Quick note: Since starting OTL Gaming 6 months ago we’ve been introduced to all sorts of talented artists and artisans and we have shared their work by posting it.
We developed the weekly Artist Focus series initially as a way to share a broad stroke of work from talented individuals to the masses. Over time though it has evolved from simply showing their work to providing artists a voice to coincide with their work.
Today is our 21st interview-based Artist Focus and we would like to thank all the artists who have taken the time to chat with us and share the “person” behind the art with our community. We look forward to providing many more Artist Focuses for years to come.
ARTIST FOCUS: MEG HUNT
For this week’s Artist Focus we are joined by Meg Hunt. Though only an illustrator since 2005, her lifelong passion for stories and illustrations has helped to quickly catapult her into the spotlight.
With a style that combines lots of bright colors with textures and patterns, Meg’s work offers a sense of familiarity, almost like seeing a distant memory that you may or may not have actually had.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
My name is Meg Hunt and I’m an illustrator. I’m originally from a small seaside city in Connecticut called New London (a former whaling city whose claims to fame are toothpaste and Eugene O’Neill). I spent twenty three years in Connecticut, moved to Phoenix, Arizona for four, and now happily reside in the wooded city of Portland, Oregon.
How long have you been designing/illustrating? What got you interested in art?
I’ve been working as an illustrator since 2005, but it’s been a lifelong interest since I was a little bookworm, poring over stories and illustrations.
I would draw in library books and make stories up to illustrate. In high school I learned about illustration as a career path and I was hooked, although halfway through college I nearly gave it up for printmaking, my second love.
Who/what influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?
It’s hard to pinpoint one singular influence—I am inspired by so much. Reading, folk art, old National Geographics, my peers, video games, old printmakers, animation, textiles—I consider myself a sponge.
I definitely think as a kid illustrators like the late Maurice Sendak and the Provensens were very influential—I discovered mid-century illustrators like Mary Blair in college as well and their use of shape and color were very inspiring too.
How would you describe your style?
Colorful, charming, filled with lots of details, texture, and pattern.
What is your day job?
I illustrate every day for a living; though I am also an instructor of illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art during the school year.
Tell us about your current projects. What are you working on? Any upcoming art shows?
I’ve got a few group shows coming up at places like Gallery 1988 later this year and am about to host an illustration workshop in Minneapolis. I’m also working on things like greeting cards and pieces for a bar/lounge in New York.
But largely I’ve been really trying to push my work and expand my skillset. Collaborating on animation and product work with friends, adding new pieces and stories to my portfolio, things like that. It’s never a dull moment for me!
Has video game art, concept art, or fan art influenced you at all?
I’m always hugely fascinated by concept art and video games in general—so I love seeing the process art behind some of my favorites. I think some of it has definitely influenced me in terms of thinking of the personality that can be imbued in a character using shape and mass.
Are you an avid gamer? If so, what are you currently playing?
I do love games, although I don’t play as often as I would like. I grew up with console/portable gaming (though we did have a Commodore 64 too) so I grew up with a lot of platforming/adventure games—those definitely shaped my tastes as I’d rather play an adventure, RPG, puzzle, or platformer than a FPS. Zelda was huge for me (especially the portable entries and Wind Waker), definitely!
I recently picked up Journey and loved it. I’ve been playing a few DS games like the Professor Layton series, Ghost Trick, and 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. I’ve also played some Left 4 Dead 2 and some of the Assassin’s Creed series lately, as well as the Persona series on the PS2 and Atlus’ Catherine on the PS3. I’ve been craving the guilty pleasure of the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series lately, though.
What is the most memorable video game experience you’ve ever had? Why?
It’d be hard to pick one game that was entirely memorable (maybe some of the Zelda games), but I have a ton of fond memories playing video games together with my sister. The two player games growing up were never terribly great (I still remember the distinct sound of Tails dying from Sonic 2) and I rarely did well playing against her in a fighter, but it was a lot of fun going to rent a game and play it, cracking jokes and experiencing it together.
If you could be any video game character who would it be? Why?
Tough question! Would it be weird to say GLaDOS? She’s got the best comebacks.
What do you do for fun?
I draw, go hiking, travel, play videogames, read books, play my ukulele, explore my city, take photographs, cook, and play with my little dog.
If there’s one thing that you want people to know about you, what would that be?
I feel very lucky that I get to make things that make people happy for a living. It’s the very best thing to me—to take you out of your little world and place you in a new one, if only for a little while. That’s the great thing about gaming and storytelling and illustration too.
Want to keep in touch with Meg or see what she is currently working on? You can see some of her work or contact her via her website.