Meghan Maconochie – Artists of Instagram

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.35.13 PM

I’m sure most of you remember the Nifty Colour Project, and if you do, Meghan Maconochie’s name should be pretty familiar to you because she won oh so many times. Some weeks, like yellow week I clearly remember wanting to use her photo of the dog wearing a yellow birthday hat, but didn’t because we wanted to let others have a chance. At the end of the day though Meghan did take and create some of our favourite images of the competition, which also led to a major spark of inspiration for her too..

During green week she tagged a photo of the Nifty ‘N’ logo made entirely out of green pencil shavings, we may have let out a collective squeal of delight. This was of course a winner, and we then also commissioned Meghan to recreate it in red – which we now use for our social media icons. This was just the beginning for her though, she took the pencil shaving idea and turned it into a brilliant and totally original 365 project – she’s currently on day 70, have a look at all the images by searching #projectpencilshavingsmeghanmaconochie. We love her work and are super happy to share it with you on our blog, we caught up with Meghan to chat 365 projects and her passions beyond Instagram.

P.S. for brands looking to hire Meghan to create super cool little pieces of art, her turn around time is super fast – do it!

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.29.49 PM

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background? 

I am a born and bred Jozi girl who now lives in East London. I am a school teacher and I’m very blessed to teach at the most amazing school. Most of my family live in Johannesburg so I spend quite a lot of time there. Ultimately I would love to land up living in Cape Town (its where all the cool kids live)

2. Okay so you entered and won the Nifty Colour Project competition how many times? You have also said that the green ‘N’ logo you did, inspired you to start working on this pencil shaving project – what was a spark of inspiration for starting to create with pencil shavings?

Uuuum, I don’t know, quite a few . . . haha :) I loved doing that Nifty N! I needed to submit a green entry for that week and thought I would do something with a green pencil. Pencil shavings + Nifty Logo = too much of fun! So that’s how it started.

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.24.43 PM

Halloween week!

3. Were you always looking to start a 365 project? What day are you on now?

Yes I was! The idea of doing something for 365 is daunting so I wanted to find something that I’m inspired by and that I love doing. I also didn’t want to do something that had already been done. Currently,  I’m on day 71. (Still a loooooooooong way to go!!!!)

3. Where do you find inspiration of new pencil shaving mini artworks?

Sometimes I get ideas from the awesome people that follow my pencil project. Other times I just do what I feel like doing for that day. Sometimes choosing a theme for the week works well because I don’t have to think about it too much. Colour inspires me a lot so I often choose a picture based on its colour :)

4. How long does it take you to make it artwork, and how many sets of pencils do you go through a month?

Shoo, that varies so much. Sometimes it literally takes me 5 minutes, other works take me hours! The monochrome works are generally quicker, and I get to reuse those shavings. The more colours, the longer it takes, and unfortunately I have to throw those shavings away. I’m currently looking for a pencil sponsor and also willing to hire a full time pencil sharpener… JOKES. But seriously, I go through pencils quickly!! And it’s normally the one colour I run out of. I wish someone would sell individual colour packs.

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.25.49 PM

Y is for yellow

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.26.11 PM

H is for habenero

5. What’s your favourite thing to do, other than Instagram?

What do you mean other than Instagram? Do you mean to say there is life after Instagram?! I love hanging out with my dogs at the beach. I’m also a crossfitter so I spend a lot of time with my mates at Hard Yard Crossfit.

6. Do you follow any other cool projects on Instagram?

There are lots!! Lorraine Loots (read our interview with Lorraine here) is absolutely amazing. I often scroll through her feed for inspiration. Ross Symons’ (read our interview with Ross here) feed is one of the coolest projects to follow. Sketchy Bloggers (cupcake Mummy and Flat white pics) are always doing fun projects. Josh Johnson is constantly creating new challenges for IGers to experiment with. He is definitely inspiring. Rafael Mantesso and his dog are a highlight of my day!.

7. Who are your favourite people to follow on Instagram?

There are too many to mention. I have so many favourites. It’s been great to connect with so many people on such a great platform.

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.28.16 PM

D is for disco

8. What is your greatest extravagance? 

Probably all my Crossfit gear… and chocolate. I love chocolate.

9. What is your most treasured possession? 

Definitely my 2 Dogs, Juno the Pit Bull and Winston the French Bulldog. They are my fur kids and I’m slightly obsessed with them. Some people call me Elmyra..

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.29.36 PM

10. Once you’ve finished this 365 project, do you have another one in the pipeline? 

Let me finish this one first and I will let you know.. I definitely have a few plans for the future  :)

Meghan’s top 5 pencil shaving artworks she’s created..

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.12.30 PM


Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.13.05 PM


Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.13.27 PM


Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.13.47 PM

Stag Head

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 1.14.11 PM

I loved all the cameras. Camera

2 Comments on Meghan Maconochie – Artists of Instagram

  1. Sandy Goldberg
    November 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm (4 years ago)

    Original, creative and inspiring. In a word – brilliant!

  2. Kelly
    November 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm (4 years ago)

    I agree, this is just so amazing. Love it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *