First week of ART MONSTERS

It’s only been a week since we launched the ART MONSTERS OF SWEDEN collective and the response has been mind-blowing! So many Swedish artists have approached us and expressed their gratitude and wish to join our group. In just one week we got 228 followers on Instagram and 261 likes on Facebook. That’s pretty great. I feel so happy and excited, because I know now how important and desired this initiative really is – not only by me and Maria – but by so many other artists out there. I have a list of 23 artists so far and I know that there will be many more to come.

This project has become its own entity – it is alive and growing bigger all the time. Maria and I are searching for galleries, spaces, financial support and we are trying to set up a business strategy for our concept. The ART MONSTER initiative is a doorway to so many new adventures for us. And we are having so much fun with all this!

I used to look for the perfect ‘playmate’ in a romantic partner. Someone to make projects with, a muse who would inspire me to just do/make/be – everything and anything I wished to do/make/be. Now I know that I have found that person, but not in a lover but in a friend and someone to share my artist dream with.

Because we generate so much happiness in each other, I have found courage to go back to painting again. I have about 8 paintings from 2015-2018 and it’s time for me to start building a new collection around those. I don’t have any old paintings left, I have been sold out since 2012. That’s crazy.

I think this is the perfect time to start something new – and bold – and absolutely amazing!

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Invincible

Even though I have been sick for a few days, I feel so happy! This project is growing bigger and stronger every day! I’ve had this idea of starting an art revolution in Sweden for over 10 years and now it is finally happening. Together with Maria and the group, I feel invincible!

Right now, I don’t have any free time, I work all possible hours of the day. I am tired and my health is a bit weak but I feel like this is something that I just have to do. It is always painful and uncomfortable to give birth to a new life – may it be a baby or a small art revolution.

The ‘Art Monsters of Sweden’ Collective

This is why I haven’t had any time to write here or to clean my apartment or even take down the Christmas decorations. I have worked really hard on my project of collecting some cool and inspiring artists from Sweden with a little darker expressions – and now we are the ART MONSTERS OF SWEDEN collective! Joining forces with Maria Wingård has been a great source of energy and courage for me. I just know that this journey will be the best one I’ve ever made. It’s like everything that has ever happened in my life have led up to this project and it means a lot to me to be able to contribute something beautiful and fresh to the Swedish art world. You can like us on Facebook but the page is not really active yet. I also have one artist working on making a logo for us. This is just the most exciting thing ever!

Tower of Babel

I have been so busy lately with art related projects after work, I haven’t had any time over for anything else. The apartment is a mess, all my dirty dishes in the zink look like the tower of Babel and there’s a ton of ideas I haven’t had the time to explore.

At the same time I feel like I am coming close to a limit of what I have to give at the moment. I have to be very careful not to get too overwhelmed or stressed out again. Overcoming the challenges of being all burned out has been very hard and it has taken me almost 10 years to get to a place of feeling energized and focused – but to get burned out again can happen very quickly.  Some days I feel low of energy and a little depressed just because I am so overwhelmed by everything that has to be fixed in order for me to get back into the art world. Finish the collection. Printing. Pricing. Look for galleries. Plan projects.

But what do  – I – need? I don’t ask myself that question very often.

I need to meditate more. I need to laugh more. I need Johnny. And I certainly need to do the household chores more often.

Raising my level of ambition

Me and artist friend Mats Tusenfot,2017

So many things are happening right now. Good things. Exciting things. I can’t tell you about it yet, because you know what they say; if you share your plans they are less likely to happen. Lately, I’ve found so many amazing artists with talents beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. I treasure my friendship with Mats and Maria and all the new artists I’ve reached out to. This year has started out really good. I know this will be an important year for my career, I can feel it.

It is as if my mind is all clear and I suddenly know what my life’s purpose is. Now, I just have to follow that vision and walk the path towards it with intelligence, strength and perseverance. I have to raise my level of ambition to be able to meet my goals and dreams and I feel ready for it. At last.

It started out as a way to survive

“Without Hope” by Mia Makila, 2006 – mixed media on panel

It all started with this one, in 2006 – three years after a very painful divorce with the abuser. “Without Hope” was my very first mixed media collage and it was the first time I felt like I expressed myself in a truly genuine way. It was so much darker and more gloomy than my earlier pieces. I had been working with lighter motifs for a while; jungle landscapes with nudes, crying angels and God knows what else. I had been trying to find my true artistic voice for years but nothing felt right. Not until this piece.

An older version of “Without Hope”

At this point in my life, I was deeply depressed and everything around me was painfully chaotic, to say the least. I started using my creativity as a way to deal with all my traumas  – and I found the perfect outlet for my pain. I could breathe through my art. It allowed me to scream when I felt mute, it made me explode with intensity at the same time when I felt paralyzed by fear and depression – and most importantly; it kept me alive.

I am not really a painter, it’s not where my artistic strength lies but when I am making a collage I felt right at home. As a collage artist, I get to balance the line between destruction and reconstruction,  between the rawness of cutting a picture apart and making something beautiful out of the chaos. I am also balancing between the subconscious and the intellect (it’s quite a Freudian process). So when I started experimenting with collages and mixed media, by cutting out images from old books and vintage magazines and blending them with paint on a canvas, I could go wild with all my emotions. The scissors were like knifes, cutting out my pain, the glue was also highly symbolic because I was emotionally broken to pieces at the time. I used charcoal to demonstrate the dark place of depression. I splattered and splashed paint over the collage like it was blood. Or tears. It was very liberating. For a whole year, I worked day and night with the first collection of the collages. It was a year of catharsis.

Interview from 2007 about the process of making collages.

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“Without Hope” was originally a painting but for some reason I decided to make it into a mixed media piece and everything just clicked. I am still making collages (mixed media) but in PhotoShop. Both my life and my technique have changed since 2006. I no longer use my art as a lifeline but it gives me such a feeling of freedom when I get to destroy something that has been defined as definite and then recreate it to match my own vision of perfection. This way, I am reclaiming my own history. I get to tell my story, piece by piece and to glue my life back together. And my heart of course.

The seashell strategy

Lately, I’ve been focused on coming up with a new strategy for my comeback in the art world. I need to analyze my brand, my market and just how big my ambition is, so that I can be more clear about who I am as an artist and what I have to offer the world. Just as I’ve gone from being very open about my private life here on the blog, to focusing more on my art, that’s what I’ll do in all social context. No wonder my new favorite symbol to represent myself with –  is a seashell (which is the main theme in my current works in progress). I am a seashell who’s home within herself, protected from life on the outside but at the same time, producing beautiful pearls (art) like gifts to the world.

 

The art life

At times I feel like I have too many ideas and way too much inspiration for my own sanity. Or maybe I just don’t have the proper time to do all the things that needs  to  come  out. It’s overwhelming and very frustrating. I know that I won’t be able to live like this forever – that at some point I need to break free from this “real life” if I want to pursue, what David Lynch refer to as, “the art life”. I’ve done it before, I know how difficult it is and how much I need to sacrifice

I have always felt torn between these two worlds; reality and my own inner world of magic and imagination. I feel like don’t belong in the real world but I also know that I can’t survive in my own creation. Therefore I am forced to compromise, just like any other artist. The trick is to find a productive balance between reality and magic – and in the end; the balance of time and focus.

I need to find a way to move between many realities at the same time without getting distracted. I am not ready to break free yet. Staying in the real world is good for me – but I desperately need my world of artistic freedom and intellectual independence. I think I might get sick if I don’t find a way to incorporate the art life within the real life. That will be this year’s big challenge.

Closing in, to open up

My life is no longer about survival and healing, I am finally living my life, moving away from my past and everything dark. I am reclaiming my self-esteem and finding more of myself everyday that passes – but it isn’t the main focus anymore. I can’t remember the last time when life was just chugging along like this, without any traumatic events. It feels great. Johnny is here with me and we are trying to figure things out for the future. My life, right now, is all about moving onward from my past and forward into the future, while being present in the here and now, it is a balancing act of; time, memories, visions and all the layers of reality. I feel like the more balanced everything is, the clearer my self-perception is. I can see myself with much more clarity. I see where I am damaged and messed up. Where I need extra care. Where my potentials lay. I see my strengths and my talents and how they are so unexplored. I can see when I need to ask for help, when it’s time to let go – or when it’s time to fight for something.  I can see how I deserve to be treated, loved and respected.

I can also see how the older versions of myself are still present, especially on this blog and on social media. I share so much of myself with the world – I love to share – but why do I share this much? It is in my nature to be open and honest about my feelings and most people appriciate it and get inspired (a beautiful echo). It has also caused me much suffering throughout the years. Some people have taken advantage of my most wonderful qualities, so they could try to control, manipulate, punish and destroy me. They have succeeded a few times. I have been hated and abused, not because of something I’ve done, but simply because of who (they think) I am.

I have been blogging and writing public diary entries, almost daily for 13 years. I was 26 when I started to blog, today I am almost 39. I have gone through a number of metamorphosis during these years and perhaps the most important ones have happened in these last couple of years. I can’t relate to the Mia who wrote the first entries in her blog in 2005, I can’t even relate to the Mia who wrote the first post on this blog in 2015.

The writing helped me get through some really hard times and reaching out to – you – was my way of feeling connected to a world I was not really part of at the time. Sharing my soul and wounds helped me connect with other people, it inspired them and their feedback gave me strength to continue my journey out of the darkness.

Why do I still share so much of myself? Isn’t my art personal enough? Why do I let all my readers into my very core? The questions are hard to answer, mostly because I’ve gotten so used to writing like this. However, since I got my daytime job at the furniture store, I haven’t had enough time to write and it has made me look at it from a new perspective.

I know I have a great talent in writing and I am planning on writing on a professional level as soon as I find more time. I will always be personal in my writing, it will always be raw and delicate, honest and real, just like it has been in this blog – but I long to write something substantial in Swedish, the language where my talent can flow without any barriers. I long to live my life without being stressed about having to update the blog or faced with loss of readers. I just want to be. I just want to live. I just want to write – but for myself this time. When I write these blog posts, I have to censor a lot, cut out important but private emotions or thoughts. I don’t want to censor anything anymore. I don’t want to share myself so intimately with people anymore, especially not with people who don’t deserve to know me that way. Some of my readers are part of the past I am trying to move away from. I need to close in around myself so that I can open up all my potential.

Therefore, I will stop sharing intimate diary notes on this blog and focus on creative updates regarding my art. I won’t update daily, but please visit my blog once in a while to follow my journey back into the art world.

Thank you for reading and for your interest in me and my art. I sincerely wish that you will all have an amazing new year!

Love//Mia ♥

En vision

Så jävla typiskt att vi blev sjuka. Detta är tredje gången Johnny är här – och tredje gången någon av oss har blivit dålig. Men det stoppar inte mig från att njuta av hans närvaro och mellan febertopparna växer en vision sig allt starkare. En vision om hur jag vill fortsätta leva mitt liv, om vad som är viktigt för mig nu och vad som inte längre känns viktigt eller relevant. Precis som jag gjort inför varje nytt år, sedan uppbrottet i Stockholm för snart fyra år sedan, går jag in i det nya året med en del förändringar. Jag ska berätta mer om dem i ett senare inlägg, nu måste jag vila lite.

The artworks of 2017

2017 was the year when I got back into the amazing flow in my creativity. The artworks of 2017 are both bolder and more intricate than the artworks from last year. They are also darker – but with more elements of vibrant colors. In total I made 18 artworks this year – 16 of them were digital works, including two collaboration pieces with Candice Angelini  – and also one painting and one mixed media piece.

Compare them to the artworks of 2016 and 2015. and you’ll find many differences but also a story being told, year by year.

#flu

Not only did we get to share Christmas together, but also the flu… #feverland #coughinginstereo #stuckinbed

Christmas x2

We got to celebrate Christmas twice this year! Both today and yesterday because of the difference between the Swedish and the American traditions. ❤ Merry Christmas from both of us!

 

The months, weeks and days

From now on, I will have two weeks of Christmas vacation. Tomorrow, I’ll meet up with Johnny in Stocholm and I feel both very excited and a little nervous. It’s funny how well we know each other’s hearts and minds but our bodies are still a bit unfamiliar and unexplored. I can’t remember his smell or the sensation from his kisses, but soon I’ll be reminded.

From last year’s meeting.

These last few months have gone by so fast. I haven’t had the proper time to write, make art, meet up with friends or even be myself all the way. I need these free weeks to get centered and to get rooted in my own little world again. This time, I will have company of the person who loves me the most and who I love most. I feel indescribable grateful.

The other day I had a strong vision of my future art show. I won’t tell the story about ‘no place like home’ anymore, but weave in the houses and homes into a new collection that is more vast and complex. I will make a hell of a show. I can’t wait to show you.