—story by Nina Clevinger
Bright colors, summer snacks and cute dogs in pool floaties - what more could one possibly need in order to have an extremely successful design brand? Not much, except maybe a great sense of humor and passion for all things fun, quirky and artistic. Lucky for us, California-based illustrator Megan Roy has all of the above—and more—under her sleeve.
Originally from New Hampshire, Roy packed up her (assumedly hot pink polka-dotted) luggage and headed for the opposite coast after completing studies in Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston. Currently based in Los Angeles, Roy designs and sells greeting cards and phone cases, sharing them daily with her almost 10,000 Instagram followers.
“Megan Roy is just a regular lady who loves her dog more than most people... and tries to draw and design things that make the real world look like the inside of her brain,” said Roy, jokingly speaking of herself in the third person.
Roy first discovered her knack for drawing around elementary school, where she said her talents blossomed after she realized she could use art as a way to avoid talking to people, but still have her ideas seen and heard. She was very shy back in the day, so speaking through her artwork has always come as first nature to her.
"We used to write and illustrate our own short stories and our teacher would get them bound so they looked like real books,” said Roy, reminiscing on her elementary school days. "Making the book was the best part of grade school, but reading it to the rest of the class was the absolute worst because I was painfully shy. The arts was an easy way for me be expressive without needing to draw extra attention to myself.”
After growing up and going through a slew of jobs that didn’t really mean anything to her, Roy decided it was time to make illustration a full-on career. And so she did.
"I knew people who were excited to go to work everyday and it made me think more seriously about what that would look like for me,” she said. "Ultimately, I landed here.”
Roy runs both an Etsy shop and Casetify store, in which her fun, bright and dangerously-adorable artwork sells around the world. From Weiner dogs in sunglasses to strawberries and bikini bottoms, Roy’s artwork captures the youthful essence of summer and brings it to life year-round.
"Inspiration comes from every direction all the time,” said Roy, when asked to describe what it is exactly that gets those creative juices flowing. "It could be the way a song made me feel or a food I was craving - and probably eating - earlier. A joke I overheard or the colors in someone's front yard. I'm drawn to things that are playful and good spirited and I don't discriminate when it to comes to inspiration.”
In the future, Roy wants to use her talents for product design and home decor items. She is taking it one day at a time, but has confidence in herself and her ability to make shit happen.
"While it’s definitely easy to get caught up in thinking about what other people want to see, I find my best work and general life decisions comes out of ignoring that sort of chatter and just doing what feels right to me,” she said.