The Journal



Growth, Amendments to practice

What do you need that you don't currently have? Time? Space? Curiosity? Inspiration? Community? Solitude? New experiences? A mentor? Accountability? Sleep? Training? Materials? Assistance? Childcare?

"I need ______ and it will take _____ to get these things:"

1.  I need time and it will take a daily work time to get work done. I commit to looking at work, making work, or critiquing work every lunch time at school, and at least one night a week (Wednesdays) at home. 

2.  I need access to my own space.  Over the next year, I would like to apply to grad school or at least prepare myself (and my family) to enter a MFA program.  This will give me the space I need, the time I need, some monetary commitment (I find that if I pay for an experience I throw myself 100% into it), etc. 

3. I need a show and it will take networking to get it.  I need to go to more shows, work with more artists, and leverage connections I have but have not followed up with. 

4.  I need inspiration and it will take looking everywhere to get it.  Lately Ive found social media to be of great help in this; following museums and galleries (and then artists I like) has been really influential. 

5.  I need more energy/less input into my day job.  Ive been researching TAB classrooms and am currently doing a TAB project ( I gave the kids newspapers, they make huge installations and sculptures with a few "criteria for success" to frame their grade)...we're seeing how these turn out. 

6. I need to teach creativity not just teach art. I cannot force kids into creative mindset; I can let my classroom grow when my students work responsibly and think creatively.  I can model this by working on my work as they work.  Maybe that's the missing link? Seeing another artist work?

7. I need a mentor and it will take a mentor to get there.  ANYONE? Just kidding, Ive been connecting with past professors (one who introduced me to ARIM) a lot and that's been really helpful.  I'd like to build a similar relationship with a geographically closer artist.



The Official Invite

October 9, 2017

To Whom It May Concern, 

We are writing to officially invite Megan Olivia Ebel to undertake a term as an Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood. She will be resident from May 7, 2015 to May 7, 2033 at 8*** W**d*** Dr. Unit ** Ho******, Texas 77****.

Artists-in-Residence-in-Motherhood explore the fragmented focus, nap-length studio time, limited movement and resources and general upheaval that parenthood brings and allow it to shape the direction of their work, rather than try to work “despite” it. 

Yours Sincerely,

Lenka Clayton

Founder, An Artist Residency in Motherhood


The Manifesto

A commitment and statement declaring the purpose and intention behind my ARiM, the inevitability of limited work time, the inequitable access to residencies for mother artists and their families.


Describe where you are currently with your creative work. How much time are you able to work, where do you work, how do you feel about it, what are you working on? How has parenthood affected (or not) your working practice?

My challenges:

1. Time: I have no regular time to make work.  Sometimes I have several hours, sometimes I have ten minutes; both amounts of time have produced work but I'm never sure how long I have until my son wakes up, the phone rings, or "whatever" distracts me.

2. Access to my own space: I currently work in our master bedroom at a desk.  I also have a space in our Garage for larger supplies, with a drafting table etc. but its just not inspiring to work in.  The only benefit of not working in my room is that I can use messy supplies and leave stuff out mid-project.  Leaving paint out with a curious two year old wandering that's art! 

3. A place to display work:  In my opinion, I make a lot of work for someone with a full time job and a child.  What do I do with it once its made?

4. Inspiration:  Is it just me or is all art starting to look the same? I find in Houston there is a style, as I imagine theres a style in every city with an art scene.  Whenever I travel I find more purposeful art and inspiration. 

5. Teaching high school art is fun but projects are taking my energy for ideas. I love being around 16-19 year olds; they have whacky ideas and, since most have never taken an art class before, they think and see art in very unique ways.  How can I think in unique ways without just copying the projects I create for them?  How do I create less projects for them as well? I feel like my art program and curriculum is so dependant on my creativity.

6.  Work vs Work Balance: How can I think in unique ways without just copying the projects I create for my classroom?  How do I create less projects for them as well? I feel like my art program and curriculum is so dependant on my creativity, which is nice and creates wonderful student work, but most of the time hinders my personal work. 

7. A mentor: how do I know the work I am making is even good? I show art people my projects from time to time and its positive praise, but like doesn't move me forward.  I think the most inspired I've been is about a month after Shakerag Workshops.