April/May Downtowner cover
Originally hailing from Southern California, her family moved to Amite in 2005 a month before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Living in the southern United States has been a rewarding and similarly challenging experience, but she’s come to call Louisiana home just the same. From the homegrown hospitality to the rich traditions born from a colorful and tumultuous history, Louisiana has a certain charm and allure that seems to draw people together from all backgrounds. And that connection between people is what inspires Megan in her life, whether that be through her work or art.
As the brand manager and graphic designer for local favorite restaurants, Cate Street Seafood Station in Hammond and The Boston Restaurant in Amite, Megan has found a way to channel her love for art and design and connecting with people. In 2013, she was hired as part of the kitchen staff and quickly became involved with the company’s creative culture. From making t-shirts for Hot August Night to designing the restaurant’s new menu to engaging with guests on social media, there is always something new and innovative cooking up. She credits that push to always go one step farther and be better than you were to much of her success and personal growth. “Admittedly, I was a horrible procrastinator when I attended Southeastern. Much to the chagrin of my professors, I always had intriguing ideas, but could never find that internal motivation and fire to follow-through for projects.” Having to constantly collaborate, problem solve, and balance multiple projects at once as a graphic designer is now just a natural part of her daily life. “I often find myself looking back to when I was in college and being embarrassed at my lack of motivation. Much of that, I think, is because I didn’t truly know myself and what I wanted out of life. If I had any advise for young artists, it would be to experience as many diverse and uncomfortable situations as possible - you’ll always find something new about yourself and the world.”
Although trained in traditional media by Larry Casso, an established artist from New Orleans, Megan favors digital media for her business and personal projects. Photoshop, Illustrator, a low-end Wacom tablet, and a Macbook from 2009 (how is it still working? I’ll never know!) is all she uses. While fundamentally similar to traditional media, working digitally lends itself better to quick changes that can make collaborating with a team much easier. While her work for the restaurants tends to be loud, colorful, and expressive, Megan’s personal work finds itself in quieter, more introspective spaces. “I love the pieces I make for work, as they usually push me far outside my comfort zone with quirky and colorful ideas.” One of her favorite work projects was the Sushi of the Month campaign. Every month involved a new concept sushi roll accompanied by wild or hilarious character or motif, like “What the Dilly?” which used dill pickle in the roll and featured Megan’s pickle character sheepishly shrugging his shoulders at the question.
Looking forward to another great year of living and working in Downtown Hammond, Megan is thankful for the connections she has made while here. “Hammond is a very special place to me, and I wouldn’t change anything in the last four years, even if I could.”