We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Margeson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
You know those families that spend almost too much time together? Yeah… that’s my family. My entire life, we have just done everything together: 4-week long camping trips across the US, days in the middle of the desert dirt bike riding, family bike rides on the beach, karaoke nights at home, you name it. Of course, we’re family and can get on each other’s last nerve, but we love hard. I can honestly say that my parents and siblings are my best friends. It’s fun to see your relationship with your parents change as you leave behind adolescence and enter adulthood; a transition happens. At some point in time, they go from just being your parents to also being your friends. Our family road trips have changed a bit since the early years. What was once a family crammed into a Chevy Silverado has become a family riding old Harley-Davidson Choppers cross-country. Motorcycles have always been a big part of what we enjoyed to do as a family, and it has been so much fun as each of us, one-by-one, builds a chopper and joins the crew. It started with my Dad building his (which was his late brother’s), then my Mom, then myself, then my brother, and now, my Dad is working on finishing my sister’s! Each Summer, we take a 4,000-5,000 mile ride together, taking around 3 weeks. It is my favorite thing I do all year and I spend every day counting down to the next. Last year, when COVID hit, many of our motorcycle rides and trips had to be cancelled, for obvious reasons. After quarantining for three weeks, we mutually decided to allow myself to enter my parents quarantine bubble. For years, my Mom has been creating stained glass art and has been wanting to teach me. Life happens, I’m busy, she’s busy, it just never happened. However, we decided to find a positive in the dark times. My Mom began teaching me her trade. My first piece: a Harley-Davidson Panhead motor (just like my own!). I learned the process, from creating a pattern, cutting the glass, copper foiling, soldering, applying patina, polishing, and more. I never understood how much goes into the pieces she created. Many shards of glass into my fingertips later and my first piece was complete. I was so proud of myself and appreciated this quality time with my Mom after many weeks apart. For weeks following, I continued to join my mom in her little “she shed” to create stained glass art. Easter was around the corner, so we started selling Easter baskets, complete with a custom spring-inspired stained glass art piece, on local facebook groups and on our own social media platforms. From there, I just began creating pieces that made me happy: desert scenes, animals, plants, etc. As I began sharing my completed pieces on Instagram, people began asking to purchase them or if they could order a custom piece. As an artist, you go through this phase of “am I good enough?”. Is my art really good enough that I should making money off of it? I haven’t been doing it very long. Maybe it is my own demons or lack of confidence getting in my way. After some reassurance from my very talented Mother, who insisted my work was more than good enough, I began selling my pieces. Eventually, I had to (and was grateful to) return to my full-time job. I didn’t have the same time I had during quarantine to create, which was a bit of a bummer. However, we learned of a local makers market that was a couple months away. We decided to sign up! I spent my weekends trying to create one or two pieces leading up to the event. Together, we were able to fill boxes and boxes of stained glass pieces to bring to the event. The first few hours of the event, I didn’t sell a single piece and was growing more and more discouraged. It’s hard to pour your heart (and countless hours) into a piece of art only for noone to appreciate it. And suddenly, all in the last hour of the event, every single one of my pieces sold. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! And that is creating: a roller coaster. There are days that I get so frustrated, I just want to throw the piece I’m working on into the wall and watch it shatter. There are days I want to cry because I’m breaking every piece of glass I’m trying to cut. And then there are days that I finish a piece and don’t even know if I’ll be able to part with it because I think it is so beautiful. Not only do I get to create art, but I’m lucky enough to do it with my Mom. When I’m struggling, she’s there to help. When I need advice on which color of patina to use, she’s there to help. When I’m getting ready to launch my piece into the wall, she’s there to tell me to stop for the day. We create, we chat, we sing along to the radio, and we enjoy being together.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My Mom and I create our stained glass art in a small shed in my parent’s backyard. We don’t have a lot of personal space when we’re both in there working, but I think I prefer it that way. We bounce ideas off one another, get input on our newest patterns, help each other choose glass, and are better because of it. For us, creating isn’t just about the final product or money, but the process; it’s therapy and it’s bonding time. Of course, the feeling of creating a piece you’re truly proud of is so wonderful. But for us, that’s not what keeps us making stained glass art. We actually end up giving away the majority of our pieces as gifts, because what is better than a gift handmade from the heart?!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were visiting from out of town, this is how I would plan our day: South Bay style. Breakfast: Eat at Joe’s in Redondo Beach Activity: Ride bicycles from Redondo Beach to Manhattan Beach on the Strand Lunch: Mickey’s Deli in Hermosa Beach Activity: Paddle Boarding in the Redondo Beach Harbor Dinner: Steve’s Charbroiled Burgers in Torrance Activity: Happy Hour on the Hermosa Beach Pier Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have my parents to thank for any and all successes I have in my life. It is with their love, guidance, lessons, and support, that I am able to reach for the stars.
The only photo that needs credit is the one of me with my bike (im in the black bellbottoms). Credit goes to Nick Harp.