By Jennifer Mitchell
One of the most memorable aspects of a wedding day is the flowers, especially the bridal bouquet. Flowers are typically a reflection of the colors, smells, and textures a couple relishes. Megan Moore of Commemorate the Date, has created a way to truly make wedding day flowers and bouquets memorable. The Alabama native, who now claims Minnesota as her home after living here for a decade, uses water colors and oil paint to develop a piece of art honoring your wedding day with the flowers and the date. She custom designs a painting of your desired size, so you can always remember your special day. Moore is an illustration artist and an artist member of Studiopolis in downtown Minneapolis. Read on to learn more about Moore’s artistic talents and her company Commemorate the Date.
Are you inspired by your surroundings in Minnesota?
I am inspired. I get a lot of my inspiration from what I see around me in nature as well as places that I go. I am pretty much inspired by wherever I am and there is no shortage of inspiration here.
Did you come upon your strong line style at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), or had you developed it before hand?
I worked on it while at SCAD, that was one of the things that they emphasized in their illustration department, finding your own style and something that sets you apart from other illustrators. Find what makes you unique. I kind of developed it there and I have worked on it and developed it since. I sometimes work in a style that has less of a strong line, but I come back to it.
What inspired you to start Commemorate the Date and get involved in wedding flower paintings? I had done a series of flowers . . . I can’t even remember when I did them; it’s been a while. Poppies, Echinacea, and Zinnia there are nine of them. I think I did the first of those before I got married and then I designed my own wedding invitations, which had the flowers and the date at the bottom using a graphic design template. Then a couple of years later a friend got married and I painted their wedding flowers as a gift. Once I did that, I thought, this could be something that others would want too.
How long ago did you start Commemorate?
I think my first Commemorate the Date painting was in 2008, then I did the one for my friend, a couple more for friends, and in the spring of 2010 I got serious about promoting it. My friend Hadley Barrows joined me and she has helped me with business development. She has a business background so I can spend more of my time just doing the art.
You have an affinity for nature and painting natural objects? Yes, definitely. In my art statement I am a painter and my work is typically nature themed.
Can brides come see your work?
We have a great website that has examples of Commemorate the Date paintings, I have a personal website and I have a studio space in the Northrup King Building. I do a lot of local events (which are listed on my website) and I always have examples of Commemorate the Date with me.
What is the most common request for wedding related commissions?
We have done mostly flowers. I think that is really part of my core concept. I am happy to do other things, like recently I did some cats and I have done fish before so I am open to doing other things, but the core concept is flowers. I think it’s because when I first came up with the idea it was for a wedding and it was a way to symbolize the day and personalize that person’s wedding.
Is it best to send a photo with your order to help with the design process?
It is great to have a photo to work from, but I am also completely happy to just know the flower name and colors. If not I can just work with the colors that are in the flowers.
How much of your work is custom versus pre-designed?
With Commemorate the Date it has almost all been custom work. We just started making some prints and I have a calendar for 2012 I am selling. So far every Commemorate painting has been its own unique design.
Would you custom paint anything, or are there limitations?
One thing I always like to preface with is that I am not a portrait painter, so I can’t do people. It doesn’t end up being an accurate representation. I stay away from portraits.
Did you begin with the paintings and then branch into invitation work?
Yes, paintings came first. One thing that is really great about the concept is that you tell people about it and they think about it and think oh, you can use it for this, or you can use it for that and so we kind of chose a few of those ideas to carry forward, the invitation is one of those.
What is your favorite flower?
Oh gosh, that is really hard to say. I’ll say I don’t really have a favorite, but my wedding flowers were roses; white and red mixed.
You seem awfully busy as an artist at Studiopolis and running Commemorate, how long does it usually take to create a piece?
Yes, I am. It depends on the size of the piece. Generally, watercolor paintings go faster than oil painting, which are the two styles I have available now. I usually budget about a day for each painting.