Azalea Magazine Summerville The Lowcountry SC

Modern Living in the Old South

Modern Living in the Old South

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Perseverance and a Paintbrush

With the help of her community, the strength to conquer years of negative critiques, and an undeniable talent that exudes from her paintings, the artistic dreams of Madison Moga are beginning to come true.

Madison Moga has a kind of natural gift and passion that most people will only ever dream about, yet over the course of her artistic career she has been plagued with her own inhibitions and an outpour of doubt from her peers and mentors. After a lifetime of trials and tribulations, Madison has fought through the skepticism by using her artwork as a visual representation of what can be achieved by believing in yourself.

As someone who was never given the opportunity to showcase her creativity to the public, Madison jumped at the chance when Summerville’s community-based art hub, Public Works Art Center, put out a statement that they were searching for local artists who were interested in the studio space they had to offer. After the application process, Madison was approved and invited to join other local creative minds to join their collective studio space. Since October of 2020, she has been overwhelmed with support, a far cry from the cards she has been dealt in the past.

Born and raised in a small town just outside of Chicago, Madison has long-since marveled at the beauty that life has to offer. Her love for antique architecture and her admiration for all things aesthetically pleasing began at home, with her family. Moga’s mother and grandmother instilled in her an appreciation for art as early as she can remember. Sadly, her mother passed away when she was at the impressional age of only 12 years old, and while Madison has always enjoyed creating art, she began to use painting as a catharsis to help process her own emotions during such a difficult time in her life. She saw her craftsmanship as a means to soothe her mind and escape her reality. As the young artist grew, her talent continued to blossom, and she began to imagine how wonderful it would be to have her own studio space one day. Despite her passion, she was often second-guessed by various art teachers, professors, and other professionals in the industry, causing her to lose confidence in her own work.

She was convinced by those who doubted her that she could never make a living off of her art, and opted to study architecture after graduating high school. Her fascination with design and her admiration of Charleston’s boastful historic district brought her from Illinois to the College of Charleston in 2014 to continue her studies. During her college years, her confidence in her artwork dwindled, and instead of honing her own craft, she focused most of her energy on protecting and respecting the craft of artists and architects that came before her. She didn’t believe she could create her own work, so she instead concentrated on the work of others, and the preservation of historic buildings. Not believing she could create original compositions on her own, she would often take measurements of buildings so she could draw them to scale as an homage to the artists and architects behind the structures.

Madison Moga’s world was again turned upside down while she was in her last semester of college, her father passed away. While she tried to focus on completing college, she was also in the middle of planning her own wedding, adding to the emotional stress of the time. Yet, Madison persevered. She graduated college with a 3.97GPA, and married soon after. While she was devastated to have lost both parents by such a young age, the need to release those emotions in a healthy way is what brought her back to her creative side. After graduation, Madison began painting again. It was like a flashback in a movie to when her mother passed away, painting so she could cope with her personal tragedies. As she sketched and painted, she noticed the dwindling of those voices of doubt in her mind that told her that she wasn’t worthy of doing what she loved. She pushed through any uncertainties that she was feeling and continued to create, with her artwork gaining attention from friends, then acquaintances, then to the community around her. Madison began to sell her original artwork as prints, stickers, and even sculptures on her Etsy page, building her fanbase while she built her portfolio.

Madison Moga’s talent is indisputable. She enjoys working with a variety of mediums to bring her own artistic visions to fruition; by utilizing acrylic paints, watercolors, and the occasional gold leaf or two meticulously pressed into perfection, her natural gift knows no bounds. She is a humble artist, yet is ecstatic to be able to prove her abilities to everyone she can, which is a fitting parallel to the juxtapositions of softness versus harshness that you can see in some of her artwork. Her artwork can now be seen at Public Works Art Center, where monthly exhibitions are held to display the talent of their studio artists. While this is just the beginning of her professional artistic career, Madison has finally been given the platform to make her claim in the art world, proving to all who doubted her that she is more than capable of following her dreams. AM

Follow Madison on Instagram @neonknife_
Shop her artwork at
Commissions are always welcome by emailing her at

by Jessy Devereaux Mitcham

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