Hi, my name is Maggie Stephenson, I am a freelance artist currently living in Florida. Originally from Poland, I spent most of my early life in Germany. My art is strongly influenced by my European and Eastern travels, as well as love for color and nature.
What are your earliest memories of illustrating?
Illustrating, doodling, drawing have always been a part of me. I can't think of a time I didn't do it. Some of my earliest memories are of my time spent drawing with my grandfather. He was a fantastic artist, always drawing birds and other animals which I then tried to copy (and failed, because he was way better than me). When I was a bit older, I became fascinated with comic books. The Smurfs and Donald Duck in particular. Initially, I traced over the cartoons and eventually I made up my own storylines and pictures.
Can you describe your style to us?
It's heavily influenced by the beautiful bold colors typically found in Turkish, Greek and Hispanic culture, landscape, nature and humor. All the good things in life. Love and sunshine. An optimistic outlook. I do get serious every now and then, but life can be serious as is, so I try to keep my art on the positive side
Do you feel your style reflects your personality?
Absolutely, yes. I'm generally a happy go lucky person. I would hope it carries over into my pictures.
How do you want people to feel when they look at your work?
I hope it makes people smile or maybe encourages them to travel and explore new places. If someone is having a rough day, I hope it makes them forget about it and reminds them that there is still a lot of fun and positivity in the world.
What’s one thing about your artwork that you’ve learned about yourself?
Perhaps that I am more patient than I think I am. Because once you start illustrating the leaves of a tree or a rocky pavement there is no going back.
What triggers your creativity and ideas?
Usually it's music. A good song comes on and ideas just start flowing in conveyer belt style. Other times, I may see a photograph or a video of a beautiful place. Sometimes it's a color palette, an emotion or an outfit someone is wearing.
What do you like to do when you’re not illustrating?
My favorite thing to do is simply being with my husband and son. We spend a lot of time outdoors. We enjoy boating, beaches, going for walks and watching sunsets. I also enjoy remodeling and updating projects in our home as well as landscaping.
Is there a style or type of art you're not a fan of? Why / why not?
All of art is interesting in it's own way. I can't really say that I don't like a certain type or style. But, generally speaking, I am more drawn to colorful, happy art as opposed to subdued tones or pensiveness.
What are you 2018 goals?
I'm not big on setting goals... So, I guess my goal is to not set goals, but rather live in the moment, focus on one day at a time and simply do things I enjoy doing. Good things will surely follow, right?
What is your favorite song, artist or band you enjoy listening to while you work?
My music list is a bit all over the place. Some days I'll be listening to Reggae, Caribbean and Latin rock/pop. Other days it may be classic rock, dub or disco. If I had to name some artists, they would have to be Queen, Juanes, Omega and the Eagles. Most of their songs have a way of putting me in an artistic mood. Painting to fun music has a downside though, because it takes twice as long to finish something if you're busy dancing.