December 3, 2017

The Artist Behind the Art [Mays Mayhew]

A question I get asked a lot is, “have you been drawing your whole life?” The short answer is, “Yes”. The long answer is this…


It all started with a birthday gift from my Grandma Francis. She gave me a set of Sakura watercolor paint tubes. Tubes like toothpaste, where you squeeze out liquid color and dilated it with water. Fascinated by it, I, 7 years old then, thought, “I can do so much more with this paint! (…and I did.)


I grew up in rural Wisconsin on a farm where the mantra was “cattle eat before you do!” and “are you working hard or hardly working?” My older brothers were mostly “the adult supervision” but they were more interested in rebuilding car engines than my sister and I. Strong work ethic wove the fabric of everyday life. (That’s probably why I love creating so much, the finished image is a tangible result of work.)


20 years later I finished art school, studied art aboard, and managed several art supply stores across the country, at the same time, made and sold art. However, I felt I missed something by not learning business. So, I got an MBA. Which then made me a paradox. The business world doesn’t take an artist seriously and the art world doesn’t like MBA’s. I had to hide one from the other.  However, I continued to make and sell art while I worked in corporations as a Product / Brand Manager. (Art creation and product development are the same really, but don’t tell that to the corporations or galleries).


Fast forward to now. My husband I are raising two active blonde toddlers. We serve in the church regularly, run in 5K races frequently, and enjoy entertaining routinely. My art practice is productive. Life is full. Life is rich.


Those experience inputs of constant-art-early-on, coupled with farm-work-ethic, and MBA-level-business dealings shape how I look and do art today. The artistic output of those childhood experiences are beauty, independence, and logic.


How did you get started doing what you do? How did your childhood positively shape who you are today?


Let us know in the comments below.


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Thank you!

Mays Mayhew

All artwork on this website © 2018 Mays Mayhew. All rights reserved. Representational Figurative Paintings and Drawings. Designed by We Cre8 Design.