Weezie Hype Girl: Mary Margaret Monsees
Tell us about the leap of faith you took to start M Studio. How did you know it was time to focus on your art full time?
Wooooow loaded question! It was an internal battle for YEARS. Finally, I decided to listen to my gut, stop comparing myself to others, and not live in fear of the unknowns. Amy Whitaker’s book, “Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses “ is something I have returned to again and again for inspiration and practical steps for running a creative business.
You certainly have an eye for design! You studied Art History, have a master's degree in Historic Preservation, and a beautifully decorated Savannah home. What are the three things you aim to achieve when designing a space?
Thanks for saying so! I truly do love design and have spent a lot of time & energy developing my eye. My favorite thing about design is how personal it is (just like art.) I love walking into ANY space that speaks to the personality and interests of the individual. And when an interior scheme references the architectural style of the building - all the better in my eyes.
We love your Resin Flower Studies (our Co-Founder Liz has one of your pieces in her master bathroom) Can you tell us a bit more about how you came up with the idea, the process of developing these works of art and the role of the resin?
Thus far, I’ve focused on flowers - I like to paint a single subject so that I can really study it and track my progress over time. I wanted to present my flower studies in a new, fresh way and I think the high-gloss resin creates an interesting juxtaposition to my traditional painting style. I have a new series I’m introducing soon that pushes this concept a step further. I’m calling it my Preserved Botanical Series - I’m using the resin to preserve and showcase my pressed flower collection. Follow me on Instagram to learn more :)
With everything happening around the world, many of us are spending more time at home and are eager for new creative outlets! Do you have any tips for those of us who are new to painting and drawing?
I feel like so many new painters reach for a watercolor set, but watercolors actually require an amazing amount of finesse. Acrylic paint, which is my medium, is great for beginners because it’s water-soluble, relatively inexpensive, and can be applied to nearly any surface. I think beginners will find it easier to bring the image in their mind’s eye to paper using acrylic paint.
- Paint Color: Penthouse by Clare Paint
- Mirror: Amazon Find
- Sink Hardware: nothing special - found at Home Depot on a Saturday morning :), but the Shower Fixtures are all Moen
- Light Fixture above Mirror: Graydon Double Light by Thomas O’Brien via Circa Lighting
- Curtain Fabric: Faux Bois by Jed Johnson
- Wall / Towel Hooks: Lux Hold Ups
- Artwork: Southern Flower Study Print Collection from my online shop!
- Frames for artwork (if not custom): Amazon Find
- Towels: Weezie :)
Favorite Coffee Table Book: The Last Supper by Melanie Dunea
Favorite Hostess Must Haves: linen napkins & plenty of wine :)
Favorite scent (candle, flower, etc.): Huile Seche Epatante by Bastide (stumbled upon this shop on a trip to Provence last summer and their lovely products are now available through Neimans!)
Favorite Artists / Galleries: Present: Morgan Allender, Past: Georgia O'Keeffe
Favorite small businesses (that might need the love and support right now): I have so many favorites right here in Savannah: Auspicious Bakery, Lake Pajamas, The Atlantic, Clutter Furnishings, Foxy Loxy, Brighter Day
Favorite Brands to Follow on IG: @morganharpernichols, @devolkitchens, @annstreetstudio
Favorite Designers to Follow on IG: @carolineraffertyinteriors, @eyeswoon (Athena Calderone), @basicprojects
Recent Interior Design Splurge: Lee Industries Sofa from @parkplacemidtown
Recent Interior Design Steal: West Elm Rattan light fixture
Looking to read about more Hype Girls? Check out these Weezie favorites, Julia Amory, Cristina Lynch, and Dorothy Shain!