Hi! My name is McKinley Bryson and I’m the artist and designer behind Lucky Bat Paper Co. – a small, Baltimore-based business that creates colorful watercolor art prints, notecards, and tea towels.
I grew up in a family of artist and have been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents are artist (my dad is a printmaker and my mom is a painter) – they would travel to Arts & Crafts shows all over the country selling their art. It was a wild and wonderful way to grow up.
Left: I was very excited about my little brother being born and offered up my illustration skills for his birth announcement (5 yrs old). | Right: Me (age 5 maybe?) proudly showing off my newest drawing.
I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee but fell in love with Baltimore, Maryland when I moved here in 2013. Lucky Bat officially started in January 2019 and it’s a total dream job. One of my favorite things about this new “job” is setting up at the farmer’s market & festivals - I love getting to meet and talk with everyone. It’s always a treat to hear about how someone is enjoying the art they bought the week before, or how their mom loved the card they picked out for her. Plus, the farmer’s market is the PERFECT spot to meet other people obsessed with food, cooking, gardening, and art. I’ve met chefs, nutritionists, farmers (duh), and so many other cool artist. My last weekend there I talked with a woman for half an hour about compost – where else can you do that?
One question I’m asked pretty frequently at the farmer’s market is “why the name Lucky Bat?”. Well… I like bats. They’re a very special animal that tends to get a bad rap. While a lot of people are obsessed with unicorns and cute whales, I’m drawn to bats.
Here are some fun facts about bats – just humor me:
- Bats are the only mammals naturally capable of true flight
- Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitos PER HOUR and often consume their body weight in insects every night.
- Bats can live more than 30 years and fly up to 60 mph.
- Some bats hibernate in the winter and can survive freezing temperatures even after being encased in ice…!!!
- Bats are a symbol of wealth and good luck in Chinese culture which is why bat motifs are commonly found on ceramics, furniture, and paintings.
Left: From the ceiling of the Chinese Room, in the Cathedral of Learning's Nationality Rooms. | Right: A (very cute) brown and black fruit bat - also known as a flying fox. Photo Credit: Peter Neumann
When I’m not working on Lucky Bat related things I can usually be found hanging out in my backyard with our sassy (and very spoiled) backyard chickens, digging in my garden, or planning the next hiking/biking/camping adventure with my husband.
We had a blast in 2019 - looking forward to 2020. See you at the Farmer's Market!