A Dream Around the Globe: Q&A with Meagan Morrison of Travel Write Draw

November 24, 2020

Photo Credit: "Givenchy Couture x Pink City Jaipur" via TravelWriteDraw on Instagram

Meagan Morrison is a traveling fashion illustrator based in New York City. She has gained a large following through the creation of her blog TravelWriteDraw in 2010 which she describes as “a pipe dream willed into reality.” The blog has since been transformed into a lifestyle website and creative illustration studio called TravelWriteDraw where Meagan posts her beautifully vibrant artwork along with her “TWD Challenges” to engage with loyal fans through a live art class. Brand collaborations are also featured from Dior, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors to the Ritz-Carlton, the European Union, and Conde Nast Traveler among many others. On her Instagram account, TravelWriteDraw, she captures the beauty of fashion and culture around the globe from Dubai, Mexico City, and Bermuda to London, Berlin, Seoul, and Shanghai. 

Meagan has a wonderful and kind energy that mimics the gorgeous vibrancy of her artwork. She is also a firm believer in manifestation; Her energy has attracted that colorful smokey dream to float her way and wrap around the globe to create pieces of cultural value, beauty, and love. Read below for my Q&A with Morrison for an in-depth look into her career, muses, and future manifestations! 

In a recent Instagram post you wrote that “it’s as if the heart of New York has been cracked wide open” and the environment has left your “otherwise nomadic soul feeling particularly grounded.” How has your work and inspirations changed as a result of staying in place?  

For the past five years, up until the pandemic hit, I had been living in and out of a suitcase traveling every other week or so for work. I had my apartment in New York, but split my time between here and London, and felt increasingly less connected to the city. What I’ve come to discover in the wake of the pandemic, with traveling not really being an option, is a revitalized sense of love, wonderment, and unison with New York. I’ve felt like a tourist again wandering through the streets, visiting the MoMA and The Met, and meeting up with friends regularly for outdoor dining all over the city. I’m not sure if I’m necessarily painting more pieces inspired by New York, but I’m definitely able to create with a much calmer heart and steadier hand, because of the ease I feel being at home and at peace in New York.  

Photo Credit from left to right: New York, I Love You Stretched Canvas via TravelWriteDraw.com, On the Run NYFW Print via TravelWriteDraw.com

Photo Credit: I HEART NY Print via TravelWriteDraw.com

Through your SkillShare class and your “TWD Challenge” you promote others to explore their creativity and inner nomad; what value do you hope participants receive from these projects?  

I really hope my participants walk away from my class feeling super confident and empowered in their ability to tackle any subject matter and paint whatever inspires them from the world around them. I also hope they feel encouraged to go out and find their own artistic style and voice. The world needs the most unique and true version of each of us! 

Photo Credit left to right:Viva La Vida, Mexico City! via TravelWriteDraw.com, London in Bloom via TravelWriteDraw on Instagram

What do you hope admirers of your art learn about the cultural element of your travel based pieces? 

I hope it encourages my admirers to be curious about looking outside of their own culture. The more you open yourself to travel outside your home country and observe how other people live, the more you are able to recognize that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us; From there empathy grows. The world can only benefit from a greater sense of empathy and compassion from all of us. 

Photo Credit: I Dream of Mexico City Print via TravelWriteDraw.com

Gigi Hadid is a major muse of yours; What attracts you to certain muses? 

This might sound a bit strange but I’m always drawn to things because of their sculptural shape, whether it’s clothing, buildings, , or faces. When I studied fashion illustration at FIT, one of the ways we were taught to paint early on was to observe shapes, both positive and negative. It strengthened our ability to draw more of what we see versus what we know in our minds. I think that has stuck with me. I’m drawn to really gorgeous curves and shapes. Gigi has such gorgeous curvature and shapes in her face. I’m always compelled to paint them just like I would a Cristobal Balenciaga dress.  

Photo Credit from left to right: Gigi x Jean-Paul Gaultier Print via TravelWriteDraw.com, Gigi x Brooklyn Bridge Print via TravelWriteDraw.com

You have talked about your career consisting of peaks and valleys in several interviews; Do you have a specific piece (or a few) that you feel brought you out of a low period?

The 12 Piece Getaway Collection of original paintings I produced during the height of lockdown in the pandemic really brought me out of the valley recently. I created roughly half of the collection while hosting my #TWDPaintChallenge and the remaining pieces shortly thereafter. I was not only able to relive so many incredible travel memories while hosting the classes and producing the work, but I was also able to make new memories while connecting with the buyers of the originals. I think it’s important to note that nothing stays good or bad forever. Business, as with life, is constantly in flux. The important thing is to always return to your purpose, your why, and to keep pushing through. 

Photo Credit: The Colors of Cartagena Print for the Getaway Collection via TravelWriteDraw.com 

Photo Credit from left to right: Memories of Jardin Majorelle for the Getaway Collection via TravelWriteDraw.com, Mornings in the Serengeti for the Getaway Collection via TravelWriteDraw.com

I love your product artwork for CoverFX and think that art on fashion pieces is a huge trend right now. How would you envision your dream functional product created from your art?

Oh, this is such a great question and funny you should ask because I just signed with a licensing agent this past August with the intention of expanding the range of products my illustrations end up on. From the very beginning of starting Travel Write Draw, I always envisioned it as a brand with travel accessories, home goods, stationery, tech accessories, etc. If I had to choose one dream product however, I’d say a line of silk pajama sets with matching eye masks would be the next dream functional product!

Photo Credit: CoverFX x Meagan Morrison Collaboration via TravelWriteDraw.com

There are several instances where you have demonstrated a fantastic ability to inspire others to be moved to social action through your pieces from your recent “VOTE” piece, to your sharing of Black artists to amplify Black voices in the community and your Wildlife Victoria auction piece (which is one of my absolute favorites by the way). How have social movements changed the way you create, if in any way? 

Firstly, thank you so much! That really means a lot to me! Secondly, now more than ever I want to create with purpose. I want my content to reflect the realities of what is affecting my community and the world at large. I never want to be a place that someone comes to and doesn’t feel seen. I want to make sure that I’m using my talent and platform to make an impact. Not every painting I create is connected to social action necessarily but I think even making artwork with the intention of uplifting people’s spirits is important too.  

Photo Credit from left to right: Vote via TravelWriteDraw on Instagram, To Australia, With Love via TravelWriteDraw on Instagram

What have you learned about yourself from the process of creating your artwork? 

I think I’ve learned just how deeply travel inspires me and how vividly I can paint from my memories of lived experiences and emotional connections to the places I’ve been. I think I’ve also learned that I’m a natural born painter. By that I mean my least favorite thing to do is sketch drafts in pencil. It is always my preference to just take a fully loaded paint brush to paper and see how it goes. There’s also a controlled chaos in my pieces. I think I live my life in the same way that I paint. I can present a very polished and professional exterior while also having a very vibrant, playful personality.  

Photo Credit: Joan x Giambattista Valli Print via TravelWriteDraw.com

Photo Credit from left to right: Karlie x Marc Jacobs Print via TravelWriteDraw.com, Paris Au Printemps Print via TravelWriteDraw.com

To close out the interview, is there anything you are manifesting for your career in the future?

For sure! I would normally say more product development, but since that is currently underway, I’d like to manifest more on-camera opportunities, be it live television or a series for a streaming service. I would also love to create the coffee table book of Travel Write Draw. I can picture it now cover-to-cover. Lastly I’ll say more in-person creative travel retreats with my community across the globe! This is just the beginning! 

We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Meagan Morrison (we are really hoping those silk pajamas and coffee table book become a reality!) but know that it will be as bright as she imagines and wills it to be. To stay connected: 

Follow TravelWriteDraw on Instagram
Check into TravelWriteDraw.com for community events, art posts, and collaborations
Follow TravelWriteDraw on Pinterest