Story by EMILY REED
When artist Megan Boggus of Clanton is approached by a client to create a piece of art, she often finds her inspiration from hearing about the people, things or places she is featuring.
“When a client says ‘I would love for you to draw my grandmother, my sweet baby, my dog or this person I lost,’ I am inspired to go above and beyond to ensure that when they receive it they are touched and truly smile or even cry,” Boggus said.
Boggus creates portraits of people using charcoal or pencil, animal pieces which are created from charcoal, pencil, watercolor or acrylic paint, as well as creating custom tumblers in any design.
“All of my portraits are as close to photo realistic as I can achieve,” Boggus said. “Photorealism is my passion and where my art has been all of my life. The tumblers are like my mini canvases, and I have the opportunity to make 10-12 different and unique pieces every week.”
Boggus first became an artist as a teenager but soon got too busy and did not have much time to work on things.
In 2012, when her son was born, he was in the NICU for three months, and Boggus began drawing to pass the time.
“It wasn’t long before people would ask me to draw things for them,” Boggus said. “A few years later life happened and again, I used my art to pull me out of a deep depression. That is when painting began. My art has saved me on more than one occasion, and I truly feel blessed with all of the doors that have been opened and people that I have met.”
Two of Boggus’ favorite artists are Lisa Lachri and Marion Tubiana.
“Lisa [Lachris] taught me from her time lapse videos how to paint animals, landscapes and backgrounds,” Boggus said. “I learned how to layer paint and the various fur patterns. She also taught me various techniques that I incorporate in my own work. Marion Tubiana is such an amazing artist who specializes in my photorealism. I look at her work, and it pushes me to try harder and improve with each piece I create.”
When Boggus works on her pieces, she hopes others can feel the heart that she puts into each piece.
“Whether it be a portrait, painting, tumbler or just a sketch,” Boggus said. “I make each piece special and meaningful for each person who will be receiving it.”
All pieces are created in Boggus’s home, where she hopes to eventually have a studio space constructed in her garage.
When she begins working on a piece, she starts to find out as much about what her client wants as possible.
“Whether that is seeing a photo they want drawn or painted, or hearing an idea they have for a tumbler,” Boggus said. “That is when I will decide what medium and materials will be best. Next, I will sketch out the basic outlines and begin the piece. All of my portraits and paintings revolve around photorealism and for me that is captured in the eyes. I always start with the face and eyes no matter the person or animal. After that is complete, I begin the shading and darkening to bring the piece to life. To me, the shading and dark blacks give a piece so much depth.”
Boggus said her favorite part of the creating process is brainstorming what she will do for each client.
“My husband and I will start talking, and I will bounce ideas off of him or a client says, ‘I have an idea but don’t know how to make it happen.’ Just tell me and I will do my best to create it how you imagine it,” Boggus said. “I also love thinking outside of the box especially with tumblers to see what kind of unique material I can use to make it one of a kind. I absolutely love seeing the ideas come to life.”
Completed pieces can be found on Boggus’ social media pages. Most of her work is custom made to order, so if anyone is interested or has an idea for a piece, she suggests contacting her directly.
More information is available by visiting thephoenixgallerybymegan on Instagram and Facebook.