Photography by Danny Fulgencio.

Mione Plant worked for 10 years as an engineer at Texas Instruments before she unleashed her creative side. She began working at the Shade Store at Kravet in the Design District and donating her paintings to families through Dwell with Dignity. This year, she invited the Dwell with Dignity artists to her home and asked each of them to share a goal. She found herself confiding that she’d like her art to be on an Hermès scarf. Now she has her own business with original paintings, prints, scarves, trays and a coffee table book. For the holidays, she’s launching puzzles (see items in our gift guide on page 22). She lives with her 4-year-old son, Ness, and husband, Kevin. 

Photography by Danny Fulgencio.

What’s your inspiration?

Watching my son and seeing the way he plays, and the way he helps me play. For example, last spring, I taught him how to blow a dandelion and watched his excitement over seeing it go everywhere. I wanted to capture that. When we take a breath, we exhale, let go, relax and breathe. It’s about facing fears and stepping into the unknown. For me, that was leaving engineering and going into this new world.

What was that experience like?

I was so proud to have that degree and proud of my role. I had to let go of my identity, my expectations and the expectations I felt that my family had of me. I was standing in my own way. Now I feel so free and open. There are so many possibilities, but it took really understanding what I wanted. A book called “The Artist’s Way” awakened me to the beauty all around. I describe that in my work as well. Open your eyes to a sense of wonder, to magic. You can see it in simple things, but you have to pay attention. I still have that engineering mindset. I’m logical and analytical, and you can see that in my work. There’s a lot of structure and clean lines.

Where did you grow up?

Odessa. Both my parents worked for Texas Instruments. My mom left the company after about eight years to open her own business. She ran a restaurant, Yana 615, there for 22 years. She’s Croatian, and my father is from Iran. Watching her entrepreneurism and how she connected with people, opened hearts and bellies through her food, was inspiring. I’m glad I’m able to mix both parts of my parents.

What do your parents think about what you’re doing now?
They’re excited. There was some fear and worry. I was surprised to hear that she had concerns when she started her own business. She knew the downsides of running a business, and she would caution me. She’s happy to see how my business is blossoming.

Photography by Danny Fulgencio.

Where’s your studio?

I have a studio in my home. I love creating my own space — that’s where I recharge. I’m an introvert by nature, so getting to paint in a place that feels sacred, comfortable and energizing is beautiful. The challenge is making sure to turn it off, because now that I’ve found something I love, I want to do it all the time.

Tell me about your work. 

The puzzle is based on “The Best Is Yet to Come,” which features a squirrel holding his nut. In the background is a doughnut. The idea is letting go of the familiar. For him, it’s this nut. If he would just shift his gaze, he’ll see that down the road there’s something even better to come. I got this idea from watching my dog chase the squirrels in our backyard and taking my son to eat doughnuts every week. The puzzle is labeled for 6 year olds, but my son can do it.

What’s your latest scarf?

“Into the Dark and Wonderful Unknown” is about facing fears. It features things that thrive in the night — owls, fireflies, moon flowers and the Luna moth. The concept is moving into the darkness even when, of course, it’s scary. Once we do that, we’re met with sources of life and light.

What’s the inspiration for your name?

My mom found it in a book. It means “the delicate,” and the origin appears to be Greek. As a child, I rebelled against that idea because I thought I was tough. When I graduated college, I did a bike ride from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska. Now as I’m embracing my creativity, I realize delicate is a beautiful thing. To create, you have to be vulnerable. Now my married name is Plant, and so I’m a delicate flower.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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