Thanks SFAQ, Leigh and Dayna!
My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses showcases and supports both emerging and already established artists. Beginning from her love of art and growing from her passion to see it prosper, Meighan O’Toole has created a platform that continuously pushes a strong aesthetic; encouraging her readers to constantly question, see and create. I took the time to sit down and pick her brain on a few things and, as always, was impressed by her strong affliction for being heard in a world that doesn’t always listen. - Leigh Cooper
My Love For You Is A Stampede of Horses - Amazing title and blog, affectionately referred to as MLFY. How did you stumble upon the name?
Well if I had known where my blog would lead me I would have chosen a shorter name. It’s hard enough getting people to pay attention to you once you utter the words “I write a blog...”, let alone garble out a nine word name. It was actually a text message from a friend as a term of endearment to me. I loved how it sounded. At the time I was pretty gregarious around my emotions so it really fit. Plus it seemed to really encompass how I felt about things I wrote about on the blog; an over-exuberance of excitement for great things. Now I just refer to it as My Love for You. Way easier, but still not very conventional.
You just recently re-located to San Francisco from Boston. What changes in art have you noticed between now and when you lived in San Francisco before?
Yeah, I like to move my furniture cross country a lot it seems. I lived here from the summer of 2001 to Fall of 2007. I guess a lot has changed in almost ten years. Things were just different; more raw. Fecal Face had just started the year before, their stickers were all over the mission. Street art seemed to be blowing up on a global level. Beautiful Losers had shown at the Yerba Buena in 2004 and things seemed on fire, very possible. All of a sudden the rest of the world was starting to really pay attention to a scene that had been going on for as long as I had remembered; graffiti, making shit, music, etc. Things seemed electric. Now things seem way more main stream. Although, there are definitely many more art shows happening everywhere; boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. I like to see possibility everywhere. Things seem to be moving into the next phase, and what that is remains to be seen. But it’s exciting to be in such a great city again. I missed it.
When did you start your blog and what artists and art initially inspired it’s creation?
ML4U started in the spring of 2007 initially as a personal blog. But roughly around December of that year, I shifted my focus and started posting more about art. I had interned at Juxtapoz on their blog in 2006, and realized that was where my passion really lay, in art and everything that fell under that umbrella. I was interested in street art, contemporary art, graffiti, low brow art, DIY, craft, sewing, etc...and I was finding that stuff from many, many different sources on the web. Many of those sites were written by dudes for dudes, which ultimately left me feeling alienated. It occurred to me that there must be other women like me who could appreciate an incredibly fine cut stencil, a paste up and know how to knit. I felt there was a niche in the blog world that I could fill for the ladies. So I began focusing solely on art.
In the beginning I was really inspired by women like Kime Buzzelli and Lisa Congdon, women who were artists and who blogged. But the actual decision to focus solely on art came about because I wanted to be that blog that I could not find for women like myself.
Popularization of female artists is still lacking, and having a voice in the scene is extremely important. What lady artists do you have your eye on these days and how do you feel the art scene, specifically in SF, can benefit from a female perspective?
Oh gosh. Man, I have a lot to say about this. But where to begin? The women artists I have my eye on right now are, and there are a lot so I will keep it soley to SF/Bay area artists: Hilary Pecis, Monica Canilao, Jamie Vasta, Tiffany Bozic, Lisa Congdon, Laurel Roth, Alexis MacKenzie, Lauren DiCioccio, Catherine Ryan, Tara Lisa Foley, Gina Tuzzi, Ehren Reed, Serena Cole, Michelle Blade to name just a few!
As in terms of the benefits a female perspective can bring to the art scene here in SF? It’s still such a boy’s club. It would be nice to see more than two or three female artists on a group show roster of 20+. There is such talent here by way of female artists. I think above all a female perspective can bring some much needed balance.
You obviously have a great love for art, the culture that surrounds it, and an eye for creativity in all walks of life; where did this stem from? Do you have a background in art?
Thank you. I have always been creative. I painted and drew a lot as a child. But no, I do not have any formal background in art. I am creative by nature, but not an artist with a capital A. I grew up in the graffiti and punk rock scene in Boston. We always made due with what we had and were forced to be creative, to see things differently so to speak. Also, I came from a long line of crafters so I have always been of the mindset of making, doing, creating.
Well, I think it’s way too self-important to act as if ML4U has changed or shaped the art scene that it is ultimately a part of and essentially came about because of. I say that because I don’t ever want the blog to lose the rawness of being apart of something. But at the same time blogs and the internet have played a pivotal role for artists. The web itself has made it a lot easier for artists to connect, expand and get their work out there much quicker than ever before. People can connect all over the world in a moments notice. We can see things happening in any part of the world that we may have never had the opportunity to have seen before. It’s total abundance and limitless opportunity. Of course there are downsides to that as well. But I think ultimately it’s an amazing time we live in.
How do you feel your recent return to SF will shape MLFY?
Oh my, that seems like such an ominous question! And as I am quite superstitious, I will just say that I think the return to SF will supply some serious amount of growth for the blog. As an individual it has completely rejuvenated me and made me really, very excited for the future. I can say that there will be a lot of changes on the blog in the coming months. Lots of growth.