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Conversations with Hannah Maria Mendenhall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Maria Mendenhall. 

Hi Hannah, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I grew up in the Lake St. Louis area and went to High School in Wentzville. I did not really know what I wanted for my future but I knew art would always be in my life. When I was around 15 years at my first job, I met an artist who was roaming the country in an RV, with his faithful dog and selling his artwork. It stuck with me for years, and when pressed about what I would do with my life I would simply answer “Be an Artist. Have a Dog. Get an RV.” I ended up doing those in that order. 

I have been creating artwork from the moment I realized I could create my own colors and leave a mark anywhere I could find and started selling paintings and doing commissions at around 16 years old. I spent about 6 years working at a design studio that taught me fundamentals and foundation of graphic design, working with clients, how to treat those clients, and honing not only my design skills but my artwork as well. In 2013 I decided to start working freelance from home, to focus not only on design work but my original paintings and illustrations as well. Around 2015, I bought an RV, packed up my dog, Aja, filled it with all my art supplies and my bits of me, and started traveling the country. 

Along the way I met and have cultivated a list of some amazing design clients, who like me are incredibly passionate about their projects from businesses to personal craft. I had the gift of being inspired by the amazing and changing landscape of the US to create new bold, colorful and whimsical ink and acrylic paintings. The RV gave me the gift of travel and create art and design inspired by the stories from my time, but also coming home to my family in St. Louis was always a gift as well. 

When the Pandemic hit in 2020, I was visiting family in South Texas and ended up spending most of the year there. In the past two years, my traveling is more on the back burner but inspires me still for making artwork. I still consider myself a traveling artist as I split my time between St. Louis and Houston. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I am a huge believer in learning from your mistakes and also learning from others as well. I have struggled with time management, and most importantly to charge and know what my skills and talent are worth. If it was really that easy to do what I am doing than everyone would be doing it. 

I have also had struggles on the actual road, smooth roads are kinda hard to come by when you’ve lived in a house on wheels. I have had deadlines on design projects while my transmission blew up on the only road going up the Grand Canyon and I’ve managed to have some type of mechanical difficulty nearly every trip back home on Highway 70. 

I like to think a lot of my charm is the fact that my road tends to zig zag through life and I just keep making things along the way. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As an artist, I paint and draw emotions. BOLD colors, distinct lines, and strong women. I am creating pieces that are stories, paintings inspired by the storm of emotions and life that has pushed me every day. Like so many in the past two years, I have lost loved ones and have had to learn to grow with that grief and use it every day in my art and life. It is a celebration of loved ones lost, nature, its and our strength and weakness, and mythologies we create within ourself and the people and places in our lives. 

As a designer, I think those artistic elements are incorporated, they are tools used in an arsenal to help my clients. Especially my fellow women entrepreneurs. I have had the gift of becoming a regular designer for St. Louis and other regions growing numbers of Midwives and Doulas, most of which are women of color. I am most proud to be able to help them make real an image they have in their minds’ eye that represents their stamp on a craft based on helping other women and families. 

I think what sets me apart is being able to use these skills as an artist and designer interchangeably and separately, while still having a warm and generous connection with the projects and clients. I love learning new things and being able to learn and create is a gift. 

What do you think about happiness?
-My Minnie Winnie, because it gave me freedom. 

-My Dogs, because they taught me, I could love unconditionally. 

-Starting a painting that has been trapped in chest for so long it has to come to life on canvas because I know the piece has to be painted. 

-Making albondigas, because it will always remind me of my mom since we have the same hands. 

-Bubbles 

Contact Info:

  • Email: arthannahmaria@gmail.com
  • Website: www.hannahgobeep.com
  • Instagram: @artbyhannahmaria
  • Facebook: @artbyhannahmaria

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