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A Conversation with Megan Carn, Columbia, SC Fine Artist

Southern artist, Megan Carn has a taste for the wild and whimsical. She paints it all, and in full-color.

Primarily known for painting vibrant pet portraits, Carn has built a lifestyle brand on her own. Notorious for her wild, whimsy, and eclectic artwork, Carn has expanded her reach organically over the years. But, the success of her small business didn’t happen overnight.

Carn graduated from Presbyterian College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts and instantly began pursuing jobs in fundraising and events. She landed her first job as a director at a small museum in Elloree, South Carolina. It wasn’t long after accepting the position when she began longing for a job with more creativity. Inspired by some major artists out of Charleston like Teil Duncan, Lulie Wallace and Raven Roxanne, she began painting in her free time, networking and posting pieces of art on Instagram. Months went by and she soon realized that the demand for art was too high for her to continue working both jobs.

After taking time to think about her future, Carn decided to take the leap of faith. She left her 9-5 job to pursue her entrepreneurial dream of starting an art business.

Today, she is responsible for all aspects of her business. When she’s not working on commissioned paintings (which range from 8×8-inch pet portraits to large-scale pieces spanning several square feet), Megan creates themed series that center on specific animals, such as pastel- hue bunnies or playful pups. Using acrylic paints on canvas, she paints in her home studio based in Columbia, SC.

Since quitting her full-time job she has enjoyed the freedom of managing her own business.

"I have a ton of flexibility, but if I'm not working no one is working!” said Carn. "The internet has provided a great and inexpensive platform for selling and advertising work, but it has allowed for art to be stolen and ripped off far too easily. Tracking down infringements is a huge time and money suck."

In addition to her passion for art, Carn has a deep love and knowledge for social media marketing. Carn’s business is fueled by social media and she totally loves it. She’s worked on a variety of side projects, helping others revamp and learn to take control of their social media.

Carn's business relies on her talent as an artist, but is successful because of her constant drive and unique intellect.

When asked what advice she has to individuals entering this field she answered, “Don’t, unless you are ready to be tethered to your phone, full of ideas and full of initiative. You have to be ready to work hard, and a lot," Carn said. "Selling yourself and your business comes with a constant stream of work and big decisions, but it comes with advantages too.”


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