Feature Friday – Michelle M. Bryan

Michelle M. Bryan is a local artist who specializes in watercolor art. It has been Art Nest’s pleasure to witness Michelle blossom as an artist whose work is now being viewed all over Cayman and internationally, getting the recognition and praise it so deserves. In our interview with Michelle, we find out where she draws her inspiration from as well as where she finds the time to practice her art. Read on to get a more in-depth view of the artist and her beautiful art.

Art Nest: When did your interest for art manifest itself?

Michelle: My interest in art manifested from a very early age - as early as 5 years old. I remember loving art class at Bodden Town Primary School days. There was painting, drawing, pottery and ceramics. I remember specifically dressing up as an Artist on Career Day.

Art Nest: Did your family encourage it or did they not take your interest seriously when you just started?

Michelle: My mom always encourages me to pursue my dreams and has always told me that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. In addition to my mom, my husband also encourages me to hone my skills in art on a regular basis. It was right after we were married, in July 2016, that my husband asked me to design the cover of his notebook that reignited the spark of interest I had in art.

Art Nest: When did you start taking your art seriously?

Michelle: I started taking art more seriously in 2016 when I became more consistent in creating. I dabbled in many different avenues such as chalkboard art, acrylic, watercolor and ink. I decided to focus more on watercolor after my husband gifted me with the month-long watercolor class at Art Nest in January 2017. Art Nest taught me the fundamentals of watercolor painting which was the springboard I needed to grow in my art.

Art Nest: What measures did you take/ methods did you utilize to showcase your art? And how was it received?

Michelle: An old university classmate encouraged me to start an Instagram page to share my art with others. My Instagram page is still my primary place to showcase my art. The art community on Instagram is second to none. I've met so many different artists and created new connections and expanded my network just through sharing on Instagram. I also have a Facebook page which is how I receive many of my commissions. Other methods I use to showcase my art are Art Nest's Craft Market and Red Sky at Night which are great for exposure and getting future clients.

Art Nest: What encouraged you to undertake your first commissioned piece of art?

Michelle: I was approached by an old high school classmate to do a wedding sign. I was keen because someone was willing to pay me to do something I already loved doing. I eagerly took it on and she loved it!

Art Nest: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Michelle: My inspiration is drawn from many different places; from books, music I listen to, movies, Caymanian culture and everyday life. I grew up watching a lot of Disney classics and Ghibli Studio movies which is where my love for art and storytelling most likely began. In 2014 I was introduced to Sara Groves' music by my boyfriend at the time (now husband). Her music inspired me to "add to the beauty" with my life and my art.