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Inspired by Luxury

Art by Michaelan

When you think of Nashville, a few things likely come to mind – live music, iconic buildings, maybe even hot chicken. But as more and more people have been flocking to music city, Nashville has begun to undergo a cultural renaissance.

One of the results of this resurgence is a burgeoning new art scene. We sat down with Michaelan Mena, one of the up-and-coming artists breathing new life into Nashville’s art scene.

Mena has always been an artist with a background in different forms of creativity. Her journey into painting began almost out of necessity, as she was struggling to find pieces in stores or online that aligned with her aesthetic vision. “I wanted large, textured pieces that felt peaceful, unique, and original, and I simply couldn’t find what I was envisioning,” so Mena did what most artists and innovators would do – she rolled up her sleeves and decided to experiment. This was the beginning of her painting career; as Mena put it, “the process of ‘playing’ lit a spark that turned into a flame.’”

And that flame is readily apparent in Mena’s work as it is imbued with passion and conviction. The hallmarks of her work are texture, using materials like sheetrock, acrylic paint, tissue paper, and scale; her canvases are typically no smaller than 30x30. The visual impact of these features is quite dramatic and multi-faceted, which is surprising given she draws her inspiration from architecture and nature. “I love the texture and form of building materials used in architecture and the seamless lines, blending of colors and emotion of nature.”

As talented as she is, she’s also as down-to-earth and humble as you would expect from a Nashvillian. When asked how she views art, she notes that “there’s an artist inside every human being because God creates us, and He is the ultimate artist. We are made in His image, and therefore we are all creatives in some way; we just have to explore a little to tap into it.” 

Mena works through her website and Instagram @artbymichaelanmena to provide custom pieces throughout the Nashville area.