We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Pelto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance has become one of the most important things to me in my career. As a freelance artist, it is easy to feel like you always need to be working or promoting yourself. But breaks from work as well as time off make me a better artist and more excited for every new job. When I first started working as a freelance illustrator I worked a lot but made my own hours, whereas when I transitioned to my first full-time job I usually didn’t get home till around 8pm. That schedule was hard because my only free time was after dark and when I had my least energy. I realized I need an equal balance of work and free time to do my best work. I value my work, my free time, time outdoors, and time with family and friends, so it became my goal to strive for that more equal balance. In my career as a freelance illustrator I feel lucky that I have more flexibility over my time and when I work and prioritize that. I hope to continue to always have that balance of art, work, and life.
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.
I am an illustrator who primarily works with motion design studios. For those who might not know what that is, it’s a type of animation that often uses more graphic design or is used for commercial purposes. But basically I draw and a lot of those drawings get animated for clients! I am proud to be in this field, and love getting to work with so many other great artists and with amazing studios. I think getting to be part of a creative team for a lot of my freelance jobs is really inspiring and helps me grow as an artist. It took a lot of work to get to where I am now, and is something I have been striving for since I took a motion design elective class while at college! I think just continuing to always keeping making new work and growing is what enabled me to get here, and a lot of artists have helped me along the way. For me, even when I work on really big jobs and am busy, I always appreciate where I am and don’t take my career for granted, because it’s amazing just to get to work as an illustrator! And I’m still always making new work and striving to grow.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I currently live in Los Angeles, though am moving to Portland, OR in March, so under 3 months. I have lived in LA for 3 years now, and I think my favorite thing is all of the mountains around the city. I live in a neighborhood called Los Feliz that is right near Griffith Park. I would recommend going for a hike there and checking out the observatory. And whenever it’s safer, there is the cutest outdoor seating down the street at a restaurant called Home. It has trees that cover the seating area so it feels cozy and like you’re out of the city. If you want to drive a bit, there is a really cute town called Solvang in the mountains, or Big Sur is farther up the coast and has tons of nice hikes and is a scenic drive.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shoutout my family. They have always been supportive in my work as an illustrator, and encouraged my artistic side. They helped ensure I was able to attend SCAD for my BFA in illustration, and have understood every time I have moved somewhere new even though it has take me all across the country! I can also always turn to them for help and to share any accomplishments with. I think that has been key to me succeeding.