CommunityOut and About


Billings woman teaching and creating art, giving back to the community through winter coat drive

Octopus Ink art studio in Billings hosting winter coat drive to benefit homeless youth
Megan Begger painting inside of her studio, Octopus Ink
Posted at 4:48 PM, Nov 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 09:40:20-05

BILLINGS — Art is subjective—but many still struggle to find the confidence to pick up a paintbrush and create art.

That's where Megan Begger comes in.

In March of 2022, Begger opened her own art studio, Octopus Ink, here in Billings. The studio offers guided painting classes for small groups—and Begger encourages everyone to participate.

These classes are for all ages, and Begger offers birthday parties in the studio as well.

MTN News visited the Grand Avenue studio on Sunday to learn more about the business.

“It feels really good especially when I can kind of put it in their ear that we can let down our expectations of what our paintings are supposed to look like, and just really let it flow through,” Begger explains.

Megan Begger of Octopus Ink holding up a blanket showcasing her art
Megan Begger of Octopus Ink holding up a blanket showcasing her art

Begger allows guests to bring in snacks, and adults over 21 can bring in alcohol to sip on while creating art.

"Just making it a place where people can hang out that’s maybe not a bar or a restaurant, but they can still enjoy the adult beverages,” Begger explains.

But this studio isn't just for painting classes—Begger also showcases her art and other local artists' creations available for guests to purchase.

Begger also has her art printed on blankets, clothing, pillows, and more for purchase.

Yoga classes and meditation classes are also offered at the studio.

And if you're looking for more permanent art, Begger has you covered.

“Sometimes it’s hard to make a living just by selling paintings, and so that’s what kind of started my interest in tattooing," Begger explains. "So I started my tattoo apprenticeship in 2019, was at a few different shops after I was certified, and knew that I needed to do more than just the tattoos. The painting classes came into that, and I was like, ‘I need to start my own studio so I can do both things in one space and have it be what I was dreaming about.'"

And now that she has her own space, she's using it to give back.

“When I was a senior in high school, I struggled with homelessness and lived in my car during some of the coldest months of the winter,” Begger explains. “The Tumbleweed Program is for homeless youth where they can get clothes and food and do laundry. The least I could do is get these kids some coats and some hats, and you know, help them survive the winter."

Octopus Ink winter coat drive flyer
Octopus Ink winter coat drive flyer

The winter coat drive is running now until Dec. 20. Coats, boots, gloves, and more are being collected at Octopus Ink to donate to the Tumbleweed Program in Billings.

If you're interested in donating, you can visit the shop at 2201 Grand Avenue in Billings.

And if you're interested in setting up a painting class or tattoo appointment, please click here.

Begger encourages everyone to at least try a class and says they are great for things like small business team bonding.

“Creating a space for people to come together to create is always nice, especially when no one wants to deal with the clean up of art," Begger says. “There is no ‘good art’ because everyone will see it differently."