by Lauren Morris of Stamp 48
I’ve lived in Washington, DC for 2 years now and I love it. While many who live here work on The Hill or at one of the Federal agencies, there is a talented group of artists who call this city home. Creating personalized pieces of art, Modern Bird Studios is based in DC. The owners, Megan and Gregg Deal, were kind enough to give us a glimpse into the world of art + handmade in DC. Without further ado:
Give us a twitter length version of what Modern Bird Studios is all about.
At Modern Bird Studios, we create modern, personalized art inspired from photographs that are hand-painted on wood.
Tell us about the local handmade scene in Washington DC. Have you noticed any significant changes in recent months/years?
Megan: Gregg, you can handle this one.
Gregg: Sure. There isn’t much of a scene. I mean, there isn’t a crew of Etsy folks. If there is, the sense of community here isn’t that prominent. I consider ourselves more on the ‘art’ and ‘design’ scene. The Art scene is still in the handmade arena, but in the DC area, it’s a bit disconnected. There is a scene, there are a number of artists, there are galleries, but, in the same way that one might think of DC as a impersonal machine of government, the same goes for the creative market. It’s about who you know, and the galleries you’re associated with. I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with some awesome design folks that support the arts, and the few art entities that are here are aware of me and what we do. The beauty of that is that we can make this what it is. We can help develop the scene, and frankly, I think we’re doing just that. That also means we’re infinitely invested in the community we’re trying to be a part of and develop. There are a lot of talented people in the DC area, and we are nothing without our peers.
Do you participate in any local handmade events? If so, which ones?
Megan: We consider what we do as art. We are basically set up for people to commission Gregg for his specific style and process.
Gregg: Yeah, so our participation is in the arts and anything associated with that. That said, we’re participating in Urban Decay this year, which is part of the Lorton Arts Foundation or Workhouse. The show is an urban/street art show using everything from spray paint to hand made stuff, to vinyl toys to tattoos.
Megan: We’re also looking at another show at Sukio Design Co. in DC this year. They have a ton of amazing textiles, art and such. The diversity speaks to what we do.
Do you use any local resources?
Megan: In the sense of media, we use simple things like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. These resources are priceless to us for what we do. We sell art, with Modern Bird Studios and ModTots, but it’s also fantastic for building relationships with people.
Gregg: As far as supplies, I go to Workhouse a lot for paint supplies. I find it important to buy whatever I can from local art vendors, and in turn, they support me.
Besides your studio, do you go anywhere in DC to create? How about for inspiration?
Gregg: Studio it is. It’s a place of solitude and inspiration. Within that, I find a lot of inspiration in music, film, books and anything visual. Going to the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art is great, too. It’s nice to see classic artists so close to home. I think you can find inspiration anywhere if you look hard enough.