We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa “Mo” Wineman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melissa “Mo”, how do you think about risk?
I would relate more to the first question because I wouldn’t be where I am today with out all the risks I took. I took a leap of faith when working for someone else and it wasnt working out. My art had been popping up around Charlotte and the surrounding areas for years but I always had a full time job, sometimes two, to pay the bills. I was nervous to go full time because I wasn’t sure if I could support myself. I decided that I was just going to “dive in head first”, bust my butt, and work really hard to keep going. I luckily had saved enough for two three months worth of bills and decided if it didn’t work out I can ALWAYS go find a job somewhere else. My work then was showing up all over the Charlotte area even more than before. Much more than before, in businesses and local pop up markets, as well as some out of town. It was not easy and it took a lot out of me emotionally and physically. I was not “living large” for sure but I was happier than I had ever been. I started applying for place making grants, local art contests, etc. I started making a name for myself because I NEVER gave up! I even got the opportunity to paint a wall that I had wanted to paint since childhood. It was completed this past year in oct 2020 and is 301 ft. I completed it in 17 days! My “wildflowers on 12th” is one of my childhood dreams come true and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken that risk. Now, on April 28th of this year(2021), I can say that I have been living my life long dream for 3 YEARS FULL TIME! I keep telling myself on this journey the worst people can say is “no” and there are still so many people that will say “yes”, you just have to work really hard, take that risk, and never ever give up! Because, you can’t live in the “what if…”You have to take a risk for what you love and I’m so glad I did!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always known I was going to be an artist I just felt it running through my being every time I painted or drew, it just felt natural, I wanted to create more, learn more, learn how to translate all the creations and ideas in my mind out. I love to create things that make you look for hours to find creatures but also fun pieces that take you back to childhood. I feel like with my art I try to just send a vibe of happy and childlike innocence with sometimes more because everything is so complicated as adults but in life in general. I’m super excited that I will be 3years full time this April 2021 and I have achieved childhood dreams/goals even through the struggle of 2020 and life. Some of which are, I completed a 301 ft mural “wildflowers on 12th” in 17 days by myself on a retaining wall that I have wanted to paint since I was in elementary school. They are all wildflowers and bugs native to NC and are larger than life. I was part of Art Pop street gallery and Lowe’s “windows of hope” with my painting “pave the path with love” part of my love series that I started during 2020. I will also have my art hung on the walls of the mint museum in Charlotte, at “Local Street” an eclectic show that features so many amazing artists of so many colors and walks of life coming together in one show. I grew up going to this museum, watched these artists over the years, have met some of them and have been inspired and to have come so far from just a dream, sitting there on the bench doodling in my sketch book some of the masters and local artists. It wasn’t easy getting here but I am living my dream and I’m glad I took the leaps of faith in myself to get here and I will continue to learn and grow. I have learned that you will never know until you actually experience it or try. You have to ask questions even when you feel silly asking them, ask for help even when you don’t want it, take challenges face on and never give up even if you fall, get back up and do it again. You won’t know the magic of life until you do. I want every child and adult out there to know that even though it might be hard sometimes you have to push for what you love. You can live your dreams don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise you pave your own path, pave it with love and color!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d say NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Camp Northend areas they have art and drinks and food and culture…although a lot of it spreading now across the city in general. But definitely the museums, the old neighborhoods architecture and sculptures around town too. Charlotte is constantly changing and growing.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Thank you to My family for always teaching me to always love and always pushed and supported me on my journey to live my dreams. Every fantastical and magic story or book I have read or seen growing up. To other women artists, and frankly all the past artists in general, for paving the way for us artists today. To every person who has bought, commissioned, liked, shared and enjoyed my art,; I couldn’t have gotten here without you! To every friend who has picked me up when I was down and to every wonderful and even the horrible life lessons that have sculpted me into the person I am today. Thank you to every single person good or bad I have met along this journey bc I wouldn’t be where I am without the life I’ve lived so far.

Website: Www.mowineman.com

Instagram: Owlymo

Linkedin: Melissa Wineman

Facebook: Owlymo

Image Credits
The first photo is my “Pave the Path with Love” which was part of the windows of hope project put on by Lowe’s Home Improvement and Art Pop Street Gallery as well as center city partnership d the city of Charlotte. In the photo, I am also wearing one of my “Clt pride” shirts. The second and third photo  are  of my “wildflowers on 12th” (photos of me taken by Brooke Brown photography) The shed is a mural I did residentially for a dear family friend on the street I grew up on in Huntersville NC. The bottom painting is called “creature wildflowers“ This is one of my favorite  styles of mine to do because when you’re away from the piece they look like abstract wildflowers, then you get up close and they’re magical creatures, birds, fish and more (they have glitter and glow in the dark too) this piece is 16×20 but they range in sizes and colors. Follow the hashtag for more… #creaturewildflowers

More magical work to be found on my socials and website 😊

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