Although Michelle Davison was always interested in art, she never really considered herself an artist. But after connecting with the community at Cups, she was able to tap into her creative potential and gain confidence as a painter.

“I consider myself a late bloomer. Growing up, I always had this interest in making things, but I never had the concept that I could actually be an artist. I had a roommate in college who was an art major, and I remember sitting and staring at her pictures on the wall thinking that’s so cool–I wish I could do that!” she said. “I had the mindset that you are born with that talent, and I thought I had missed the ball game. But that just isn’t true, and Cups really helped me realize that.” 

Her first public showing was at Cups in Clinton, and it gave her a glimpse into what life as a full-time artist would be like.

“I had three pieces that sold, and I felt validated, you know? Because I looked at one of the pieces and thought people are going to think this is so lame and boring because it was just a big white canvas with a leafy, you know, painting of a tree on it. But then somebody bought it, and I realized that if I like it then other people are probably going to see the beauty in it too,” she said. 

“It made me so happy and so proud seeing it on the wall. I had friends who would walk in and go, ‘Hey, I saw your name and art on the wall!’ and I thought this must be how it is for other artists. That’s just a way of life for them.”

For Michelle, Cups’ “casual” atmosphere, friendly staff, and community focus created a place where she felt comfortable sharing her work and building her name as an artist. And while she mainly does art in her free time now, working primarily as an academic advisor at Hinds Community College, she still goes to Cups for inspiration and to put her work on display. 

“I go to Cups all the time in Clinton and elsewhere when I’m out. I’ve gotten to know the people there; Mary, who’s the manager, is great! I love going in there and just looking at people’s drawings and that inspires me even more. You know, artists can inspire each other or people like me, who didn’t even know they were artists. They can be inspired by seeing somebody’s work there and I just love that.” 

To any local artists wanting to have their art displayed at Cups, Michelle had this advice to share:

“This might sound cliche but just do it! Put it on display. If you find yourself judging your art–stop. If you like making art, just do it and do it regularly. Don’t worry about how people might evaluate it, just create because you enjoy it.” 

Be sure to stop by Cups in Clinton to see what new pieces of hers are available!