We have some fantastic news! This piece “Panic” recieved a GOLD Medal from the Society of Illustrators NY in the uncommissioned category. Meg Hunt’s response, “I’m really honored- while I don’t make art to win awards, it feels really good to get recognized for a piece that was personal in nuture.” Read on if you would like to more about Meg's idea, process and feelings about her work.
Interesting topic, what inspired you to illustrate "panic"? I had been wanting to explore nonliteral imagery inspired by anxiety and depression for a while. So for this image, I decided to delve into the idea of trying to find a way to visualize extreme anxiety/ panic attacks.
I see. How did you come up with the idea? I had been thinking about ways to depict this for a while, and then as I was going for a walk I had a mental image of a body of tropical fish overwhelming a person with colors, textures and patterns.
How did you approach the process? I didn't exactly know the visual solution I wanted to hit, so I used it as an opportunity to experiment with composition and technique. I sketched loosely a series of shapes that would form the bodies of the fish; then took ink and filled in silhouettes of each fish along with a texture/line layer. After scanning and compiling, I colored the fish individually to make a series of 'sheets' of fish. Then I brought these fish into another file and moved them around like collaged pieces, doing loose sketches of possible solutions until I found an option I liked.
OK Meg, How would you describe your work? Frenetic, colorful, curious, always evolving.
What does it mean to receive a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators? It is a great honor to get recognized with a gold medal, especially for a piece that resonates personally with me. As I grow and mature as an illustrator, I have found it's much more important for me to make work that is honest and personally fulfilling than aiming for notoriety, but I am still very pleased that it was recognized by the Society of Illustrators.
Has your approach to illustration, process or inspiration changed in the last couple years? My process and approach in illustration is very experiential and experimental. But I think as I have continued my illustration practice, I have found that it's even more important to look outside of the illustration world to refill the well. This is something I want to continue to experience through travel, reading, and other life experiences.
Final Question, who’s your top dream clients? I've been pretty fortunate to work with many of my dream clients so far. But I'd have to say I would love to work with Nobrow, the Criterion Collection, and Penguin Books next, and I hope to explore other narrative/book work going forward.