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3 Blood Street
Pepperell, MA 01463
United States

Megan Carty is a Boston area contemporary painter who makes uplifting abstract floral paintings for people who have a flair for bold boho statements and tailored style. Through her bubbly personality, her use of bright colors, and her positive healing message she's here to deliver joy for your well-dressed walls!

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Journal

Filtering by Category: The Business of Art

Uplifting Quote: Creating Your Own Opportunities

Megan Carty

Be sure to click and save the image if you’d like to share it on Instagram or Facebook!

Be sure to click and save the image if you’d like to share it on Instagram or Facebook!

As an artist, it is easy to assume that one day the “right” person will find our work and then share it with the world and suddenly we will be famous and successful. It’s a dream, right?

It’s also not reality. Artists who are successful figure out who they want to reach with their art and then they GO FIND THEM. They reach out via email, direct message, comment, or tweet. They find where the right opportunities are and then go after them. There’s no magic in it. Just hard work and effort and bravery.

Artists build door after door as they build their careers and it takes commitment and drive and the awareness of who their work IS for and who it ISN’T. With this knowledge, we get out into the world and build relationships…a network of people we can help and who may be able to help us one day. It takes time.

You can still paint all day long and keep it a secret. Then, it is a wonderful hobby. But the professional artist who wants to make a career in selling paintings will get out there and create their opportunities.

How to Reach Your Goals and Increase Your Productivity!

Megan Carty

how to reach your goals and increase your productivity using a time timer

Hi friends!

For YEARS I have had so many different goals and resolutions…de-clutter the house, start a regular exercise routine, regularly update my business book keeping…I never seem to stick with a schedule and I recently gave it some real thought. Why do I find it so challenging to do these things?

The answer came to me when I thought about my feelings and I realize that I dread these tasks because they seem overwhelming. Insurmountable. Too time-consuming. Too much work. BLAAAHHHHH. The results from these limiting beliefs was NO ACTION. No productivity. No changes.

Well, what could I do to make the tasks less overwhelming? Less time-consuming? Today do-able?

I decided to get a timer and it was a game-changer! Now, I didn’t get just ANY timer (I have my phone for that!). I got a TIME TIMER! THIS timer shows you how much time is passing in a visual way. For example, when I turn the dial to 10 minutes, the section of 10 minutes is colored RED. As the time counts down, the red also disappears with it. It’s simple yet powerful. (You can see the timer in the image with this blog post as an example)

When I want to declutter a room, I start with ONE drawer and set the timer to 20 minutes. I then go ahead and do what I can within that 20 minute window. Once the time is up, I can stop! This allows me to feel like I’m moving toward my goals without all the feelings of overwhelm and struggle. If I have not completed the drawer and I have more time, then perhaps I set the timer for 10 more minutes and finish up. OR, I simply leave it to the next day. Over the following days, weeks, and months I move through the room drawer-by-drawer and cabinet-by-cabinet using the timer to help me stay on task. It’s much easier to reach our goals when we have a flexible deadline.

With exercise, I am a beginner and have quit trying several times. Usually it’s because I do too much too fast and it becomes very punishing, painful, and a horrible experience. Now, I’m setting my timer to 10 minutes and doing high-intensity circuit training in that window. I figure that 40 minutes seems like torture, but I can handle 10 minutes of anything! AND starting out with small goals allows me to build up my strength over time as I am actually able to show up a little bit each day. 10 minutes is better than ZERO minutes (which is what I was doing before!). Before too long, I will build up to 15 minute windows and then 20 minute windows and so-forth.

Another great use is with helping the kids be productive in chores or with food. My kids struggle to eat their meals in a timely manner. They would sit for 3 hours if I let them (and still never eat much food!). Cue the timer! I simply set the timer for 30 minutes and set it nearby where they can watch it. There is NO annoying or stressful ticking noise to add stress. It simply shows the allotment of time available in an easy way. The kids can now see and control their use of their time because the timer makes it clear how much of it is left. The result? Food is eaten and there is more time for homework, fun activities, chores, and other tasks for the evening.

It’s ok to have lots of goals, but we need to have a way to make them attainable. We need to set ourselves up for realistic success. Breaking my goals down into small chunks and using the timer to keep me on task has been a huge help for my productivity. No more feelings of dread or overwhelm and I feel like I can attain ANYTHING (as long as I give myself enough TIME to make it happen in a real way!).

Snag your own Time Timer here!

Here is a video where I discuss how the Time-Timer increases my productivity to achieve my goals:

My art has been licensed with METcolors!

Megan Carty

abstract floral painting by Megan Carty, as seen on Artfully Walls

I’ve just signed a contract with a large art manufacturer called METcolors to license my paintings with them for wall decor and other home goods for sale in retail stores AROUND THE GLOBE! This is something that came to me by luck and chance; but it’s something I used to wish for back when I thought it wasn’t possible. It’s funny how we sometimes close the door on our biggest dreams because they seem so unattainable. What makes us stop trying?

Not all that long ago, I started daring to dream again. I started writing my biggest wishes for my work on a piece of paper that I have taped on the wall next to my desk. One of the notes says: “Get art in stores...wall decor, pillows, purses, etc.”  About a week later I got an email from a stranger asking me if I was interested in considering licensing my artwork with her company for wall decor, pillows and a few other items. WHAT?!

Contracts and many questions on my part later, I am now a licensed artist and my scrawled note on my wall has come to life. Soon you may see my work in a store near you! What are your biggest wishes for your life? Make sure you put them out there…write them down so they have a chance to grow where you planted them!

Here I am doing my cheesy victory dance! Ha!

Here I am doing my cheesy victory dance! Ha!

Portland Art Gallery

Megan Carty

Hi friends! Tonight is "First Thursday" at the Portland Art Gallery in Portland, Maine...and I'm pleased to say I have 4 vibrant minimalist abstract paintings hanging! Everyone is welcome to attend; there will be refreshments and wine of course! It's from 5 to 7 pm.  I'm so thrilled to be able to share my colorful work with others; it's a dream come true! Come by the gallery this month and check out all the lovely work by so many talented artists! 154 Middle Street, Portland, ME. 

How to deal with creative burnout

Megan Carty

Hi friends!

Dave Conrey with The Fresh Rag Show podcast interviewed me a few weeks ago...we discussed my battles with creative burnout and what I did to fight it and win! This particular interview is the last in a trilogy where he discusses burnout with 3 different artists...one is going through it now, one has gone through it and switched gears, and then one (me) has gone through it and came back with a new strategy. All are great listens and I think will help anyone going through a "what the hell am I doing right now?" issue.  Listen to my interview which aired today HERE.

Don't wait too long because Dave will eventually take down old episodes and you will only have access as a Patreon subscriber (so, either listen now or sign on through Patreon to listen to ALL of Fresh Rag's awesome and informative episodes).

I'd like to add this tidbit that I didn't discuss in my interview. I discussed finding my purpose (to bring happiness to others in my own way using paint and happy colors.) But I didn't talk about how I came to that. I've battled depression most of my life and it's an up-and-down journey. I know that surrounding myself with things I love and appreciate helps me feel a sense of joy when things are hard. As an artist, I can help uplift others through positive work I create. It's not a lot, but it's something I CAN do. If I can soothe someone or help make a space bright; then I feel like it's a win. I'm using my skills and talents to help others. I've been on the dark side and visit it often enough. So, I see it as an honor to hold someone else's hand when they need it too.

I just wanted to say that. :)

My NEW website launch!

Megan Carty

Hi friends! I'm SO EXCITED about my new website here I built with Squarespace! I'm offering all kinds of new artwork for sale and an entirely new site design! I've spent the entire month of October working on it and am so thrilled to show it to you. I took all the photos of my work myself and my friend Kris Vogelsang of Cricket Acres Studio helped me with styling them. She was a huge help. My talented photographer sister-in-law Denise Carty took the photos and portraits with ME in them. I'm thrilled with her great work! She really worked with me to get exactly the kind of shots I was envisioning. We got a lot done in ONE day! And finally, my friend Emily Benson of Style by Emily came over and helped me find my signature "look" just by shopping in my very own closet! In two hours' time she helped me find several new outfits that I NEVER would have thought to put together on my own. She helped show me that I need to stay away from pale and soft neutral colors (they wash me out) and stick with vibrant jewel tones. She even looked at my accessories and made recommendations as to what I needed to get (certain shoes and necklaces in my case) to round things out. Each outfit made me feel so stylish, professional, and fancy. Yet, at the same time, I feel like ME. Just a "blingy" better version. Now, when I put in a little extra effort to add fun accessories with my bright colored outfits people really notice what I'm wearing and compliment me.  What's super-great about Emily is she's so friendly, open, and honest. I felt like we'd known each other forever by the time she'd left! She even held my baby and got him to sleep while I tried things on! Talk about super-woman! She even works remotely via Skype. I highly recommend her if you are looking for style guidance. She was able to come in, assess what I was all about and zero in on a look for me so quickly it was like magic. I feel like a glam new person thanks to her! (a large feat for a Mom of 3 littles!)

Here's the first few outfits Emily had me try during our session...

Here's the first few outfits Emily had me try during our session...

Here are the rest of the looks Emily found in my closet during our session. I ended up buying some shoes and statement necklaces later at her recommendations. Boom!

Here are the rest of the looks Emily found in my closet during our session. I ended up buying some shoes and statement necklaces later at her recommendations. Boom!

I really hope you like my new website as much as I do! It is my passion to bring others happiness in some way and this place has become my online happy spot...I hope you feel a bit of that joy when you are here visiting. I'd love to hear about what kinds of things bring you joy? Leave your comment and maybe we can share some ideas on how we keep a positive feeling going!

Being a Full-Time Artist AND a Full-Time Parent

Megan Carty

Hi friends!

OH MY!!! So, I spent all of September doing the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge and I DID it. As you can see, I didn't post here every day. The truth is, I was so exhausted by the time I finished at the end of the night I just went to bed. I found that getting my camera out, taking a nice photo, editing it, uploading it and doing a blog post was just too much to do in addition to the painting itself. I DID post each painting briefly to my personal (although it's not private) Facebook page. Luckily, the challenge was about CREATING the work and not about posting the work! SO, what did I learn?

1. You CAN paint even with 3 little kids around your feet! But, it takes A LOT of planning. I would decide on what kind of piece I wanted to make the night before and then I'd plan out all the colors. I'd also make a little "to-do" list in the morning and tackle each little item one at a time as I found pockets of time to do it. I would keep my supplies around me in the kitchen so I could lay down color whenever I could. Is this ideal? Nope. BUT each task added up to a finished painting in the end, so it WORKED! 

2. The previous point leads me to the fact that to paint consistently with children you have to be FLEXIBLE. I like to paint in large chunks of time. Give me 4 or 5 free hours and I'm a happy camper. Since that's just not possible these days I have had to find a new way of working. Now, I break the process of painting down into smaller steps and I do them each one at a time through the day. I use one or two colors at a time and just try my best to do what I can in the 10 minute window I have. If I waited for timing to be perfect I would never paint. I've had to take charge of my productivity and be as disciplined with my time as possible. My windows of time were 10 minute chunks. (blah).

3. Work smaller...if you can. I was able to easily complete my paintings when they were a smaller size. I saved my larger pieces for the weekends when my husband was home. That worked out really well! 

4. I gave my kids little projects to do that kept them busy and focused for a half hour; and that was a big help. I would also wear my infant on my back in the carrier...he liked being able to see what was going on and he would eventually just fall asleep there. 

5. I edited my painting style to be more gestural and free. This allowed me to have more whimsical strokes and more movement in my work. It also worked better for me since I could work more quickly and get more finished. I'm happy with that!

6. Don't rely on nap-time. My kids are unpredictable with naps and I always ended up frustrated and angry. I never was able to do what I'd hoped to. SO I focused on doing my work while my kids were awake. When they did nap, I would take my break...eat, shower, breathe, throw some laundry in, etc. 

7. The evening time is for your spouse. It's easy to say "The kids are in bed, I'm gonna get my work done!" But, my marriage has to come first above everything. Without that, the whole unit crumbles. There were days I focused on work in the evening; but that was usually when my husband had things he wanted to do/things he wanted to watch on tv. If he was ok with it, then I would go ahead and paint. But, I always made (and continue to) sure that we had our time together after the kids went to sleep. If I need to do computer work, then I bring my laptop into the family room and sit next to him on the couch while I do it. At least we are near each other! 

8. To piggy-back on point 7, it also applies to the kids. I found that if I spent good quality fun time with them for a while, then they were content to leave me be to let me work for bits. So, we had a pattern of play, work, play, work. They were happy and content to do their own thing once we'd had quality time together. Then, when they ran out of "gas" playing alone, I would "fill up the tank" again with quality time together again. If I wanted time to paint, I needed to GIVE my time FIRST. 

I hope these tips make sense! I'm not a writer; but I figure you get what I'm trying to say! Ha! Being an artist while parenting is difficult. It takes a lot of planning, initiative, effort, and discipline. But it feels so good to get work done in a consistent way and it IS possible! Keep expectations realistic and know that this kind of pace is difficult to keep up every day. Pace yourself and adjust accordingly. Be gentle with yourself...you can only do so much. High fives all around! 

The Top 5 Reasons I Make Art

mlcassid

New England artist Megan Carty  

Being an artist is about more than just painting and creating all day. It’s also about running a business to make money and grow…and that takes a huge chunk of time! (Much more time than simply creating the art!). As I’ve moved forward building my art business I’ve had to really sit and take stock of who I am and who I want to become and ask myself tough questions in order to gain clarity in my goals. The first important question I wanted to be clear on is “Why do I create?” What is so important about being a painter? What makes me keep going? 1. It’s a Calling.

In my particular belief system, creating art is a Calling. A Higher voice is telling me I have been given the passion, the drive, the interest, and enough talent to add beauty to the world in my own way. I feel compelled to create art and that compulsion was not put there by mistake. There is a purpose behind it. I may not know what that reason is exactly (probably not my job to know!), but I know I must answer the Call and do my best to use my gifts. I’m simply miserable when I am not creating. 2. To Serve.

Similar to reason number one, I believe my art is of service to others in some way. I may not always know HOW it has served someone, but I like to have faith that it has. Perhaps my art brings happiness to someone’s stressed world. Perhaps my art reminds someone of a happy memory or time. Perhaps my art simply looks good in someone’s room and makes them feel proud of their space. Perhaps my art is on a greeting card filled with cherished handwritten sentiments to a loved one? These are just some of the ways that my art might matter. It’s not really my job to know; but it IS my job to create. 3. Make Money.

I love to paint, but I’ve gotta buy supplies and I can’t keep every painting I make! I’ve gotta get my work out there, share it with the world, and I’ve gotta earn a living. Being an artist, for me, is a business and I want to be successful at it. I don’t believe in the “starving artist mindset.” Nobody should. I’ve spent the past 27 years honing my artistic skills and I’m not about to just give that all away to the lowest bidder! I could live in poverty or I could live in abundance and I choose abundance. That’s what business is all about, right? 4. For Enjoyment.

Number three was about business, but I also like to paint because it’s fun! I want to enjoy the way I spend my time. I’m not going to sit around painting things that don’t interest me. I’m going to spend time making things that bring me pleasure and pride with hopes that it brings someone else those same things. That energy in a handmade piece of art cannot be replicated in mass-reproduction. You can really tell when an artist created something from their heart in contrast with when they made something just because they thought it might sell or be popular. I strive to find that sweet spot of creating work I love that also sells. To do that I have to have faith that “my people” will find me and I will find “my people.” My hope is that my work will speak to someone else the same way it does to me. 5. For PEACE.

Art-making is very meditative. You are able to focus deeply on what you are making and it quiets the chatter in your mind. You have a few hours of peace and harmony before you come back to the “real world” and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. It's more cathartic than a massage! If you are stressed about anything, I highly recommend drawing, painting, or even just coloring a picture in a coloring book. You will silence the running commentary in your brain and end up with something pretty to look at. Win-Win!

I’m sure all artists have these and other reasons they create. It’s good to stop and remember what we are doing and what it's all for, especially when we are overwhelmed with the business side of things. (what’s my next Tweet? What shall I Instagram today? How many orders to I have? What supplies to I need? Why is my printer not working? When I can get to the Post Office? Why won’t this upload to my website? Crap! I forgot to do my newsletter!) Sometimes I just need to stop, pull back the scope and remember my simple purpose and just regroup. Why do you create? What is your favorite reason/biggest reason you create? Feel free to share with me in the comments below! I love to hear the thoughts of other artists and creatives. No ONE artist is successful without other artists in their corner!