Artist Guido Mena Creates Vivid Works in a Single Sitting

Categories: Art, Culture
Courtesy of Guido Mena
T.D. by Guido Mena
Most artists, when they begin a new work of art, have a preconceived notion of what they're about to put down on the canvas. But Guido Mena does not. He simply begins with a line and takes it from there.

"Inspiration is a dangerous thing. A lot of artists wait to be inspired, but I just try to be inspired doing the work process itself," Mena said.

That process is more intense for Mena than for most. Because Mena is colorblind, he must complete an entire painting in a single sitting; otherwise, when he returns to his canvas later, he's unable to match the colors he's already used. That vivid colors are an integral element of Mena's style makes his colorblindness -- and his success in overcoming it -- all the more awe-inspiring.

(The Reaping) .jpg
Courtesy of Guido Mena
The Reaping by Guido Mena
"I start building the lines and start letting them suggest something else," Mena said of his work, where his background in commercial design and illustration and his desire to produce high quality art converge.

As a freelance artist, Mena has produced murals for American Airlines Arena, NASDAQ, Disney World, Target, and more. He caught the attention of Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. and produced a number of murals and creative projects for them, until he was asked to become director for their in-house art department. Mena held the position for 12 years before branching out on his own to produce his signature style of linear defying art.

Mena says that though his colorblindness makes his work more challenging, he continues to excel in a field he knew he wanted to pursue since the day he was able to pick up a pencil. During high school at Coral Park, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Art and went on to study at the Pratt Institute in New York and then the Academy of Art College in California.

"Everybody has obstacles in their life, and you just have to make it work for you. I'm not special there. Sometimes people will focus on your disability and not what you can do," Mena said, reluctant to address the issue of his colorblindness at all.

He's so reluctant to speak about his colorblindness, in fact, that during his entire stay at Bacardi, no one knew about it.

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