Artist Spotlight Series: Megan Coonelly

With Blake Lively as a collector which prompted an article on AD this week, it is safe to say this up and comer has officially been discovered.

 I am such a fan of her bold and bright works that are certain to bring a smile.

Enjoy getting to know

Megan Coonelly

Philadelphia, PA

What is your training? 

I have a BA from Arcadia University

and a super fresh MFA in painting from Illinois State University.

What inspires you and your designs?

Routines, rituals, and habits.  Things we do everyday, nonchalantly.  Put on the lipstick, wear the high heels, pray the rosary, brush your teeth, listen to Wu-Tang Clan.  

I paint mini and small paintings to influence my larger designs.  So I’ll do a small lipstick painting, and do it over and over again.  Why?  We don’t wear lipstick once.  We wear it repeated.  All of my pieces have an exploratory theme of repetition. 

What is your favorite piece? 



It’s my most ambitious painting to date.  24 FEET!  I took similar compositions in a vintage ad of a smoker and another of a Pepsi drinker and I repeated each series three times.  It’s six panels.  And as I revisited the series and added more to the paintings I added what distracted me that day.  Bananas.  Toothbrushes.  Money.  As a single parent to twins my finally MFA year was adjusting to parenthood and maintaining a studio practice- this series especially reflected such a hectic time in broad brush strokes and the need for a vacation. 

Another series I’m fond of is my #HailMary series.  

It began with the passing of my grandmother last year reflecting on her faith and my own interpretation of faith and prayer and how art is reflecting that or jesting that.

How has the your area influenced your work?

 I’m Influenced by what is daily.  As my rituals and routines change so does my work.


What is your favorite restaurant in Philadelphia?

In Philly I’ve always loved Bridget Foys.

What is your favorite cocktail?

water lol


How do you balance personal life and work?
I make a clear schedule for myself and try to adhere to it as much as possible. My time with my kids is my time with my kids.  Being pregnant in graduate school really made me recognize how important it was to make a schedule not just for the children but myself.  Having children my thesis year made me recognize the importance of having a plan in the studio and making it a purposeful visit.  It has become a dedicated time that is sacred to myself.
Dream trip?

Back to Italy, visit Granada, Spain!

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Who is your style icon?

Blake Lively is a goddess,

Sarah Jessica Parker,

anything Patricia field.  

I’d love for her to dress me and see what happens!!!

 Your favorite up and coming artist?

I’ve been so lucky to know so many wonderful artists at Illinois State.  Some names to remember would be Krista Profitt,

Gina Hunt,

Josh Roach,

Mariko Brown Harkin

What is your most treasured possession?

Photos of my Childhood

What are you reading?


Breakfast of Champions


What are you listening to?

Synth wave- the midnight

Psychedelic furs

Death cab for cutie

Flight of the concords


Elton John

The strokes

The bobs burgers soundtrack 

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Verbal gold

Anything Ashley Longshore posts

Check out Megan’s fun portfolio:

Be sure to explore and shop more of Megan’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram.

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