Morgan juggling art and life in Ocean Grove

Ocean Grove artist Morgan Jamieson. (supplied)

Ocean Grove artist Morgan Jamieson is starting to make a name for herself. She talks to Justin Flynn in today’s Friday Feature.

Morgan Jamieson grew up in Geelong, but has called Ocean Grove home for the past 14 years.

She considers herself an Ocean Grove local and has a strong connection to her native surroundings and was always artistic as a child.

“I was always exploring art or drawing or painting as a little kid and then it progressed through high school and it was a path I chose when we started to pick subjects,” she says.

“I always used clothing and make-up and in hindsight that’s how I expressed myself creatively. I’ve always loved colour.”

After school Morgan did a bachelor of visual arts majoring in graphic design.

“There wasn’t really anyone I knew who was making a business out of being a paid artist,” she says.

“The push was to do fine art and then teach or do graphic design so you could actually have a job.

“Since I graduated in 2006 it’s come a long way. There are lots of people making really good business out of being an artist.”

Morgan worked for a boutique design agency in Geelong for 13 years and said she learnt everything about being able to run a business.

“Towards the end I was doing a lot of artwork on the side and my day job was more corporate design and I was doing my super-creative stuff on the side at home,” she says.

“Then my side work started to get busier and I had babies so I made the decision that I couldn’t do all three things – maintain my job, continue my side work and look after my family.

“By that stage I had built up a bit of a following so I resigned and here I am.”

Morgan says these days with social media, it’s much easier to get your work out there, but she still uses her graphic design skills designing new logos for companies.

“That was always my fall back,” she says.

“I thought at least I have that if the artwork doesn’t bring in as much income.”

Morgan pauses when asked about her individual style.

“It takes a while to figure out your style,” she says.

“Even though I’ve made some changes along the way I still think there are elements of your style that you always go back to.

“My work is not perfect, it’s a little bit experimental. It’s quite contrasty and bold and sometimes a bit heavy.

“A lot of people who bought my work in the early days bought it because they liked the colour and the boldness and the brightness could bring something into their house.

“I’ve noticed during the last 12 months people are after more muted artwork.

“I kept finding people wanted me to go back to the old colour pallets, the vibrant pinks, the duck-egg blues, the bright-chartreuse greens.”

Morgan says regularity in her work means she doesn’t often get ‘painter’s block’.

“Back in the day when I was working, I might paint on a Saturday and then not be able to paint again until the following Saturday whereas now I’m doing it every day and it’s easier to flick that switch off and on,” she says.

However, Morgan isn’t adverse to returning to a piece of work multiple times.

“Sometimes on social media I film time lapses when I’m painting and when I watch it back I’m the most sporadic person,” she says.

“I’ll start down the bottom left and then I’ll move up to another random section and then somewhere else none of it comes together until the very end.

“I didn’t realise that’s how I worked until I rewatched myself working, which was interesting.” Away from work, Morgan says she loves taking the kids to the beach, exercising and cooking.

“If it’s summer we’ll spend a lot of time at the beach with the kids and a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and we love travelling,” she says.

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