BROCKWAY — Brockway native Megan Bish has always doodled, she says, as art followed her all through life. Now, she brings animations and paintings to life, and teaches others to do the same.

Bish settles into her cozy studio in The Hut Family Restaurant on Route 219 in Brockway to work, where she also teaches art classes to all ages. She’s an art illustrator, custom artist and general illustrator.

Bish can remember visiting her great grandmother’s house as a child, where they’d watch “The Joy of Painting” on the PBS channel.

“We’d paint whatever Bob Ross was teaching us to paint that day,” she said on her website. “My grandma was very good at painting, and even as young as I was, I knew I wanted to be like her.”

There is a prop of Ross in Bish’s studio today.

“I have been making art for as long as I can remember,” she said. “It started mainly with me drawing my favorite cartoon characters and making comics about me and my friends, and grew from there.”

Bish graduated from Edinboro University with a fine arts degree in animation, she said. In her spare time, she loves making illustrations for her business, and attending events to create caricatures.

“I painted a little in college, but didn’t really get into it until after I graduated,” she said. “But, painting has quickly become one of my favorite things to do.”

Her favorite subjects to paint and illustrate are people and animals, Bish says.

“It’s a fun challenge to capture the personality of a subject,” she said. “I love how excited people get when you do a great job of making a portrait of them or someone they love.”

One of Bish’s greatest passions, too, is teaching art to youth and causing others to be as excited about it as she is.

“Art is great for children for a lot of reasons,” she said. “It makes you use your imagination, teaches problem solving skills and can build up your self confidence. And, it can be a great way to connect with others in your community.”

Bish’s business picture on Facebook, which she created, is an illustration of her holding a paintbrush.

Art has also brought a lot of peace to her life, Bish says, adding it can be a relaxing hobby and stress reliever.

“Art makes me happy, and I love seeing it make others happy, too,” she said. “There’s definitely nothing wrong with putting a little more happiness into the world.”

For more on Bish, visit the Art of Megan Bish Facebook page or www.artofmeganbish.com.

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