Meghan Hall, otherwise known as “M.”, is an artist I met in 2017 at Jeff Hamilton’s Street Art Fair. I knew right away that she was a force to be reckoned with. Not only was her style very unique, but she had charisma and charm raging out of her like a wildfire. There were about forty artists displaying their work that night, but everyone was flocking to her booth. Why, I wondered? I had to find out what made her so special, so I introduced myself and quickly found out that a gracious smile will win me over every time…and she had a great one.
Within moments of meeting her, I was swept up in her world, taking photos with her and meeting fellow artists who had also joined her magic circle. Yeah, there was something special about her, alright! Beyond the ability to draw or paint or express yourself through your work, an artist also needs to express themselves into the world as a person. ‘M’ had figured out how to do that, and do it extremely well. A year after meeting her, I still feel her presence. So, here we are, talking with ‘M’. Maybe her mighty fire will spread your way.
We met and discovered each others art at Jeff Hamilton’s street art fair in 2017. How did he discover you and how did that experience change your life as an artist?
I had met Jeff Hamilton in October 2016. It was his second or third street art fair, I believe. Funny thing was, I almost missed it, but after convincing a friend to tag along, we ended up making it for the last 45 minutes. At this point in my artistic career, I had not openly shared my street art in a “gallery” type atmosphere with other artist’s – mainly because a lot of the artwork I do publicly is/was illegal and I preferred to remain anonymous.
However, after hearing of a “street art fair” where I could create a mural that I didn’t have to watch the city take down in a few days, I was intrigued, to say the least. All of the artists in the Street Art Fair were amazing, and I ended up meeting Jeff Hamilton fifteen minutes into our arrival and showing him a binder of my artwork. I sat in his huge penthouse office full of art that ranged from Retna to Warhol, and I figured, if Mr. Hamilton approved of my art, then his street art fair was going to be my official debut into the art world.
As the universe would have it, Jeff asked me to be apart of his next street art fair in 2017. I spent five days drawing in my art space to create what I felt would be the best way to introduce myself to the world.
One of my favorite moments at Street Art Fair was watching the people react to my art. Each one of them gave me a part of them in every selfie, group photo, etc. It’s as if every single person who took a photo of themselves with my artwork was collaborating their energy with mine in their own perfect ways. I was brought to tears a few times and had to get myself together. It was at this moment that I fell in love with the vision of creating art worldwide.
They call you “The Female Keith Haring.” When did you first discover his work, and how did it affect you and your work?
I started drawing and doodling between 4 to 6 years old. My mom loves sharing my baby books that leave a fun trail of my artwork development growing up (and me in diapers!). As a kid that suffered from severe ADHD, I found myself drawing in all my notebooks instead of listening to my teachers in class.
What started out as doodling developed into me perfecting my lines and shapes around my class notes, around pictures, around the notebook itself. I began to find more than just notebooks to draw onto, which ultimately lead to my street art.
While I am inspired by many artists, and am honored at the acknowledgment to be considered “The Female Keith Haring,” I see my work as unique and different in its own right. In fact, I never even considered my work being similar to Keith’s until I was given the title in an art magazine published last year. What big shoes to live up to!
For my readers in this article: for the first time ever – I will share with you a few secrets of my artwork that I usually leave for those who are on their own path of seeking truth and purpose in this life. In each artwork, there is always a reason why I created it. Life events, spiritual awakening, curiosity, clarity…it’s all part of my journey.
A recent canvas I created was of Mona Lisa (pictured below). Now let it be said that I have never taken an art history class, or any art classes for that matter (I know, I know. I grew up in rural Virginia, and they didn’t offer any classes). So I am finding myself watching documentaries of so many amazing artists and their history, and educating myself on their stories, struggles, inspirations, and mysteries.
Each symbol is its own vibration. If you look closely, each symbol is its own form. I don’t like them ever touching or bleeding onto each other. I also write secret words and symbols that relate to what I am going through at the time, the work itself, and words of empowerment. Lastly, I have my “M.” signature in various parts of the art, but it’s up to you to find them. This is one of the ways I like to play with my audience: keeping them engaged while speaking to them in codes filled with inspiration and love.
You’re a filmmaker as well as an artist. How did you get started in film and what are you working on at the moment?
I got into film after being apart of an LGBTQ documentary, where I shared my story of being outcasted for being a gay college soccer player. I won’t go into detail in this interview, but being gay and growing up in the South made me learn how to survive at an early age. After the documentary, I wanted to do more for my LGBTQ community, and I couldn’t do that in Virginia. I met a girl living in Colorado who had watched my documentary and wanted me to join her on a travel video blog series where we traveled the United States filming and interviewing various LGBTQ leaders, revolutionists, pioneers, etc. I had just graduated college and it was my first time experiencing the USA in person, let alone discovering my LGBTQ roots. At this point, there was no returning back to Virginia, and besides, I had fallen in love with Los Angeles.
I have a few film projects I am working on, currently. Three main ones for 2019.
Two are passion projects of mine that focus on the cannabis industry. Both have been six years in the making. The first project is called The Master Grower Series. It will be a competitive series where 5 growers across the United States compete against each other in creating a specific medical strain that will then be presented to a cast of judges who, in turn, will determine the Master Grower. The format is very similar to that of Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel), Ice Road Truckers (History Channel), or Ax Men (History Channel), all shows I have had the privilege of working on for many years.
The second project is a documentary series called “The Grassroots of Revolution.” This was inspired by my mother, who is seeking other means of healing (taking CBD) after two major spinal surgeries, a rare condition called AVM, and lots of opioids. What started out six years ago as a mission for me and my mother’s recovery soon became a collection of thousands of stories and interviews from cannabis growers, patients, victims, companies, parents, children, government officials, animals, venture capitalists..you name it. The rise and legalization of cannabis is happening, and I am documenting this history in the making in real time.
The third and last project I am working on is the amazing series Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC. We are about to start Season 5.
Keep an eye out for my artwork 😉
You’ve mentioned your interest in working with cannabis companies because your mother had back problems and CBD helped her a great deal. Who are some of the companies you’ve collaborated with and which ones are in the works?
There are roughly over 300 cannabis companies that are actively seeking collaborations with my artwork. That being said, the MAIN one’s I have worked with to date are Movida Oils, Hitman, Med Men, Juju Royal, Ganja Gold, Women & Weed, Burn TV, Weedmaps Chalice Cup, Island Canna Co., Bong Bottle Hits, Wonderbrett, Cannabis Supper Club, Phuk-it Cannabis, Sprig Soda, Scorpion Coffee, and Caligold.
A bonus is that since I have been actively filming inside the cannabis community for many years; I have strong relationships with each of these companies, as they are in my documentary and are as much a part of my journey in the art world as I am in their fight for legalization and healing the world. Street art and cannabis united!
Certain artists exude confidence, and you certainly do. How do you find the strength and determination to keep moving, in an industry that is driven mostly by men and can be really brutal toward all artists?
Try growing up a lesbian in the South – you find your strength and confidence real quick. You learn to survive. When you face being told you cannot “be who you are” or “love who you want” by others, and you overcome that bullshit, you realize that absolutely nothing has power over you. Nothing. I am in control of my destiny and I have been blessed with the opportunity to create and inspire with my film and street art. I’m just getting started.
I find as an artist, your magic is in your journey. If you stay in your lane, stay true to who you are, and pay attention to what is happening around you, the creativity comes.You paint and draw on clothing a great deal. Are you planning your own line or working in collaboration with bigger companies?
I get a lot of monthly one-on-one shoe and jacket commissions from various collectors and fans. I am not a fashion designer, and I don’t really want to be. What has been happening as of lately (especially after LA Fashion Week) is that fashion designers and companies have been meeting with me to create collaboration deals that incorporate their fashion and my art. I am signed to an NDA so I can not share which designers they are just yet, but I will say that I am very excited for 2019.
Who are your current heroes in the Los Angeles art scene that might not be household names yet?
Current Hero’s in the Los Angeles Art Scene (and ones that I would like to collaborate with, hint hint) are WRDsmith, Otto, TrustyScribe, HolyColy (we just finished a mural at the Neutra Museum in Silverlake), Robert Vargas, Retna, Sara Shakeel, and Sosa. There are SO many more, and beyond Los Angeles, but those will do for now.
Any specific shows lined up? Street Fairs? Live Painting? Where can our readers find you?
I plan on doing international work in 2019. I have also been asked to do a solo show in February 2019, but that is not confirmed yet. Expect to see various collaborations of my art on new limited edition cannabis products and packaging.
I will be drawing on two cars in early January, I have a few murals scheduled for various interior design companies and hotels, and the standard collector pieces that come at random through my social media. And of course, I never stop tagging the street of Los Angeles, so keep an eye out!
I finally got my own art business cards. Next will be my own website with updates on all upcoming projects, murals, art fairs, etc. Stay tuned.