(Cover art, title: Pussy Power)
By L.R. Zimmerman

 

Women and feminist art have been censored for centuries. But now, because of activists like Meg Wagler, we are able to bring attention to the fundamental functions of art and how it defines women of all colors and sizes.
Feminist art highlights the societal and political differences women and those of other gender identity experience within their lives. To me, art isn’t suppose to look nice; it’s supposed to make you feel something. Meg Wagler’s unique perspective does just that. Her illustrations start conversations, encourage viewers to ask challenging questions, and helps us understand the society and moment we live in. Her creative edge empowers women and visualizes beauty without stereotype.

Artist Background: Who is Meg Wagler?

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Born and raised in the midwest, Meg Wagler is a multidisciplinary artist with a knack for colorful and bright illustrations. Her diverse educational training comes from Missouri State University where she studied graphic design and illustration, as well as fine art painting — graduating in 2011. She quickly started work focused on graphic design and, over time, has emerged as a talented, multi-disciplined illustrator working across several media including digital coloring, portraiture, watercolor and acrylic painting, and animation.

I visited with Wagler to learn more. Read our conversation here.

What is your medium? What art do you identify most with?

I’m pretty experimental across the board. I love to paint and draw with my hands, but I

Lady-Spacious
Lady Spacious

most often end up digitizing my work so I can have more control over changing colors and patterns. I would say I identify most with digital and vectorized art.

What art themes do you pursue?

I lean into surrealism … inspired heavily by pop art. I’m always experimenting with color but focus primarily on feminine subjects like portraiture and botanicals.

How does your work comment on current social/political issues? 

I think I’m always starting from a core of bringing power to femininity. It comes out in different ways, but I’m always interested in bringing it back to empowerment in an enthusiastic way. I think it’s important to have a feminist presence in the art and media culture that isn’t so dichotomous and spiteful. I want people to see that you can be optimistic, encouraging, honest and bright and really bring some light to the strong qualities that women bring to the world. Our culture in particular favors masculine qualities, and while there are some great masculine traits that should be revered, now is the time to be present and voice the value of feminine strength.

What does your work aim to say?

Be alive, be awesome, be you — whoever you are and whatever you feel, I want my work to empower, encourage, and enlighten. I want to make sure that all girls and women are represented, too. Every skin color, shape, size, style, and shade of personality. I think it’s so, so important to feel represented in an environment where we tend to see the same characters over and over.

What inspires you? 

Community. I think we all identify with an ego and that makes it normal to think and act

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Sinking Lady

pretty selfishly — especially professionally. When I see other people encouraging others, boosting each other up, giving time, energy and resources to each other simply to foster growth and success — that is inspiring to me. It encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing and share my good energy with others, too.

Why art? What motivates you?

Reactions! Seeing other people respond to my work is a fun that never dies. I love to hear opinions, see reactions and get in good conversation about concepts and execution. Making and creating something, putting it in the world and receiving a response. That is a formula that I could live on.

Who is your favorite artist? 

Henri Matisse has always been a fine arts favorite and huge influencer in my style and work, but my most influential current artist would be Paula Scher.

patriarchyproof-2
Patriarchy Proof

What is your dream project?

I’ve really been itching to do a mural. I love large scale painting and there are a few places I have my eye on.

How has your art evolved? 

It’s always evolving, as am I! I use art to reflect and express, so even though I’ve got a style, my colors, line work, and subject matter is always fluid. Though I think over time, I’ve gotten much more comfortable with my hands and trusting my instincts, so my work comes out much cleaner and intentional.

What do you dislike about the art world? 

Ego. I’m really turned off by people who think they’re the most important person in the room.

Professionally, what are your goals? 

I would love to slide in to more commission mural and exhibition work. There is something special about large scale work and I’d love to make that my reality. I love to make and create, so sustainably monetizing that passion is the ultimate goal.

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Follow Me

Meg’s online shop is currently under construction and will be open in February with artwork available for purchase at www.megwagler.com. In the mean time you can show Meg some love by following her artist page on Instagram.

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