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Life & Work with Shannon Mello

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Mello.

Hi Shannon, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Michigan, where I was surrounded by art growing up. My mom was an artist, painting names on boats and murals in the greater Detroit area. It was my dad, however, who inspired my love for nature and my move to Colorado. I received my degree in business management as most early 20-somethings did during that time when they weren’t sure what else to do. I was drawn to entrepreneurship, after all, so figured it was a safe bet. In 2006, I moved to Colorado and began working at a five start resort where I thought I’d eventually gain a managerial position. When the offer was presented to me, I politely declined. I began reevaluating my goals and proceeded to enroll in grad school. I received my master’s degree in art education and had taught middle school art for ten years. With the changing atmosphere in public education, I chose to resign during Covid and homeschool our two young children. I had started my LLC as an artist, and have been an artist ever since. This is something I never thought could be possible, and am extremely grateful to be living this creative life.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
What exciting roads are ever completely smooth? No…it was definitely not always smooth. My childhood was interesting but I will save that for another article. Changing to the career of an artist was exhilarating and terrifying all at once. I was leaving the comfort of a job I loved, security, and stability for the complete unknown. My husband is also a teacher, so taking a gamble with income could prove to be completely foolish. Especially with two young kids. But we’ve been making it work. And having a career that I love this much is worth its weight in gold.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a mixed media artist, primarily working in encaustic. Encaustic medium is a combination of beeswax and tree resin, applied in a molten state and then fused with a torch. I also use oils, watercolor, and inks. Most of my paintings have a rather atmospheric and ethereal feel. Some are also more representational to include trees. I love trees. I’d say I’m most proud of being in a community that is busting at the seams with the arts. The art community here has become so supportive of each other…and I’m honored to be a part of it. What sets me apart from others…hmmm. I’m no different when it comes to insecurities, troubles, and hurdles. I’m extremely transparent with them, though. I feel that being transparent helps me and others make connections. We’re all human.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
That I get extremely nervous talking about my work. I sometimes cannot explain where my inspiration comes from. Often there’s no plan…but that does not make it any less important to me. I know it is a part of me on that panel or canvas, and that on some level, others may be able to relate.


  • $190 (6″x6″) and up

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