Morgan Allain "The Inkling Girl": Geek Art, Portraits and Birds! Oh my!

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Illustration art of blue peacock by Morgan Allain
Louisiana native Morgan Allain, a.k.a. The Inkling Girl, is a self-proclaimed "nerd" and she reflects this in the geeky nature of her art. I had the opportunity of discovering her art at the 2013 Wizard World Comicon here in Austin. There were so many cool artists in the Artists' Alley at Comicon and Morgan's booth was an instant favorite. From the first look through her artist portfolio I could appreciate her unique artistic style. It is with this creative flair that she re-creates images from television and movies. She also makes wonderful original depictions of animals. Her preferred mediums are watercolor, ink and colored pencil. It's a family affair, being that her husband Danny is an artist as well and sometimes they get to work together. 

Where did your artistic journey begin?

Drawing is something I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. My grade school teachers would comment on that, in fact. I started becoming really interested in it around 14 and just kept at it. Took lessons here and there, but I was really just self-taught until college.

I attended McNeese State University and I have a B.A. in Art; my concentration was printmaking. Mostly relief printing; linocuts were my favorite. Never took painting of any kind in college. Printmaking was too expensive for a recently graduated newlywed working at Starbucks. I bought a watercolor set after I graduated, just to tinker with.
Morgan Allain original art cat skull illustration with rainbow colors streaking downwards

How would you describe your style?

Ooh. I don’t even know if I have a style! I guess maybe it’s sort of pop art inspired. I feel like my style is always evolving and changing. I really enjoy finding people that appreciate art that showcases stuff I've loved since childhood. Artists who have influenced me are Audrey Kawasaki, Glenn Arthur, Olga Noes and Tony DiTerlizzi.

What things inspire you to create art?  

I find inspiration in many many things: Books, Movies, television, animals and other artists. I've been a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since my teens, so I have a whole series of portraits of the characters. I love the movie Labyrinth and have created many pieces from it. I love painting birds! I don’t think I’ll ever tire of painting birds.

At what point did you begin to consider yourself an artist?

Gosh, even now I don’t always consider myself an artist. Most days I’m just me: a total geek, a wife and mom… just a girl who loves to create. I think the day I start putting “artist” in front of all my other roles is the day I need to chill.

What is your favorite project created in your current medium? 
Morgan Allain Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fan Art Portrait

Usually whatever the last thing I drew/painted is my favorite. I’m most fond of my peacock, “Blue Wild” and “Skull Candy Kitty” at the moment.

Would you like to share a little about collaborating with your husband on artwork?

Danny and I collaborate once in a while. We both always have some projects or commissions going on, so we can’t combine forces often. The last collaborative piece we did was called “Cherry Bomb.” Danny did the initial drawing, which I then transferred to watercolor paper and painted. We were both really pleased with the final piece; it was so much fun to see our distinct styles mesh that way.

Fun fact: when Danny and I were being interviewed by the priest that performed our wedding, he (the priest) asked each of us what we loved most about one another. I said something sweet about how Danny is so genuinely kind, blah blah blah. Danny said, and I quote, "she's good at drawing!" 

Yep. That's what he loves most about me. Haha!!

What is your creative process like from start to end?

It tends to change from project to project. Portraits always begin as sketches on scratch paper which I then transfer to watercolor paper with the help of a light box. I usually paint the background first, then start with the shadows on the face and slowly build up with many translucent layers. With the birds, I just wing it (ba-dum-tshh!). I grab a colored pencil and do a messy sketch on my watercolor paper and just go from there.  I rarely plan what I’m going to do, and I never know where it will end up. I just let it happen. I almost always listen to audiobooks while I work. Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Sabriel, Sarah Dessen books… I’m such a nerd!

What exposure have you had?
Morgan Allain Illustration from Narnia Chronicles

Ha! Um. I've only been in a few shows. I’m terrible at proactively promoting myself! 

Do you have any regrets in your life as an artist?

I wish I had made more time for it before my daughter was born. I really slacked off from college graduation until she was born. I still painted, but not nearly as much as I do now. I worked a lot and used that as an excuse. Since then I’ve realized that was a pathetic excuse, I can nurse an infant while painting!

What plans do you have for the future of your art?

My only plan is to continue creating, continue growing.

Do you have any advice for artists just starting out?

Draw as often as you can. Find other artists. Push yourself, branch out!

How do you promote your work both on and off the internet? 

On the internet I promote myself via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, DeviantArt. Off the internet, well… Unless I’m at a con or festival, I don’t really promote myself.
Illustration from Veronica Mars, Morgan Allain art

See more of Morgan's artwork at the following links:

All images © Morgan Allain, the inkling, inkling girlThe Inkling on Society6

Instagram: @the_inkling_girl

All images © Morgan Allain
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Paul Graham said...

You sure can fine them Rebecca ! Glad you found the Inkling Girl and as always the questions seem tailored to provide a well-rounded perspective. I really like the response Danny made to the priest. Not because I think people need to share all the same interests but because drawing is a great method of communication and can provide insights that the other might not verbalize. I had mixed feelings about changing my comment system to Disqus as readers lost some real pearls of wisdom from previous commentators but in the end the advantages are worthwhile. Hope it works that way for you also.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the compliments. I always try my best, and am learning as I go so that is very kind and encouraging to know I am getting some quality across. Morgan is a rare find, and as I said out of many artists at the show where I came across her work she really stood out in the crowd. I am honored to get to bring her interview to my readers and broaden her exposure.

It is also very good to hear about the Disqus platform, the Google+ was pretty limited and I am trying to have the best for my blog for accessibility and also as a true social connection. I have great hopes for it.