A Q&A With Megan Hicklin of Neon Magpie Posted on 20 Sep 13:00

Neon Magpie is an Edinburgh brand creating beautiful artwork featuring the city’s landscapes, as well as sweet, child-friendly illustrated cards and small gifts. Having stocked Neon Magpie for many years now here at Paper Tiger, we know that any new release from them is a guaranteed hit!

Edinburgh artist Megan Hicklin is the creative force behind Neon Magpie, which she founded in 2015. Her artwork has been featured in the city’s Colony of Artist showcase - including this year! When not diligently crafting beautiful art, Megan is hard at work as part of our Paper Tiger team! We asked Megan a few questions about her experiences in Edinburgh and in her career.

What are your first memories of Edinburgh?
I have lived in Edinburgh my whole life so it’s difficult to pinpoint an earliest memory but I know I’ve always felt really lucky to live in such a beautiful city.

What are your first memories of Paper Tiger?
When we were younger my sister and I had dance lessons in the West End on a Saturday. When my sister was in her class my dad and I would go to Paper Tiger and Studio One to spend my pocket money! My dad is a huge Tintin fan so he loved picking up things for himself too.

Where is your favourite place in the city?
My favourite place has to be the Water of Leith, I absolutely love walking or cycling along beside the river and spotting wildlife.

What drew you to your current career?
I didn’t plan this career but I love that I’ve fallen into it. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil and even kept up illustrating while studying fashion at uni. One day I doodled some unicorns and my husband said they would look good on a card so I made a handful of cards and put them on Etsy. Then to my surprise they all sold very quickly and since then I’ve been designing cards and stationery.

What inspires your work?
I have two styles of work - my landscape illustrations that are inspired by beautiful places in Edinburgh and my childrens illustrations that are inspired by the alphabet. I will pick a theme like ‘animals’ or ‘the ocean’ then draw something for every letter of the alphabet.

How do you record your ideas/sketches/designs?
I used to draw everything into sketchbooks so I have hundreds of them packed into boxes in my studio but for the last few years I have been drawing on my iPad which stores everything automatically. I love working on my iPad because it speeds up the process and allows me to work in the spare minutes when my boys are playing or napping without having to get paints out.

What is your favourite part of your job?
I adore drawing and love that I am able to call my favourite pastime work but I also love the moment when I see a product I’ve been designing in real life - it’s so exciting holding a book that’s taken months to illustrate in your hands for the first time.

What are you working on next?
At the moment I am working on a couple of commissions and wedding invitations which is something that I love to do. After this I am planning to draw some other parts of Scotland but there are so many beautiful places I don't know where to go next!

Browse our Neon Magpie selection here: Neon Magpie.