We’re grateful for the many people who worked behind the scenes to bring Winged to life. This week, we feature short interviews with two of our visual artists, Charlotte Clement and Megan Newell. Here’s what they had to say about their interest in pollinators, their work as visual artists, and why they chose to join our team. Thanks, Charlotte and Megan!
Charlotte Clement Cover Illustration
I’m an artist and beekeeper based in Portland, Oregon. I was born in Rhode Island and studied fine arts at Drew University. I became became involved with Winged through Jill McKenna Reed. I work with Jill at Bee Thinking. I am excited to be a part of Winged because I’d like to do whatever I can to help bees. I started working at Bee Thinking and became a beekeeper around the same time. I’ve spent the past year having long conversations about bees, their dire state, and the impact their state will have on all of us. Winged was a great opportunity to contribute to a cause I care for through a means that I am very familiar with: drawing.
Honeybees have in some way shifted my art and creativity. I am inspired by their comunity structure and architectural skill. I used to make a lot of vessels using latex and paper mache. My projects were quite similar to the aesthetics of a beehive. In addition to managing Bee Thinking’s retail space, I also assist ceramic artist Kim Murton. These interests continue to inspire my art, which is recently focused on textural drawings of bees. I usually work in graphite and charcoal.
Apart from their environmental implications and communal living, I find the movement of the bee most interesting. I am fascinated by their ability to travel for so long on so little and how their wings are simultaneously invisible and luminescent. I tried to capture a moment of that speed and delicacy in my work with Winged.
The opportunity to design for Winged is exactly the reason why I design–to support an issue I believe in by helping create the visual storyline. I also value the coming together of writers, poets, artists, photographers, readers, and bee lovers to create a piece that celebrates the beauty of life, and more particularly, one small and important creature. I want to help bring attention to declining honeybee populations, and I am honored to have been a part, although just a small part, of the creative response to this serious issue.
I feel my purpose as a designer is to make others’ lives a little lighter and brighter, even if for a moment. This often influences my work to be vivid, multi-colored, fun, layered, textured, and engaging. As someone who prefers to listen than to speak in conversations, a design becomes my voice to the ideas that form in my mind as I observe others’ passions, histories, issues, concerns, and humanity. I am available for projects and/or collaborations! You can reach me at email@example.com and view previous projects at www.megannewell.com.