Growing up in the idyllic Vermont countryside, Mary was encouraged by family and teachers to be an artist.
At 18, Mary moved to Boston to study graphic design at the Massachusetts College of Art. The lure of her peaceful country home was too much and she returned to open an organic coffee and tea house with her brother. “Coffee, tea and cafe culture has always been a great passion to me, as it tends to bring communities and fellow artists together for conversations and the bouncing of bold ideas.” Today, Mary is known for working in a variety of media and styles from illustrative to classic and more. Working outside surrounded by nature comes naturally, and she can often be found standing or sitting under a giant maple tree working on her next collection.
Q&A With Mary Urban
1) Who are your biggest influences and why? How do they affect your work?
My first instinct was to answer “everybody!” Unfortunately, I can’t seem to narrow it down enough without eventually hearing the Oscar music creeping up, telling me to wrap it up. I live in a very creative and supportive community. I can’t go to the store without seeing a teacher, friend or mentor who has taught or encouraged me at some point. My biggest motivation is to put to all that love to good use and when I can, pay it forward.
2) What is the one thing you haven’t painted or drawn that you would love to and why?
I’m very grateful to work in an environment where we can create a lot of our own concepts. My favorite thing to draw is, and always has been, other people’s suggestions. There’s something deeply satisfying about hearing someone say “That’s exactly what I was picturing”. I do enjoy drawing animals and watching their personalities develop. I’m guilty of giving them little voices and backstories in my mind. I wouldn’t mind painting a cheese diagram, possibly with puns. That could brie pretty grate!
3) What would your perfect art studio look like and where would it be?
A yurt with a deck and a Bose radio. I love the look of paint-covered studio floors and spaces where messes are encouraged. No matter how nice of a desk I’ve built or picturesque plein air picnics I’ve set up for myself, I always end up dragging everything onto a floor in the middle of a room and making a mess. My dream space would have tons of windows and double doors, plants, floor cushions and maybe a college mini fridge. I would have a huge mac on a wheel cart with tons of extension cords. I can’t think of anything more decadent than wheeling a big desktop onto a porch at dusk on a nice summer night