Spotlight: Meghan Hall (Street Artist Name: "M.")
Androgyny: the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics and gender ambiguity play an important role in Meghan Hall's (Street Art Name: "M.") identity and art. Featured in galleries, on buildings, as well as various merchandise, M.'s bold lines and mashup figure drawings are becoming an urban fixture and have been getting the attention of many, including notable figures in the art world and celebrities. M. is self-taught and has become an internationally acclaimed street/pop-noir artist of the generation that emerged in the wake of the influence of Keith Haring, RETNA, OBEY, Banksy, Frida, Invader and Basquiat. Explore M's world on Instagram!
A Q&A with M. about the Viva LA experience
How has living in LA influenced your artistic style and the way in which you express yourself?
I've always viewed the city of Los Angeles as one of my muses. She inspires me on a daily basis. Whether it's her palm trees blowing in the wind, her bright "Dr. Seuss" flowers appearing on a walk in a random neighborhood, or her breathtaking sunsets. She never ceases to amaze me and, yes, LA has certainly influenced me and my artwork. There's a magic she holds that I always seek to tap into before starting any new art piece.
Has LA influenced your choice of materials, media or message?
Absolutely. The materials and media - I prefer acrylic paint pens like Molotow & Posca. They are great on both canvas and on street art murals ;)
The message - love wins. We are living in historic times. Historic times call for all artists to unite, to create, to help heal and bring about a new era of living. I have murals in various locations across Los Angeles, and with each mural/artwork that I create, my intention is to tap into your subconscious and liberate your soul.
What aspects of living in LA do you most appreciate? Which do you find most challenging?
LA always has something just for you, no matter your hobby or flavor. Especially in the arts - that is why I find Viva LA so unique and valuable - you are giving our community a solid platform to create and be seen.
How does LA inspire you to express yourself?
I'm influenced by the genuine hopes and dreams that built her - behind the lights and cameras, there are whispers of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin (to name a few)...
LA is a vast array of cultures and people - I love learning bits and pieces from all walks of life and then blending it into my art.
How has your art helped you grow as a person?
My art has always been my resonance - my safe haven, where I can safely reflect on my surroundings, regardless of where I live, what is going on in the world or in my heart/mind. I have found especially since 2018, my art has given me a voice in the midst of this Great Awakening. If you look at any of my art pieces closely, you will find hidden words, master codes, sacred geometry, and riddles that show you where I was in that particular moment in time. Leonardo da Vinci had it right creating works that had secret messages that we still talk about to this day.
How do you think art can be used to bring people in LA together?
"The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke." - Jerzy Kosinski
Art is essential to the human spirit. It makes you think and takes you places. When you walk by art on the street, you have to look at it and wonder. That wonder is what will set us free. We've got to reconnect to who we are and see outside the matrix.
Recently, back in Summer 2020, during one of the marches/riots in Hollywood, I was at one of my murals (The 7 Chakras) observing the people marching through the streets. We're talking 50,000 people here...what I saw that day, I will never forget - specifically when the crowds marched past my mural, I couldn't help but notice the shift in their energy while passing by. The tension immediately released and people stopped to take pictures in front of my art. They started laughing, hugging and shaking hands with strangers, and releasing the pent-up anger that has been so prominent this past year. We need more of that - not just in LA, but in all cities worldwide.
What advice would you give kids growing up today who love creativity but may not be exposed to art?
Keep creating! I grew up in a small town in Virginia. No exposure, no resources. I just kept creating and learning how to perfect my craft. The learning turned into opportunities, and the opportunities started seeking me out. You must find joy in the act of creating itself. Never lose that! Let go of having to "make money" right away. As an artist, we need our work to be seen before anything. Remember, the Journey is where your art inspiration comes from - appreciate it all.
If you could have one big wish come true for the Los Angeles of the future - what would it be?
I have so many wishes - but for now, while I'm in LA, let it be a combination of unveiling and celebrating artists of all forms, all cultures, all creeds, into a "Unity Consciousness" Hollywood platform. After all - this is the Great Awakening. Cheers!