Designed exclusively for ELEMIS by famed New York based fashion illustrator Meagan Morrison of @TravelWriteDraw, our NEW luxury traveler collections hold all you need for your summer adventures. Featuring vibrant watercolors inspired by her summer spent in London, we spoke to Meagan about how she’s inspired by her travel destinations, plus her essentials for a luxurious travel experience.
You are living the dream, making a living doing what you love. How were you able to make your dream job a reality?
@TravelWriteDraw started as a blog after a life changing trip to Dubai. I was still an illustration student at FIT at the time and had that "aha!" moment where I decided that I didn't want to just illustrate; I wanted to travel the world and share my journey. I wanted to have conversations about the things that mattered to me and celebrate what makes us so unique. It took years, and I mean years, to cultivate enough clients and community to finally warrant leaving my full-time job. But eventually I took the leap 5 years ago and never looked back!
How did you land the first big job you booked?
My first big job was doing an illustration of Julia Restoin Roitfeld (Carine Roitfeld's daughter) for this full page spread in Flare Magazine. It was the first time my art ever went to print! It came about because at the time Flare was running a feature on their website called "Blogs to Watch" and they ran a spotlight on TravelWriteDraw. I used that as an opportunity to connect with the Art Director at the magazine. She loved my work and hired me for the job!
What is your artistic process like?
My artistic process is a bit different depending on the assignment. If it's a personal project, it most often starts with visiting a specific destination, taking loads of pictures, scouring through their markets and seeing local art and design shops! I'll then return to my studio in New York and certain things will start to come to the surface for me. The things that really resonate I write down and start pulling reference imagery together to formulate a composition and idea. I'll then do a couple pencil drafts until I settle on a final image to convey and then render that in full color, scan it, and post it!
Where do you get your inspiration?
9 times out of 10 I draw my inspiration from a specific destination! As soon as I settle on a certain place I immediately start looking at the natural landscapes, famous landmarks, how people dress, what they eat, whether they have particular festivals, or different religious beliefs etc. It's incredible how much all these different parts of a country feed into my final illustrations.
You recently spent a summer in London. How did that sabbatical come about?
I first studied abroad in London when I was 16 years old and had so many of my formative firsts there. I always felt so aligned with the vibe of the city and promised myself that one day when I was older I would return for another summer abroad. That promise and inclination to return never left me and finally I decided to act on it. When a girlfriend of mine said she had a room available for July and August, I leapt at the opportunity and away I went!
You have traveled the world. What are your top three destinations?
Oh my goodness, this is so tough! But if I have to choose I'd say India, Mexico, and Egypt! All three are utterly mind blowing and brimming with a plethora of history and inspiration! I came back and created a whole new series of art from each place.
Which destinations are still on your bucket list?
So many! I would love to visit the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Peru, Chile, Iceland, Madagascar, the Seychelles, Philippines, and more of India and Bali!
When you aren’t creating illustrations for the world’s leading brands, what are you up to?
So much goes into running the business side of TravelWriteDraw that doesn't necessarily go on my Instagram! I'm typically doing all the administrative work, quoting for new projects, and invoicing etc. Outside of that, I focus on my exercise and wellness - they are two of the greatest pillars of my life to keep my mind clear and my body feeling great. I do a mix of yoga, Pilates, cycling and boxing throughout the week and have started doing breath work and sound baths about 1-2 times a week.
What was your inspiration for the ELEMIS x @TravelWriteDraw illustrations?
I was so fortunate to be living in London at the time that I was working on the illustrations for our collaboration because I was able to channel all that I was seeing in the streets in real-time into the art. The city, a lot like ELEMIS, is steeped in heritage and legacy but always looking to the future. To me ELEMIS embodies luxury with integrity so I wanted to make sure I expressed that in the designs as well.
What are your favorite ELEMIS products?
I'm obsessed with the Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm! It is by far the most effective makeup remover I've ever tried and doesn't dry out my skin. I also love the Pro-Collagen Marine Oil for a great glow, the Pro-Collagen Super Serum Elixir for my eyes, as well as the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream for daily moisture. I'll alternate between the Superfood Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator and the Peptide Thousand Flower Mask for a good refresh once a week.
Do you have any travel beauty tips?
I never wear makeup during a long-haul flight. Between the recycled air and dehydration, it's a bad recipe for a breakout. This way I can use the hand towels for a nice refresh, spray some of the Soothing Apricot Toner on my face and reapply my Pro-Collagen Marine Cream mid-flight. I always pack a few lip balms to have them at the ready for a quick touch up.
What are the beauty products you always have on hand when traveling?
I never travel without the travel-sized Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm (I actually took 3 of those on my most recent trip to Asia!), as well as the Pro-Collagen Marine Oil, and Marine Cream. I used to have so many problems with my skin when I traveled—adjusting to different climates and diet etc.—but ever since I started using ELEMIS, my skin remains totally clear and glowing every single trip.