Megan Dowsett is a freelance creative consultant working with museums and galleries.

Through the name Norris and the Flamingo, she shares the sense of adventure that runs through all of life, wherever we are on our journey. A sense of imagination, of possibility and discovery, for children and adults alike.

Her core values come down to two simple things:

People: At the heart of everything she does, people are there – be it audiences of any age or background, volunteers, staff or freelancers and apprentices. She believes that the best projects take everybody with them on a learning journey.

Creativity: In every role she’s taken, creativity has played a key priority. Working in Museums and Galleries, creativity brings a valuable opportunity to think about the same things in a different way.

Museums and galleries are the perfect place to bring the joy of discovery and magic of adventure to everyone who passes through the doors - and to invite those who haven't yet braved these sometimes intimidating buildings, to do so in a dynamic and inviting way.

Over twelve years working in these exciting settings, Megan has developed extensive experience in both managing and delivering creative projects that engage with a wide variety of audiences.

17 April 2018

Songs of Flight


My brother, Owen, and I spent Easter Monday at the Roald Dahl Museum, working with families to write songs about the experience of flying. 20180402_160325 It was the first time we’d worked together and, well it worked out beautifully!  I haven’t often co-delivered, but it’s a great opportunity to play to different people’s strengths, and ultimately come up with something really good.  Naturally, there were things we’d like to try differently, but in generally, with only 45 minutes with each group, we achieved a lot. 20180402_154633 Owen brings an incredible talent in singing, guitar and improvisation, along with his irresistible charm and sense of how to pitch things at just the right level.  Combined with my background in interpreting museum themes for families and enabling our youngest audiences to become creators, we involved every visitor to the workshop in the writing of a new and original song.  

In planning, it was also wonderful to read Going Solo for the first time, and to feel Roald Dahl’s experience of flight, and of Africa, and how widely it influenced his later writing.

10 April 2018

Brixton Windmill Live and Kicking!

It has been such a privilege to work with Brixton Windmill, and I'm really proud to be a part of their journey as they anticipate their new education facility, set to open later this year.
For now, the schools workshops are live on the website, the team are armed with amazing volunteers and freelancers ready to deliver, and the adventure continues!  Visit the website for a taste of the workshops.

3 April 2018

We all remember Pooh-sticks

In the last possible moment, we finally made it to the gorgeous Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition at the V&A, with the help of our friend Steph.  My illustrator self desperately wanted to pause and drool over the gorgeous pictures but I had to give in to the demands of small children, so sadly this blog entry is more about the joys of child-inspiring exhibitions than the glory of E H Shepard.

Feets is currently ensconced in the magic of Winnie-the-Pooh which we regularly read before bed.  Bean is thrilled when let out of her buggy to practise her newfound walking skills.  Both were absolutely delighted by the exhibition, which offered a glorious physical visit into the world of Winnie-the-Pooh.  20180325_163856 I hesitated in the first room, and thought our tour would be brief, as Feets is spoilt by interactive exhibitions and couldn't keep her attention on the displays, after counting how many Winnie-the-Poohs she could see.
20180325_16280320180325_170859But then the second room was a treasure trove of magic.  A door, which I would never fit through, a bell, a tent, a river across an interactive floor, which kept them occupied for house, trees with seats inside, and finally a table, where Feets sat with Steph for a good hour, concocting drawings of trees and Piglet and cups of tea.  Even ... a slide.  A slide!  20180325_171406 Happy, happy people.  Thanks, Steph!  Thanks, V&A!

27 March 2018

Granny and Me: My New Friends

I've become incredibly attached to the characters in Granny and Me - I find myself chatting to them (especially as a plasticine arm falls off - even worse, a head!).  Here are some initial sketches.
Granny at Arne Leo

20 March 2018

Squash and Carrot Soup

Our artist friend Wendy Horler is forever saving, drying, cutting, painting bits and pieces from her garden and her kitchen.  She's fascinated by watching them rot, but also by watching them change as they dry out and the sculptural forms she can build from them. 20180111_130639 20180111_130620 20180111_130555

Feets and I are, of course, 100% inspired by this, so I've begun to save bits from our own cooking and dry them out on the radiator.  Usually they end up all over the floor and then in the bin, but this time our mutual patience led us to pick them all up twice before I left Feets and Bean to make pretend soup in their cooker.  When that ran out Feets asked if she could paint them.  I was reluctant at that moment (I admit!) so we agreed she would colour them with pens instead. 20180303_131505
A happy hour later, and I am blissfully collating Feets' coloured bits into some kind of floral design.  Bean is sorting out the lids of the felt pens and Feets has moved on to making a storybook.

Thanks Wendy!

13 March 2018

Granny and Me: Back to Plasticine

I am illustrating a book, my first commission of this kind - a memoir, written by a mother for her baby son. She asked me to do it after seeing Across the Sea, which is why I said yes. A joy to be asked to do something similar to previous work rather than imitative of some unknown style!

It's a rollercoaster adventure, a gorgeous, luxurious opportunity to spend many drawing hours at my desk. An incredible, intense learning curve - one moment I realise just how much I am 'growing up' through this journey, and the next, how much I still have to learn. And yes, right now, a wee bit daunting as I watch time slipping away. 20180213_113714 20180227_120508












First things first - I returned to an approach I find immensely comforting - to make my characters from plasticine and draw them. Creating Mummy and Daddy in bed, with whatever I had to hand as props amused me enormously!

6 March 2018

Roald Dahl's Story Centre

In a brief spell after the workshops, I took a peek into the Story Centre at the Roald Dahl Museum.

And was utterly inspired ...

What a magical place to play with words.
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I quietly put the writing part of my mind to one side years ago.  It returns in articles, blog posts, diaries and in the stories I tell my children, but I haven't put pen to paper to write a story for a long time.

And the Story Centre, targeted of course towards children, set my imagination going too.  It made me feel that we should ALL be writing - that, just as we are all artists, we are all writers too. 20180210_164808 Most inspiring, perhaps, was the thoughts, inspiration and processes of popular children's writers of today.  As an illustrator, I often hear my insecurities saying 'what do proper illustrators do?'  It feels as though I need to conform to an idea of how artists should work.  And just like artists, it turns out that every writer has their own approach.  Roald Dahl set himself up in his hut every day, while JK Rowling writes somewhere different every day.

Watch this space ...

Oh - and I made a 15 frame animation for my lovely Mr Liam. 20180210_164729