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.

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.
20180210_164057 20180210_164859

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