In the next few months we’ll be posting a series of blog posts introducing the family & friends that make Hawaii’s Local Buzz possible.
To start the series, we’d like to introduce Megan Collins — our resident artist, an award-winning farmer, the person who makes sure all of our delicious products are fresh and available, and the person most likely to be handling and cuddling with our 6 magnificent parrots.
Megan grew up on the coast of Maine, surrounded by artists and living in an artists’ mecca. She studied music as a child, all the way up through college. Occasionally she would do some sketching and designing playbills and props for her theater group in high school, but she never considered it a serious endeavor, even though she won some art awards her senior year. She was too busy writing and performing music.
After high school, she attended Dartmouth where she majored in geography and education, and was a member of the Glee Club. She also built theater props, costumes, and sets throughout her college years. Her careers since graduating have included management and environmental consulting.
Megan moved to Hawaii in 2002, joining Scott & Lili (who you will meet in future blog posts) on Oahu. Everything was so beautiful here that she found she couldn’t capture it in words. In 2005, Megan pulled out some colored pencils that she’d had for years and began to draw. Shortly after, she began painting.
In 2006, Megan moved with the rest of the family to our farm on the Big Island, where she continues her artistic pursuits while helping build the Hawaii’s Local Buzz brand and product line. In 2010, she received an award for being an “outstanding coffee producer” from the Hawaii County Council.
Megan’s specialty has always been logistics and creating. At Paradise Meadows, she tracks product and materials needed, keeps production moving, tracks processes, manages employees, and manages many of our relationships with retailers. And she somehow manages to carve out time in the midst of all these tasks to create her extraordinary paintings.
Except for the occasional painting workshop, Megan is self-taught. Her technique has been to sit down with a book and a stack of paper and draw her way through the book. She says that was the only way she could think of to make sure she absorbed what the author was trying to teach.
“I discovered that I feel a connection to something bigger when I am in the creative flow”, says Megan. “It is my connection to Spirit, and to myself. When I participate in the act of creativity it feels like I am channeling something greater, and I am just the instrument. It seems so magical to me that when I put down the pencil or paint brush, there is this work of art in front of me. Art is something I’ve cherished all my life, and for the first part of it, never thought I would be able to do.”
Megan is always striving to improve everything she does, including her artistic pursuits. To that end, she has entered a contest through Drawing Academy, an online company providing classical art training. Please check out her entry HERE. If you like what you see, please give her a “like”, “tweet”, and/or “pin” from the Drawing Academy page. All of these options will provide her with a vote. (Note that “liking” this blog post, while lovely, will not help her win the contest.) The top three entries will receive free tuition to attend the self-paced 3-month training program.
Megan’s original artwork, as well as prints and fine-art cards, can be purchased at our farm stand, at the Waipio Valley Artworks gallery, and at our Hawaii’s Local Buzz showroom on Oahu. If you’d like to connect with Megan, you can email her by visiting our “Contact Us” page on the Hawaii’s Local Buzz website. And if you visit Paradise Meadows, please peek in and say hello to Megan if she’s here — she’d love to meet you.