We had the good fortune of connecting with Molly Magill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Molly, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in a small town in West Texas, and my upbringing there, where my family has lived for 7 generations, has played an integral role in my life and especially my art. Because of my deep roots there, and now my pride and commitment to my life and work in Dallas make my work an expression of primarily of place. Which is reflected not only in my work but in the name of my studio, Cliff (for Oak Cliff, my Dallas neighborhood) and Callahan (as in the County where I grew up). My artwork expresses where we are, where we come from, where we are going, and how we fit or don’t fit into our place along the way, as expressed through color, shape, form and rhythm. It’s an exploration of how our geographic and familial roots help define us, and how we work to outgrow and/or hold onto those definitions throughout our lives. How we carry pride in, and also a reject, at times, those ties. Asking questions of our place in the world. and how we move through the world, what inspires us and how important it is to be bold in our lives, drives the expressions.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My studio was born out of the ashes of my 17 year corporate career. When I lost my job and decided I would not go back to the corporate world, art saved me. I started painting everyday just to process things – the loss of years of dedication, my identity as a busy -if frustrated- working mom and executive, even the daily grind and stress that were gone. . . it was a lot to adjust to. I knew it was the moment I had been waiting for, but at the same time, it was a difficult moment to accept, as well. In order to get through it and clear my head, I dedicated myself to making a small piece of some kind each day. I had always been a painter since taking art courses in college, but had only used it for “fun”, or on the side over the years. . . so picking up my brushes was natural even if I was a little rusty at first. I started sharing my journey on Instagram and slowly but surely people took notice, orders started coming in and before I knew it, I had opened my studio as a full-time working artist.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We love to show off Dallas to visiting friends and family. We are proud residents of Oak Cliff, so many of our favorites are in our neighborhood – the best neighborhood in Dallas. Some essentials are breakfast at Oddfellows, lunch at Tribal All Day Cafe, ice cream at Azucar, drinks at Paradiso, dinner at Encina. live music at Revelers Hall, macarons at JOY, shopping at All Good Things, DLM and Beatnik, art supplies at Oil and Cotton. Other haunts include Las Almas Rotas, Grange Hall, Klyde Warren Park, The Dallas Museum of Art, concerts at The Kessler Theatre.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My collectors. Every person that has invested in my work allows my studio to exist and infuses me and my work with energy and love. Each interaction with them makes my work grow and improve, and inspires me immensely. Additionally, and equally as important, are the organizations that invested in my art for their businesses. They have been integral in my growth and evolution, in particular The Connective Agency, CommonDesk, Favor the Kind, Boxwood Hospitality and DLM.