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Megan Duncanson artwork

Megan Duncanson

Born and raised in Alaska, Megan Duncanson's life story is as intricate and unique as her artwork. Self-taught, Megan Duncanson's contemporary artwork comes straight from her dreams and, wow, does it show in her work! From her mod swirling, colorful tree silhouettes to her elegant, whimsical sealife paintings, each of these decorative designs hold a unique beauty. Finding inspiration in nature and everyday subjects, Duncanson takes normal, common objects and transforms them into a captivating artwork. Described as contemporary eclectic, Megan Duncanson experiments in a wide range of art styles and subjects.
Megan Duncanson PaintingHalo of Fire Print

Where are you from?

Alaska SkylineI was raised in the Bush of Alaska, North of Ketchikan near a tiny fishing village called Meyers Chuck. My parents have a floating house that I grew up in, and they still live in it to this day; literally just a house on logs, logs that were found floating in the straits of Alaska or on a shoreline. My 4 siblings and I would take a small boat with our father across open water to the nearby one room school (we were also home schooled for a few years). The seas in this area can reach as high as 30 feet! We didn't have any power, phone, cable TV, or any modern amenities, we would watch the same VCR taped movies over and over. We would miss approximately 50 days of school due to the stormy winter weather that would make the water crossing impossible. On those days we would call our teacher on CB radio for the class work we needed to complete that day; we carried a complete set of books back and forth with us every day in case we weren't able to make it. We cut and hauled firewood for heat, used kerosene lamps to do our homework by, and had to haul water from nearby creeks. I spent a lot of my time outdoors and was always inspired to draw and paint the nature around me, from a very young age.

Where do you live now?

I live in Florida, and actually just moved to a new home in Port Orange a few days ago. I've lived between Florida and Alaska for the past 20 years and my husband and I have a cabin in Meyers Chuck that we go to several times a year.
Go Forth by Megan Duncanson

Does the place you live have an effect on your art?

Absolutely! I love to paint nature inspired art, whether it's trees, or coastal art, and particularly tropical anything. I love tropical art and living in Florida has truly inspired me, as does the wild beauty of Alaska.

What did you do before devoting your life to art?

My husband was a Florida homebuilder and I became the licensed contractor for our company; we did this for 15 years before the economy crashed, which is when I started working full-time as an artist (2007). I also did a four month stint as a high school World History teacher, didn't really like that, hence the four months. I also worked as an editor at the University of Central Florida for a few years; I graduated from UCF in 1999 with a Master's degree in Political Science...yes, about as far removed from art as you can get!
Venturing Out by Megan DuncansonArt by Megan Duncanson

When did your career in the arts start?

My husband and I knew that that recession that hit in 2008 was eminent, even as far back as 2006, so we sold everything we had in Florida, closed our construction company and moved to Ketchikan, AK! My husband wanted to experience that lifestyle and we figured it was the perfect time. This was also the opportunity for me to really focus on my art as a career, rather than just dabble in it periodically. I started listing on eBay and my art was overwhelmingly received, I was literally painting 3-5 paintings every day and listing them at auction and shipping out just as many, and I haven't looked back since. It's my dream job, a dream that I've had as far back as I can remember. When asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said "an artist". But, practicality told me that I wouldn't be able to make a living as an artist, so I went to college instead, but so glad to have found the opportunities that have allowed me to make art my career. Note: After three years in Alaska, I just couldn't take the cold and long dreary winter days, so in late 2009 we moved back to Florida, and now split our time between the two states, the best of both worlds :)

What is your biggest inspiration for art?

My mother and uncle are two of my biggest inspirations, and two of the most avid supporters of my art, and they understand because they are extremely talented artists who have always encouraged and pushed me to follow my art wherever it takes me.

Where do you see yourself as an artist in the next 10 years?

I hope to have my art in as many homes around the world as possible, from originals and prints to products. The ultimate dream for me as an artist would be to do more traveling and use my travels as the inspiration for my art, from natural to man-made settings, I know there is a whole world of inspiration out there waiting for me to create my art around.

Is there a style of art you are interested in trying?

I've actually tried just about every style of art there is, at one time or another.

How do you know when a piece you're working on is done?

I just feel it, sometimes I step away for a day or so, and come back to a painting and it will call to me to add something or just leave it the way it is. And once I feel a painting is finished I've never second guessed it.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Alaska SkylineInspiration is all around me, from nature, to cityscapes, to butterflies and ladybugs, to abstract textures and designs in bark, to anything and everything! One of the places/times I get the most inspiration is when I'm riding my mountain bike. In addition to my art this is what I spend the next most amount of time doing, traveling to other states and all over Florida to get in some miles (approximately 50-100 miles per week on the trails). I love the opportunity to be outdoors as much as possible, and mountain biking also helps feed my overly competitive edge at the same time :) Some of my best ideas for painting and marketing ideas come when I'm riding my bike, I just have to make sure to write down all the ideas when I'm finished!

What is your biggest advice for aspiring and uprising artists?

Practice, Practice, Practice!! You don't really know who you are as an artist until you've tried so many different mediums to paint on and with, to different styles from impressionism to abstract and all subject matters. Always try new things and practice them until you come into who you are as an artist, and even then, keep practicing and creating!
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