Meghan Dodds: The rising star in fabric painting & forensic art

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From learning how to etch a leaf as a kid by her mom, to selling her original pieces of art, Meghan Dodds has come a long way in her creative journey and is making her way up to her artistic goals. Dodds, a 20-year-old sophomore studio art major at Rowan, has been creating art ever since she can remember and has always had an interest in the creative field.  

“Sounds cheesy but my dad said I was born with a crayon in my hand,” Dodds said. “I’ve always been drawing. There are photo albums from when I was two with little scribbles. It sounds silly but it’s true.” 

When Dodds was in middle school, she also attended Keiser Art School, now known as the Craft Room located in Washington Township, which was when she started to take art seriously. Dodds considers herself to be a studio artist that is open to all mediums of art. She has tried watercolor, sculpting, painting, sketching, and anything her eye lands on. Her favorite mediums are watercolor and painting. 

Her variety of creative talents has not gone unnoticed as Dodds started selling her work through portraits, invitations, and creations for birthdays and graduations a few years ago. Her current main source of art, however, has been fabric painting. 

“I’m painting jean jackets with like album covers on them or Disney characters or Marvel characters and for some reason people enjoy them,” said Dodds. 

Through her small business, she has found herself to be in a good community and realizes that she has a good audience as well. Dodds has made friends through painting for people and it adds to the love she has for art. She believes that creating designs relieves stress and is therapeutic as she usually struggles with focusing on one specific thing unless it’s art. Dodds also mentions that it is a great way to get emotions out. 

“Whether it’s through the message of what you’re doing or even the process of what you’re doing, it’s always a good way to express yourself,” said Dodds. 

Social media has also been a great way for Dodds to get her name out there and express herself. She uses Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn and continues to stay active while posting her work as an online portfolio. As a full-time student, Dodds mentions that time management is super important. She works on her art whenever she has time and plans out her classes accordingly. She has also learned a lot of new things at Rowan and is grateful for her professors who have guided her throughout the way so far. 

“As an artist, you debate going to art school. It’s like is it worth spending all the money? Am I going to learn anything? And I would say to go to art school,” said Dodds. “I think I’ve learned a lot in art school that I wouldn’t have learned on my own.”

Dodds has had her fair share of mistakes including not cutting enough clay in ceramics or even stepping on paint. She believes that every artist goes through a phase of disliking their work but mentions that it is part of the process. 

“You’ll spend some hours on something and hate it,” said Dodds. “However, you show it to a different artist and they’ll say ‘That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.’”

For the future, Dodds hopes to be a forensic artist as her grandmother used to work with the FBI as a secretary and after she passed, Dodds realized that art can be useful in the police field. She hopes to talk to different people and victims, get a description, draw them, and hopefully find some criminals. Dodds is excited for what’s to come in the future and continues to spread her work to sell her pieces and inspire others to make art. 

“You are supposed to put out your anger on your paper and take it out. That’s what’s gonna make your best art,” said Dodds. “If you’re having fun, you’re just gonna make better art. So try to enjoy it, it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email the.whit.arts@gmail.com.

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