Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Lee.
Morgan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember, from grade school to high school I was never drawn toward anything in school that forced me to stay in between the lines. I always found it hard to concentrate when It came to academics and was often in trouble for poor performance when it came to grades. But art was one thing that I understood and just “got,” it helped me understand how to harness the focus I could never grasp in class, and translate it to paper when I created.
It wasn’t until college that I had intent to improve as an artist, so much that I almost convinced myself to pursue a degree in it. From young, I was always very observant and found it interesting to analyzing human nature which led me into the field of psychology at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. I hopped around a couple more schools following UAA and eventually landed in Oklahoma where I finished my degree in psychology and eventually joined the Tulsa Fire Department after graduating. During my first year at Langston University, I joined my sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. driving me into the avenue of woodwork. Growing up, I had always watched my dad create custom wooden furniture for our home, he would work from sun up to sun down and I was always fascinated with the process. Eventually, I started out making small wooden necklaces referred to as “Tikis” for members in my sorority and eventually branched out to other sororities and fraternities.
Eventually, this trade grew into custom wooden paddle making, far bigger than a necklace and a little bit more time-consuming. The more I grew with the art form the more I was able to expand from Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations to Multicultural Greek Letter Organizations and eventually non-Greeks altogether. Around that same time, a close friend of mine had a large influence on me when it came to painting. Immediately picked up the craft and fell in love with it, it was a complete different dynamic than any other medium I had ever worked with, it seemed much more rich than the mediums I had worked with prior. All of the artistic skills I’ve picked up throughout the years have allowed me to grow in business as well, it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized I could capitalize off of my creativity.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road, as an artist hasn’t always been smooth. The hardest thing for me to do has been to work through periods of stagnancy. Personally, I feel as if artist block is a direct reflection of what is happening in one’s life. When I looked back at those low points, I found that my focus had shifted from art to something else that may have been happening at the time. During the fire academy and afterward, it became easier for me to release artistically because those times were either high emotion or high stress. Distinguishing myself as an artist, as far as “my style” has been another growth factor as well. I’ve always tried to separate myself from the pack and make my art different, I couldn’t tell you exactly how, but, I’ve always desired to do things the way Morgan does it. To have someone look at my art and immediately be able to tell it was Morgan who created it.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
Morgan Lee Art is just that, Art. I don’t box myself in as far as what kind of art I create. whatever comes to mind, I try to execute, whether that be on canvas, paper, wood, or on a computer. My desire is to inspire someone else to tap into their “dopeness.” If I’ve done that, I’ve done my duty as an artist and a human being. For the most part, I balance three mediums and work equally in all three, and that is paint, paper and wood. I usually start a lot of my graphic work with a sketch and from that sketch, I’m able to translate it to my computer to create graphics, whether it be logos or graphics for a t-shirt line, I enjoy the ability to navigate in between mediums and eventually combine them both.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had family support me in ways that I can’t ever repay, from raising me and instilling wisdom in me to loaning me money in order to by my first set of woodworking tools. In this day and age, social media plays a vital role in the success of an artist, exposure is the quickest way to rise through social media ranks. I’ve also had friends on every platform share my work to others, as an artist, this is one of the most humbling and gracious things a person can do. Exposure is important, so getting the name and work out to the world is a major show of support.
- Website: morganleeart.bigcartel.com
- Phone: (909) 714-0368
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @morganleeart__ @thepaddlegods