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It’s a gloomy day and I feel just as gloomy. One failed painting was all it took for the stupid self-doubt to seep into my system again. The painting was an experiment and I knew it could turn to shit (which it did) at any moment. I know I am probably too hard on myself. One failed painting – I am allowed! But I just feel low and annoyed. The new ideas I have are both interesting and challenging and I should give myself time to explore them instead of judging each failed attempt to use them in my art. I have to learn how to be more forgiving to myself, how to separate ‘failed attempt’ from feeling like a ‘failure’.

I keep forgetting about the word my therapist said I have too little of; patience.

Someone also told me: “for each failure, you are one step closer to your goal.” I guess it’s true. When toddlers learn how to walk, they are closer to their goal every time they fall over.  The trick is to get back up again.

And again. And again.

The language


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Since I started to scan my own handwriting for my digital works, I have been inspired by the idea of incorporating words, letters and written messages into my paintings as well.

My trauma is so much about language. Words. The lack of them. Repetition. The tone of them. The temperature. Linguistic warfare.

I have always been attracted to words in paintings. Basquiat used it a lot in his paintings. David Lynch as well. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I am so into early renaissance art – there are a lot of writings in them. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Mexican ex voto paintings (prayer paintings).

Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved to write and make up stories. I got A+ on most my Swedish assignments in school. Writing has always played a big role in the way I express myself. But in my traumas there has been this underlying threat that I am not allowed to express myself through my writing. Especially not about the traumas. Using words in my art is a way for me to rebel against this threat – and a way to break free from the invisible chains I’ve been forced to carry for the last two decades. It is my statement of independence and a way of reclaiming my artistic freedom.

“There Are No Memories Of My Crying Bed” by Mia Makila, 2017 [digital]