POSTCARD FROM THE PANDEMIC: “Transitioning from full-time artist to full-time mom hasn’t been seamless, but things have shifted for the better.”

Photo by Danny Fulgencio.

Mione Plant left a career as an engineer to devote time to her art and son. She’s the author of “The Artwork of Mione Plant.” Here’s how she’s been coping at home during the pandemic.

On painting a mural in her guest bedroom: “Funny that it felt frivolous to spend time painting a mural in my bedroom at the beginning of the year. What a change in perspective a month has made, where I find now it feels almost necessary to add extra love to my walls and to my home. Our homes are a sanctuary and worthy of beauty. I hope you’re finding ways to fill yours with whatever makes you joyful and calm.”

Three books that she recommends: “‘Educated,’ a memoir by Tara Westover. Couldn’t put it down… had to keep reminding myself this was a memoir and not fiction. Vulnerability mixed with strength.” Also: ‘The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World,’ by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. This one isn’t quite as quick a read; I digest it slowly, a little each morning. There’s so many nuggets of insight, I keep my journal close-by to jot down notes and later reflect. It helped me this week to realize I have everything that I need, and in fact, what I’ve always wanted.”

What’s the inspiration for her name: “My parents told me, after arriving in the U.S. from Iran and Croatia, and later starting their family, that they really strove to assimilate to the American culture to help my brother and I feel accepted and welcomed. Somehow though, their single act of rebellion was giving me a name no one could quite pronounce or spell. Growing up as a first generation American in a small town in west Texas, I wanted so badly to be like the other girls, and strongly disliked having an unusual name. My parents even let me make up middle names for myself and graciously let it slide when I told people to call me by my new name. I was even embarrassed by the meaning of my name — ‘delicate’ — as I sought to be a tough strong girl. Fast forward almost three decades, and I proudly state my name now. I love telling people about its meaning, a reminder to me of the power of being vulnerable and delicate, like a beautiful rose. I like to tell people it’s pronounced like ‘neon’ with an M, and hopefully they can remember that from the bright colors I choose in my artwork. I even use it as my key logo — my signature, my name. Embracing what makes me special, unique, weird, strong but delicate.”

On her latest painting called “Flight Not Fight:” “This recent painting came about after wrestling with the new norm, and wishing I could change the things that I later realized I have no control over. Transitioning from full-time artist to full-time mom hasn’t been seamless, but things have shifted for the better and lighter, once I told myself to stop fighting it. I see myself in this little gnome; perhaps you do too.”

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