://www.facebook.com/hillsandthread).

Be on the lookout for future articles by Kristi which will feature ‘tips and tricks for artists to get ahead,’ Artwork ‘currently on view,’ Projects ‘in the studio,’ Travel Stories ‘on the road and in the air,’ and finally ‘lifestyle’ adventures. You can find more about Kristi, and her work on her blog:  http://blog.kglyphics.com.

The Final Verdict

The Final Verdict

I have no toleration for art theft; NONE whatsoever. While you may or may not have intentionally stole it, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is the new logo and the old one are too similar to be accused of otherwise. The fact that there was no communication to me from point A) our last discussions of the project to point B) where you posted your new logo on facebook has led me to believe that you stole the main concepts; stole most of my efforts.

Yeah, the crystal and the colors may have been your ideas… but the circle and the layout and everything else was my creation. But ideas are subjective and are not copyrighted. I made it happen, therefore the work is mine and I never passed off the logo to you for you to use in any shape or form. NEVER.

Oh and your reaction? Extremely childish; blocking me on all social media and returning my items is a slap in the face.  The fact that you gave me a list of businesses when I left Northampton where you didn’t want me to drop your name, should have been a big sign.

And my blog? You knew I wrote here, knew that I write about my life and what happens with it. It’s how I document my life. But posting the blog is NO different than you posting your new logo without letting me know you went on to a different designer.

Another fact of the matter is, that you claim I was frustrating. No point in our communications indicated you were frustrated. You requested a change, so I made it. To accuse me going too far with the changes, is ridiculous. To say your artist friend ‘surprised you’ is ridiculous. You may have had a barter, but the logo was something in addition to. To accuse me or make any other reasoning in this, is ridiculous. Anything else you say sounds like an excuse.

I spoke to 5 of my creative friends who work in this industry and surrounding ones and they say you stole it. One of them came up to me and said she commented on the post you made public on your FACEBOOK. I never accused you stealing publicly. Yet, you took this publicly. CHILDISH. You wrote in an email the public post was not something how you’d normally deal with things; so why post it in the first place? And you claimed you could post all the communications and whatever to show the world? Well guess what, visuals matter and the thing is they’re too similar to be accused of otherwise, my friends would’ve agreed and stood-up for me.

I tried to be a responsible and negotiable adult with you. Tried to negotiate with you to take down the logo and in return I’d take down the blog post. Yet, you terminated communication to me and threw my items back at me. Then keep telling me that you’ll go in a different direction of the ‘professional’ logo? Hun, I am a professional. I’ve worked with other PAYING companies; you never paid me anything. But you can’t negotiate with a child.

So I reported a copyright infringement to facebook and they took it down. My negotiation remains the same. I will leave the original blog post up until you take any traces of your new logo down.

This is the last I will ever speak and post about this. I have other more important things to do.

Storytime: I WAS STOLEN FROM!

Storytime: I WAS STOLEN FROM!

I feel the only way to be credited and redeemed in this situation is to post this to my blog. Typically, I would let this go, but since this is kind of a serious issue where I feel that a knife was stabbed in my back, it is the best way.

About a year ago one of my business-owning friends put out a call for logos on their facebook page where the payment was merchandise from their shop. Since the shop was up my alley as a designer and artist, I figured it was worth a shot.

I am paranoid about copyright and stealing since it’s so easy to do so on the internet, I decided to not post the original to the competition post on her business page so sent it to her privately.

She really liked my logo and exclaimed how much she liked my work, so she decided to cancel the competition and would award me the merchandise and use my logo. We continued to work on the draft and revised it a bit. There are now several drafts from the original competition entry. I got the feeling that she didn’t want to pay the merchandise to me right away and through her comments decided that we wait a bit so she can have more ideas. A few months ago, I messaged her again after it had been awhile since we worked on it and she said it wasn’t on her radar. OK, I respect your schedule and that you have a busy life.

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Logo her friend made

Just a few days ago, my business friend posted the left logo to her page exclaimed that this season was a good time for change, and that she was ‘surprised’ by a friend with this logo.

I sat in SHOCK. Because the colors, layout and format of this logo is the exact same from the logo draft my friend and I left off with; just a crude version of it.

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Logo I made and where we left off

I immediately messaged my friend about this and asked, “Why is this here when the last thing you told me was ‘it wasn’t on your radar?”

She responded with COMPLETE AND UTTER NONESENSE. I’m sorry, but I DO not buy what my friend told me.

NO ONE gets this close on the first try… NO ONE!

My friend responded with this…

It wasn’t on my radar, I am doing a barter with a friend for her wedding jewelry. And she surprised me with a logo that fit what I was looking for. I didn’t ask for a logo it just kinda happened. She is doing some photography for my website. I remember we were working on it, in that moment it wasn’t what I was looking for. This was just a pleasant surprise that someone had made for me. It was no disrespect to you or what you do and it wasn’t my intention to hurt your feelings. Im really sorry thats how you feel. Like I said it wasn’t my intention for this to happen or for your feelings to be hurt.

I brought up this incident with a few of my friends and they told me that she probably said that as to avoid an issue with me.

I’m SORRY I DO NOT BUY WHAT YOU SAID. After months of not communicating with me and explaining to me about what you do and don’t want with a logo, you realize that we can work out these issues as a team?! That’s the whole point of working with a designer. WE AREN’T SUPPOSED TO READ YOUR DAMN MIND.

New Project: Quilt Mandalas

New Project: Quilt Mandalas

Last summer I participated in the Hyarts Artist Shanty program in Hyannis, MA. Since then I have maximized my experience by writing down inspiration, tidbits and things people have said to me, that came to my mind and random things. I usually do this with action-packed experiences because if I have a lot on my mind I tend to forget it!

While working on this experience I experimented a little bit with my artwork on clothing and I really like how it turned out. It was really sell-able as well and seems to be the most cost effective way to produce artwork prints. However, getting into clothing manufacturing is a bit tricky. I’m not a seamstress and can hardly cut a straight line so I wouldn’t be the one making the clothes. I have to find a manufacturer that will do private labeling… essentially I design the clothing and claim it, but it will be manufactured in a factory, or something like it. Part of me wants to collaborate with others on the fashion line but part of me doesn’t want to split the credit…sounds selfish but I want it to make it my own, but without doing the dirty work! Only because it’ll just be another thing to be added onto my plate so I want to focus on what matters, the artwork.

So, I started searching on instagram for artists whose work will mix well with my owIMG_0272n. Since my mandalas fit the hippy, new agey vibe and I’ve been wanting to market to this crowd more. I connected with a fiber artist and designer from Missouri whose done some awesome incredible things. She made a whole bunch of bags, filled them with school supplies and then sent them off to a non-profit organization – Generation Next, for students in Africa.

She owns a small etsy based business called, Hills and Thread, and designs bags and other fabric based items with quilting techniques.  I contacted her if she wanted to collaborate and she was ecstatic to! We skyped the following week and came up with a bunch of ideas. It’s nice seeing my work in a different form with color and in a completely different light.

We have other plans to expand this project if successful. BUT I’m happy with the current progress.

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Bliss Logo Re-Design BC WIP

Bliss Logo Re-Design BC WIP

I have been working hard on the marketing materials for Bliss and I’m excited with the progress we’ve done so far. I am posting these updates on my personal blog because I want to post finished pieces on K Glyphics.

A few weeks ago, we finalized the Bliss re-design logo and now we’re working on the business cards.

Bliss-woboxThe concept behind this logo was found through inspiration from Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs of the lotus flower. The flower motif is important to Bliss, as when the woman go through this program, they blossom from a rough point in their lives overcoming violence into an empowered woman who has honed skills.

The colors were also inspired by the Ancient Egyptian palette. We originally thought orange was a too corporate feeling, but chose as shade of orange that was a bit subdued to match the earth vibe of the brand’s image.

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The logo initially started with a dozen or so sketches and then photographed and uploaded. The sketch to the right was the last one we worked on before it was outlined in Illustrator and colored in in photoshop. I find it easier to do color effects in photoshop than in Illustrator so it was just personal preference on that choice.

1463914_642331162485875_1415535763_nWe were pleased with the outcome of the logo and like the complexity of the logo as it can be broken down into different parts to be used in future aspects of the brand, so the rest of the branding image can have some flexibility.  We also adored the final shape of the logo as it was reminiscent of the old logo, but a more updated – fresh look.

We’re working on finalizing the business card and perhaps hope to have it completed in the coming week.

11143708_2906519222351_499207424530265154_o The business card I had been struggling with since I haven’t done a non-standard size before. I am currently working on perfecting the piece, making sure every detail is just right! When you’re in this field, there are certain details that you pick up as a graphic designer that most people wouldn’t even consider but makes a world of a difference. We’re considering a laser-cut cover for example, or the inside cover should match up with the right fold flap… those things.

Product Photoshoot

Product Photoshoot

Today I went to Lincoln Woods Park in Rhode Island and did a photoshoot with a lovely model named Morgan. The shoot really came together and I LOVE how the photos came out! These will be used on the website and printed materials for the shanty (and future opportunities) this summer. Stay tuned for the edited versions in a few weeks! I have a set edited already which you may see a preview of on instagram, but I am not quite sold on it.

Bow and Arrow Press

Bow and Arrow Press

I apologize for the lack of updates but this month I took a class on the letterpress at Harvard and it was an intense crash course, 4 hours a day for 4 days for 3 weeks straight. Waking up at 6 am finally caught up with me this week… but the class is over! So next week will be back to regular schedule. I have posted below a few images my letterpress instructor took of the work that was done. The pic below is of the background of a poster I did of Carl Sagan’s “We are star stuff which has taken its destiny into its own hands”… as a conclusion of the class, I am now ‘officially’ trained on the letterpress and can attend the Open Press Nights on Wednesdays during the spring semester. So now I think I know what I’ll be doing on my wednesday nights :)

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Redefining Electrography Portfolio

After the Visual Alchemy reception I was describing my work to a childhood friend and said that the pieces that I consider having “artistic quality” are pieces where there was a form that you could relate to.. but it may or may not be exactly that form – so in essence the light from the electricity created these forms that we could relate to (Kelp formed a heart at the roots). For example, in Bluebells, there are two ‘eyes’ in the pieces that were created from the bluebell plant. Another example is Pine Needles which has the image of a pregnant woman. I recently had a friend of mine write inspirational descriptions along with each piece and concluded that the ‘REAL’ portfolio pieces were the ones that had forms you could relate to. I’m not sure why it wasn’t obvious to me before… but it makes sense. I now have 6 solid pieces that would be considered as my portfolio. I hope that in Italy, I’ll add a few more using vines from grape plants. :)

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Abandoned Warehouse Enfield

Abandoned Warehouse Enfield

Whenever I need to get out of the house just to do something, I’ve been known to take a drive around the neighborhood. I’ve done this a few times since Minuteman and ran across an old abandoned warehouse in Enfield, CT that is up for sale. I thought it would make an interesting nature vs. man series. I also saw using Instagram filters for it. Something about the lighting, coloring and area seemed fit for it. :)  Below are my results.

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Design: Printed Materials for A Solo Show: Electrolyte!

Last night I printed out the designed materials for A Solo Show: Electrolyte! I’m trying to think of EVERYTHING lol. The gift bags aren’t included here as they haven’t been completely made yet and I don’t have good photos of them. I will take more photos on setup day.

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6 labels for each print; includes dimensions, price and description

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A price list, containing a longer description for each series. 3 series of 2. Business cards and labels.

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Another view of the price list with the guestbook in the background.

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A view of the business cards.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again

Merry Meet, Merry Part, Merry Meet Again

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I went outside and took a walk around the property and photographed some of the flowers and took note of whats there for my electrography. The property has a lot of bleeding heart plants and I haven’t really had the opportunity to be able to look at one close-up since the one back in Wellesley is not easy to get to.

I’ve been mourning of the loss of my job as well as an important relationship in my life (they were intertwined). This photographic series, while I do admit is a bit cliche speaks to what my heart is currently feeling. The middle photograph of the two hearts speaks to the relationship itself. I chose to have one of the hearts in focus because it places a bit of a emphasis on the relationship. While we had a heart-to-heart connection, there were barriers and obstacles that prevented us from developing it any further. The last photograph is the confrontation and ultimately the end of that particular relationship as of now. Neither party wanted it to end but outside circumstances forced it to end.

Sketch Therapy

1503304_2360698217167_1716138752_nI have been recently doing ball point pen sketches as a form of art therapy. It’s helped me just release whatever is going on in my head at the moment and just focusing on creating something. Since I create things all day every day during the week on a fast-paced basis sometimes its nice to just slow down and create on your own time.

I had been wanting to draw a self portrait of me creating kirlian photograms. Didn’t quite come out exactly what I had pictured, but perhaps I should work with it – take it a step further. For now, I like the sketch.

Studio Wrap Up #1

My first studio wrap up!! I’m sitting here in my studio after having coffee with a former high school teacher. We ended up talking for 2 hrs and I didn’t get to Beverly until 2 pm. I’m having lunch from Green Papaya, a Vietnamese food restaurant that’s downstairs and trying to figure out the best use of my time. I COULD set up the darkroom and spend a couple hours making negatives only to put everything away… OR I COULD sit at my computer and work on my schedule for next year.  HMM. What to do? I do have tomorrow, so I am definitely planning on coming here early tomorrow to make negatives. I think I may just end up working on my calendar for next year.

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My first project in the studio was a sculpture project for my art residency proposal which ended up being a TOTAL FAIL. I ended up submitting something, but it was only after much headache to finally toss this idea out. Kind of sad that my first project in my studio was a fail. But the first time you do anything you don’t normally get it done right.

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To the right is a photo of the epic failness. The sculpture block did not solidify the way I expected it to and thus could not carve it the way I expected to. I think I didn’t buy the right type of plaster even though Dick’s said that it was a good plaster for carving. Phooey.

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To the left is what I ended up submitting long with an explanation. It’s not that clear as a photo alone, but my project is to take an existing photograph and to translate it into a 3-dimensional sculpture of that photograph.

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Studio 19 had it’s first opening reception! Which went very well and a lot of the people who showed up were interested in purchasing the artwork. I also established a partnership wit The Healing Center in Beverly. They want to use my process and I want to use their outreach and clientele for my personal projects on spirituality.

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AND most importantly, the first ever paper negatives were made in my studio. The process isn’t perfect, but I now feel like I’m going somewhere with this space. Everything is coming together and I’m producing things!

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Next, I made my In/Finite Earth experience memo board. I’m hoping to, as I gain more experiences in the art field, to make more of these. I used encaustic board so the paper is a bit thicker and I can nail it to the wall if I wanted to as a base. Then covered it with print outs of the postcard that had everyone’s art on and printed out pictures and bought scrapbook materials that reflected the trip. I really enjoyed this project!

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And last but not least, Cabot Street Studios has its’ first Holiday Open Studios!

What’s coming up:

Exploration in Papermaking

– Using the dried flowers from my kirlian photography and the recycled paper from work to create a work of art.

– Oceanic Kirlian Photographic Prints. Using organic materials from the ocean to produce kirlian photographs

– developing a portable darkroom…

– and much more to come! :)

Elm Bank Photoshoot

Elm Bank Photoshoot

I have an account on ModelMayhem for my photography. I don’t do photography as much as I should as I see it more of where I put raw creative energy – something where I need to still create but take a break on doing some of the other art things I do. I met my model on MM awhile ago but I had just signed onto Cabot Street Studios and working with my work schedule it has been difficult to schedule a session. But we finally did it! I took over 400 photos in 1.5 hours. So I’ll be posting the facebook gallery link here and will be updating the gallery as I go.

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