The walls of Mejo Okon’s studio are covered paintings of cowboys and their horses, prize cattle, and agave cactus. A Texas ranch spills down a cliff side in blocks of color. Despite the evidence, Okon is not from West Texas.
The Indiana native made her way to San Angelo in 2006, pursuing careers along the way that ranged from advertising and illustration to costume manager for traveling Broadway shows, from graphic designer to NBC courtroom sketch artist. “There was always that little inner voice that said, ‘Paint. Run away and paint,’” Okon said. “I ran away a couple of times — I’ve lived in Alaska, South Carolina, Michigan, New York City. Now I am finally painting.”
Mejo is fond of repeating what natives from the Lone Star State often say: “There are two Texases: Texas and West Texas.” She moved straight into the heart of ranching country. She has found endless inspiration in cowboys, ranches and the landscape. But then again, she has always loved horses and animals. “I grew up when cowboys were popular on television. I have worn cowboys boots since I was three. A little pair sits on my shelf next to my old cap guns.”