Megzany is a street artist and political activist from California. She is a loud and proud voice in the field of artistic activism, using her skills as a stencil street artist and graffiti writer to challenge societal norms and understandings of political issues. She is also a staunch supporter of women in street art, honouring the roles of influential and inspiring women in her intricate murals.
We spoke to Megzany as she prepared for womens history month to find out a little more about her past work, her artistic influences and how we can encourage more women to pick up a spray can and take to the streets.
This is a 2&6 Interview With:
Quick 3: How long have you been creating street art & murals for? What was your first project & what was it like to see your first design out in public?
I just celebrated a five-year anniversary of putting my art in the streets. The first night was February 5th, 2016 – I remember it vividly. I installed a 5-foot yellow by plane with a 4-foot banner to follow the read “turn signals are back in style.” Since no one uses their turn signal in Los Angeles I thought I would start spreading good practices.
The moment I signed that piece, it was an “all in” moment – I realized I was on this planet to share my art. The next day I dissolved my recruiting company and started to pour my heart & soul into creating. Shortly after, I packed up and spent the next two years traveling. I hit London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland – the list goes on – nearly everywhere that is somewhere, I hit it.
One of my favourite stencil designs of yours is the “WE USE YOUR MONEY TO INVEST IN FOSSIL FUELS” piece. Do you feel that Street Art has a duty to make the viewers think and challenge societal injustices? How did you come up with such a poignant design?
The biggest reason I do Street Art is to provoke response within my community. At the heart of everything I do, I am an activist just trying to hold-on to what is mine/ours. It can be easy for people to get stuck in the herd and move along with what mainstream media is feeding the masses – but I don’t want to live that way so I question everything.
One day, l started really thinking about the world living on dead dinosaurs i.e. fossil fuels, and what that is doing to the environment. Banks are some of the largest funders to fracking companies. In short form, your bank (depending on which one you use) is taking your money to invest in/fund oil companies. Once this all clicked in my head, I made sure to transfer my banking to an institution that is set up on solid morals. Shortly after, the fossil fuels piece poured out of me.
Who are some of your key graffiti, street art & general creative influences? How did these artists influence you and is there anyone else whose work you draw inspiration from?
For me, creativity begets creativity. I take inspiration from anyone & anything who is doing it differently, bold, clean, outside of the box, and/or thinking originally. I’ll never copy an idea, but rather I’ll steal a technique and apply it to my own design, thus creating my unique style. That said, I steal from architecture, high fashion, nature, and sacred geometry. Graffiti/ Street Art happens to be my favorite subculture so my ideas just manifest in that realm.
What does your creative process look like? Do you have a clear vision of the end result when you start or is it more experimental?
Most of the time I’ll have a vision of an image to create fully fleshed out in my head which usually comes to me during mediation. I create using photoshop and print my pieces large scale then hand cut the stencil in my studio and immediately take it to the streets.
Sadly, graffiti and street art here in the Netherlands tends to be a largely a male dominated industry, how do you think we can encourage more women to pick up a spray can and take to the streets?
I get this question a bunch, I think it’s a global problem. In order to get more women artists to paint in the streets, men should start advocating for women, thus creating a safe space for women. If women are in an environment where they don’t feel like they are prey/ being hunted sexually — they will feel comfortable enough to create. Just because a woman is down to hit the streets with you, doesn’t mean she then DTF so act right and keep it chill.
Can you share with us what you are working on at the moment? Are there any current issues like corona or the US politics that you would like to challenge through one of your designs?
There are a few things I’m working on – one that I can talk about is celebrating March being Women’s History Month, that said, I have a couple pieces going up around that. As for the others, you’ll have to stay tuned.