Top of Mind
Good People: Meghann Stephenson
Illustrator + Founder of M.Finley Studio
By Crown Affair
Meet Meghann, illustrator, creative consultant, and founder of M.Finley Studio.
She's someone we turn to for daily inspiration, whether it's a healthy breakfast recipe, a design object of our dreams, a new pilates spot, or a vintage find—Meghann is our go-to gal. Her impeccable taste is only mirrored by her kindness. You'd be hard pressed to find someone so lovely and genuine in her actions, and that grace is matched to her creative talent. She has that magic touch that makes everything glow around her, and if you follow her daily life on Instagram, you'll feel it too. As an artist and illustrator, she has an ability to take a familiar object and translate it through her lens of warmth and whimsy that we've admired for over a decade of her creating beautiful work.
We spent an afternoon with her this January (before the world went on lockdown) in her neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she lives with her fiancé Bono and cat Lewis. With records on loop and matcha on tap, we could have spent the whole afternoon hanging out with her chatting art, self-care, design, and the routines that make her feel whole.
Shot by Ben Biondo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- What's your weekday morning routine look like?
Wake up at 8:30, have coffee and a big bowl of fruit, then most mornings go to a pilates class, followed by oatmeal, more coffee and getting ready for the day.
- Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in McLean, Virginia and now live in Brooklyn, New York.
- How do you describe what you do?
I'm an illustrator and designer.
- What does ritual mean to you? If you have any, can you share a few?
To me, ritual means comfort. I’m a creature of habit and I find a lot of comfort in having little routines throughout my day. My morning and evening routines are the most grounding for me. They’re really nothing special or complicated and just entail my skincare routine and sitting down for a good meal.
- Where do you get or find inspiration?
Mostly instagram or people watching in New York.
- Who do you get your hair from?
- How does your hair make you feel?
I’ve battled my hair my whole life. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t cry from identity shock after getting it cut or colored. It’s fine, but there’s a lot of it and I have to wash it regularly or it gets stringy. But when it’s cooperating, it makes me feel beautiful. These days I’m just trying to leave it alone and let it do its own thing.
- Any major hair moments or memories in your life?
My hair’s been almost every color since high school, but rose gold was especially fun and memorable.
- What's your current hair routine?
I wash my hair every other day or so. I switch up my shampoo and conditioner and I rarely use any product other than a bit of The Oil if my ends feel dry or as a mask before I wash. I rough dry my roots for volume and just blow out my front pieces and ends using a YS Park round brush, then put it up in a loose knot for a few minutes to create soft waves.
- What would you tell your 18-year old self?
Everything will work out and please stop cutting your own bangs.
- How have you kept up your creativity during this time?
Truthfully I've had a hard time feeling creative in the last week or so. It seems like most of my energy has gone into just feeling safe and making sure my needs are met. I've been giving myself a break and really leaning into rest. I'm just starting to ease back into existing freelance projects which feels really good. I'm just so grateful to have any work during this time.
- Have you found creating art to be helpful with everything going on? If so, how?
Absolutely, having any project is such a welcome distraction especially when it involves making something beautiful, but I also don't feel pressured to make every moment of this time productive.
- What are is one self-care ritual you're leaning into for comfort?
I've found myself putting more time into the self care rituals I already practice regularly, since I have nowhere to be. Longer morning skincare routines, taking my time massaging my face and body, dry brushing, taking longer baths or even just wearing a moisturizing face mask all day. I've also really noticed how much exercising benefits my mood and body. Melissa Wood's pilates videos are incredible and I'm so grateful to have a rebounder since I'm not able to walk around as much. It really gets your blood flowing.