There are two prints this season that bring the SS24 collection together: Warbler and Birdie Heyday, both created by artist Meg Indy. We sat down with her after the shoot for the collection (which took place in her Lower Manhattan apartment) and chatted with her about her beginnings, the inspiration behind her pieces, and what’s next for her as an artist.
Meg at her studio in the Lower East Side. (Photo: Katie York)
Q: Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
A: I was born into a gregarious and vibrant family that changed zip codes yearly for the better half of my childhood. Eventually, we settled down in Augusta, GA and the South has been home to me ever since. This dichotomy of place has been such a gift as it showed me both the importance of embracing change as well as the enrichment that comes with putting down roots in a community - and within yourself.
Since moving to New York, I have joked that the pigeon is my favorite bird. You can find them in every major city around the world, amidst the hustle and bustle of it all, and yet, they have a strong sense of place - always able to find their way back home. In my art practice, this looks like playfully experimenting with painting techniques or unlikely color palettes, but no matter what comes to life on the easel, you will find a common thread of personal truth that I am honored to share through my work.
Q: What inspired you to begin painting?
A: The desire to express myself creatively has been omnipresent since childhood; afternoons spent drawing at the kitchen table, creating jewelry out of paperclips, covering bedroom walls with snips of magazines, collecting paint samples in my pockets, and indulging in anything colorful or creative that I could get my hands on. Painting became a consistent part of my life when my mom sent a watercolor set to college with me one day. Quietly painting in my dorm room was a soft place to land between the swells of my academic calendar, and it reconnected me with my inner child.
As I continued my art practice over the years, my curiosity for the things around me expanded as did the scale of my work. I now paint mostly with acrylic and gouache on canvases as large as me (sometimes bigger!) as I explore narratives of joie de vivre I come across in my day to day.
Warbler by Meg Indy, one of the paintings featured in SS24.
Q: Where do you gather inspiration from when starting a new piece?
A: I cross paths with inspiration most often on my walks around my neighborhood here in New York City - new blooms at the Elizabeth Street Garden, tidbits of conversation at the corner cafe, an ongoing friendship with the bodega cat downstairs, and so forth. I capture these moments in real-time with shorthand poems that are later translated in the studio on canvas. Every painting is a synesthetic mirror that uses both color palettes and brush movement to mimic the sights, sounds, and smells that narrate the memories.
Q: What was your inspiration for the Warbler and Heyday Birdie prints?
A: The painting ‘Warbler’ was inspired by a whistling man who bikes along my street every day. When looking at the painting, I remember first noticing him when the lavender chill of winter was leaning into the chartreuse of early spring. The brush strokes move about the canvas like his notes would bounce between the buildings, and I am filled with the same sense of wonderment I felt when I first met my whistling city songbird, my ‘Warbler’. On the other hand, ‘Birdie Heyday’ is inspired by the murmurations of birds swooping past my studio window. The shorthand poem for this piece goes like this:
‘above the sublime chaos
swaths of swallows flit fly unafflicted
Coincidentally, both paintings have something to do with birds in the spring and both were inspired by events that transpired on the same street that Meg’s Nolita location sits on. I like to think Meg could sense the familiarity of the narratives, and I am so excited to see these two paintings included in the SS24 collection.
Anna wears the Birdie Dress in Birdie Heyday print.
Q: How did you first discover the Meg brand?
A: I came across Meg’s store on one of my walks around the neighborhood and instantly fell in love with both her creations as a designer and her magnetic spirit as a person. Our friendship blossomed from there. She even styled me for my first art exhibition in New York!
A few months later, she approached me about working together for her SS24 collection and it felt like a true full-circle moment. From curating the prints for the collection together to being on set for the SS24 photoshoot, witnessing Meg work her magic through this collection has only furthered my adoration!
Q: How would you describe your style? Has it evolved since living in New York?
A: I have always gravitated towards more feminine, billowy silhouettes when dressing and enjoy adding moments of visual interest through pops of color or statement pieces. These accents are most often achieved through a brightly colored bag, a chunky heel, or an oversized cocktail ring!
Living in New York has added half a dozen pairs of (cute but comfortable!) sneakers to this rotation as well as a drawer-full of sunglasses from the vendors along Spring Street. One other component of living here is learning to embrace your own beliefs about style. There is a plethora of ongoing, contradicting conversations about what is ‘in’ and ‘out’ that you are forced to create an opinion of your own. I love it!
Q: What are you most excited about for the SS24 Meg collection?
A: Every piece of the SS24 collection is divine. Meg’s use of color, cuts, and prints (of course!) add an elevated yet wearable touch to anyone’s wardrobe. While I am selfishly excited to don the pieces that have my patterns on them, I am also keen on the Downtown Tank Dress, a sea-green dress with ties on the side. The ties offer versatility and allow the dress to transition with you from day to night and from season to season. A true must-have!
Janna wears the Downtown Tank Dress in Sea Green.
Q: A lot of the content on your blog and social media focuses on community and collaboration. Why is this important to you?
A: There are so many aspects of community that uplift and inspire - but my personal favorite is the cross-pollination that occurs when creative people collaborate. Whether you are simply bouncing ideas off one another or working in tandem on a project, the outcome of a combined effort is far more beautiful together than could be imagined alone.
Let’s take SS24 for example - over baguettes and coffee at Cafe Gitane one morning, Meg and I dreamt of a collaboration that would marry our respective affinity for art and fashion. Fast forward a few months, and not only are my art prints on Meg’s gorgeous clothing designs, but a team’s worth of talent has made its way into the studio for the photoshoot. From the models (Janna + Anna), the stylist (Blu), the HMUA (Rocky), and the photographer (Rachel), to the many hands that worked tirelessly behind the scenes, there were so many creative fingerprints on this collection that made it a true work of art.
Q: What’s next for you as an artist?
A: I am currently preparing for perhaps the largest body of work I have undertaken to date, and humorously, in the smallest studio space. The last collection I created, Joie de Vivre, came to me visually like a flash of blurry photographs that slowly came into focus as I began putting paint on canvas.
A few months ago, a similar rush of imagery came to me. This time, the loose shapes only took form when I came across the words of Theodore Roethke. His short poem has served as a guiding light for this collection and is currently hanging above my desk, written on the first page of my journal, and scribbled weekly on the drawing board at a nearby coffee shop - “deep down in their roots, all flowers keep the light’. But more on that to come…!Check out the SS24 collection, available now for pre-order here.