Ask anyone about Meghann McGrath, commonly known as Mega, and they’ll all probably tell you the same thing. She’s a very driven and talented designer who’s also one of biggest hip hop heads around.
Fueled creatively by rap music, Mega started her first wheatpaste public art project in 2013 and called it, ‘STREET SCRIPT.’ Starting out as low key calligraphy doodles featuring well known phrases from popular rap songs, the project quickly blew up in size and popularity as her pieces started appearing on walls around East Van.
Expanding her artistic vision beyond just catchphrases and calligraphy, Mega decided to evolve her ‘STREET SCRIPT’ project into ‘SCRIBE by Mega.’ Under this new title, her work has been able to focus on the exploration of type and material, aesthetics, and implied meanings.
With a major installation completed for FVDED in the Park last summer and a new piece just recently installed at Fortune Sound Club under her belt, we got a chance to chat with Mega about her new work and what she has planned for the rest of the year.
My name is Mega; I’m a graphic designer and artist. I have a rap-based illustrative project called, ’SCRIBE by Mega.’ Some may have seen some of my former work under the moniker, ’Street Script.’
Connect! I try to do that with every piece I create.
Yes, I went to Emily Carr for four years. Contrary to how it sounds though, I didn’t actually graduate. I was studying part-time and towards the end of it, I started the ‘STREET SCRIPT’ project and it has kept me busy with clients ever since. I also subscribe to the belief that you don’t really need a degree to become an artist or a designer. Though it does work for some, I don’t think it’s necessary.
You’ve been designing under ‘SCRIBE by Mega’ for a couple years now. How would you say your work has evolved since you first started with ‘STREET SCRIPT’?
A lot has changed! When I first started ‘STREET SCRIPT’ in 2013, the message I was trying to bring to the streets was a reminiscent one. I wanted to shout out a culture that I really appreciated and that brought me up when was nine years old and stealing my sister’s CDs; Bumping Nice & Smooth and Erykah Badu. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, all I knew is that I liked it.
There was always that one lyric from songs that stood out to me. Songs that punched you in the gut; that you replayed over and over because you loved it so much. Those were the lyrics that I focused on for that project.
Now in 2016 with ‘SCRIBE by Mega,’ I’m more focused on the medium, aesthetic, cleanliness of the lines, and core message. I care more about what the lyrics say now. I won’t just pick anything; I’m being very selective. I’m refining.
I’m installing two vinyl pieces onto the mirrors at Fortune. I combed through a bunch of lyric selections with Gman until we settled on two Notorious B.I.G. lines. I don’t mind this because he is a god and one of the most beloved club-banger maker of all time; It’s fitting. Almost 20 years after his death and his music is still played every weekend.
I like mirror pieces too because of how they invite the viewer to see themselves in the artwork while interpreting their own relation to the work. It’s a lot deeper than someone just taking a quick selfie; it’s a beautiful thing!
I first laid my eyes on Fortune when I was 18 years old, and for some reason that I can’t really explain, I felt drawn to it. I went to lots of shows, was there on the weekends, and after pestering them for some time, finally got a job there. It was my 21 year old dream job.
Gman, Rob, Mike (RIP), Marlon, Bruce, and all of my managers really taught me vital lessons about work ethic and gave me countless opportunities over the years. They really let me carve out my own experience and it really inspired me. I’m now 24 and just finished my last weekend there, I am so thankful to them for everything. I think when you feel drawn to something, you should follow it because there’s a reason for everything.
To make good art and not tell people about my goals, haha! It’s a personal goal of mine to not tell anyone my goals. I’m not trying to be a dick; I just think it jinxes my chances of getting it done.
See more from Mega online: www.scribebymega.com.