Art Warriors

Maria och jag har blivit två “art warriors” i och med att vi är teamet bakom ART MONSTERS OF SWEDEN. Vi har byggt en poddstudio i min pytte-garderob där vi sitter och filosoferar i podden och uttrycker vår ambition och passion om att leda den svenska lowbrow-och dark art rörelsen framåt – och även om vi båda är neurotiska och ängsliga som två små darriga löv, känner vi oss starkare i oss själva än någonsin och känner oss HELT självsäkra i vad vi vill uppnå med ART MONSTERS. Jag är stolt över oss. På två månader har vi lyckats få ihop 40 av Sveriges främsta Lowbrow och dark art konstnärer och försökt få dem att känna sig trygga och peppade på att göra den här resan med oss, vi har nu nästan 2000 följare på Instagram, vi har lärt oss redigera videos, startat en podd och lärt oss klippa ljudfiler, arbetat fram en unik logga (som snart är klar), byggt coola samarbeten – allt detta medan vi har jobb vid sidan av och andra åtaganden. MEN FRÄMST är jag stolt över att vi lyckats hitta det där äkta finska sisu som rinner i våra ådror. Sisut kommer driva vårt skepp i hamn. Vi. Kommer. Aldrig. Ge. Oss.

Jag är tacksam att jag har Maria i mitt liv – och i min garderob. ♥

Advertisements

Mama Monster

I am slowly getting relaxed and comfortable with the hard work I have to put into the ART MONSTERS project. I don’t feel stressed anymore, just happy and excited. We have gone from 10 members to 30 in just 2,5 weeks! It’s incredible. Many things are happening and processes are in motion; we are creating a logo, building a website, starting a podcast (I will link to it here as well) and looking into the possibilities of starting our own gallery. The only obstacle is our (substantial) lack of money – but nothing can stop this ‘Mama Monster’ from starting a new art movement in Sweden!

work in progress

I have been working on a few old and unfinished paintings and it is finally becoming fun to paint again. It is like I was used to being deflated but now I am finding my substance again. And even though I don’t have any time to do much else than work, work and work – I feel happier than I have ever felt in my life. The only thing I miss is the freedom of having time to write.

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!

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.

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.

Bleeding

It is Saturday morning and it’s time to enter my own world instead of being part of the real one. This weekend I’ll try to be creative and more importantly – I’ll create my annual “life plan” for next year. I have to sit down to map out all my goals, dreams and visions for next year. Since I’ve made such amazing progress in all areas of my life this year, I don’t have to be too hard on myself in 2018. I just have to continue doing whatever I am already doing. But there is so much I wish to accomplish. The key to all those things is to start accepting myself completely and to improve my self esteem to a degree that nothing can trigger my inner wound to bleed anymore. I will always have scars, I will always have sore spots – but I have to stop the bleeding for good.

Evolving

I started a new digital collage this weekend. It is a very calm piece, charged of course, like everything else I am making, but more dreamy.

At times I feel like I could be many artist into one. I can be raw. I can be sweet. I can be funny. I can be serious. My art always fluctuate between dreamy images and more nightmarish ones. I think I will always express myself in a dark way – and perhaps I will have more than one nuance of light and darkness in my art – but I believe that I am evolving from a place of pain to something more serene. Just like I am in life as well.

 

 

Shifting blame

Yesterday was therapy day. Another wound revealed and dissected. The healing process behind PTSD and trauma is excruciatingly long and just when you think you are all healed and whole, something triggers an unresolved piece of your wounded soul. If it’s not a psychological memory being triggered, it’s a certain smell, a word, a tone of voice, a song, a mood or an emotional stress that feels too familiar. I have experienced many different kinds of abuse;
emotional
psychological
physical
sexual
ambient abuse

All this, with men who I have loved and trusted (never with any stranger) – so no wonder that it takes such a long time to get over it. I have many wounds to heal and take care of. The biggest challenge for me have been – and still is – to put the responsibility and blame where it belongs; in the hands of the men. None of these men would ever admit to what they have done or the pain and suffering they have caused me. None of these men would ever understand what I have been going through because to them – I was to blame or that I’m overreacting. “You were in it too”. They would say. “You are not innocent”. They would say. Or, “we are both to blame”. But that is simply not true.

Yes, I was there – I was part of the whole toxic dance. I was there because I didn’t know how to get out of it. I was there because I felt shame, guilt and because I was manipulated into staying, through psychological codependency and being emotionally destroyed and mentally weakened. I wasn’t there to hurt anybody. I wasn’t there to make them mad or abusive.

When an abuse victim can’t win with those arguments, the abuser would say; “you are only feeling sorry for yourself and using your victimization to get sympathies from others”. I can assure you that I would just love to just be happy and to feel free from all the pain, fear and anger they have caused me. I don’t want any sympathies, I have so many good qualities that I can share with people, I don’t need to get their sympathy. Deep down, I am a happy person who loves to laugh and making other people laugh (and I am good at it!) – there is no need for me to ‘use’ my PTSD to get people’s attention.

The whole #metoo campaign is such a liberating and empowering revolution for women like me.  It has inspired me to be open about my trauma in a whole new way. I used to feel scared when I was sharing details about it in my writing but now I am using my voice to liberate myself and hopefully other women as well. As I am slowly healing, I am learning how to shift blame to where it really belongs:

I was not to blame
I am still not to blame
the guilt does not belong to me
the shame is not mine
I am free to express myself
I am free to tell my story
I do not deserve to be punished
I am free to heal in my own time
I am allowed to heal in my own way

I don’t care if these men get upset anymore. I let them believe whatever they want to believe about themselves. I only care about my healing process and everything that I have in my life that makes me feel happy and inspired. That is my responsibility, just like other people are responsible for doing the same for themselves.

Another day, another year

The days go by so fast. One is simply replace by the next in the blink of an eye and I am having a hard time keeping up with everything, the apartment is a mess. Johnny will be here in two weeks. At least then, we’ll get to share almost 14 days of vacation days together. I can’t wait.

While life is rushing by and almost away from me at times, I am still working hard with self-empowering work. I think this year, I will only give myself a short to-do-list for 2018:

  1. improve my self-esteem and start believing in myself 100%
  2. finish the work on the new collection, get everything printed and framed
  3. have my first solo show in 8 years
  4. enjoy life, love and creativity without feeling any pressure

I think that’s really all I need to accomplish in a year.

21 days

December 1st, early morning. I can’t believe Johnny will be here in 21 days. I am a workday away from accessing my own world of art and creativity. I have to finish up the digital piece I’m currently working on and start something new and fresh. A new painting perhaps.

Yesterday, I got a notification on Facebook from writer and scholar Line Henriksen that the new special issue of Women, Gender & Research by herself and Morten Bülowa and Erika Kvistad, had been published – with my art ( “Iceland” ) on the back cover! This is yet another reminder that my art belongs out there in the world. I have to wrap up the work on my new collection – and hand it over to the audience. ♥

The perfect space

Will I ever make another art show? Sometimes I wonder. It’s been 8 years since my last solo show. 8 years! I miss the art world and meeting my audience.

It is even a miracle that I have managed to keep one foot still in the art world. I know that I am unique in my style and my expression and that my art is more relevant now than ever, since I’m dealing with themes such as anxiety and the dark sides of female sexuality. I need my art and the world needs my art too. I just have to finish my collection and then find a perfect gallery where I can show my art. It’s a shame there aren’t any suitable galleries to collaborate with here in my city. My art is way too loud to be shown in these “sterile” places. I need a place where my demons are allowed to scream without creating a contrast to their environment.

The “sex palace”

Perhaps I have to look for other places than this one to show my art – but I do want to comeback show in the city where I was born and where all the traumas happened. It feels important to me. Perhaps I can rent a place, a dirty, old space somewhere, like in an abandoned factory or in the fancy but decadent “sex palace” by the river (an old theatre building that has been turned into a swingers club). I want to find a perfect space for my collection because it will be a very special show – the best one I’ve ever made. So far.

I spegelglaset

Det är som om jag vaknar ur en lång och skuggdröm, lite mer för varje dag. Mitt liv har varit fullt av djupa hål av mörk materia och jag lär mig hoppa över dem istället för att falla rakt ned och bli slukad av allt det svarta. Det har tagit lång tid att vakna. Att hoppa istället för att falla. Så lång tid att jag knappt kommer ihåg hur allt började eller vem jag var då. Snuddar tanken vid någon tidigare version av mig själv, drabbas jag av omedelbar panik. Känner hur det spänner i huden – den enda barriär mellan mig och mörkret som dånar utanför mig själv. Mörkret som alltid har ett namn, ett ansikte och kyliga men brännande ord som smattrar likt kulor mot min tunna barriär. Vissa ordkulor gick rakt igenom och borrade sig djupt in i min själ där de förblivit en del av mig. Begravda någonstans inom mig, framkallar de en hård metallsmak så fort de gör sig påminda. Därför begraver jag dem djupare. De blir allt mer obetydliga. Jag lösgör mig från skammen. Den som aldrig var min. Jag släpper taget om skulden. Den bär inte mina anletsdrag. Jag skakar av mig mörkret. Hoppar över alla djupa hål.

Jag betraktar mig själv i spegelglaset. Såsom jag är. Såsom jag alltid varit – fast aldrig fått vara. Jag vaknar. Hela tiden lite mer. Hjärtat vidöppet. Jag ser allt så tydligt. Även mig själv.

“Rebel Girl”

NEW ARTWORK!

“Rebel Girl” by Mia Makila, 2017 [digital], another contribution to the #metoo movement

If you liked this one, you might enjoy these too:

My sanctuary

Therapy day. New times, new therapist, new process. Good first session. She made me aware of how abusive I can be towards myself. I think I’ve gotten so used to being judged by others that it has become natural for me to judge myself the same way. I need to be more accepting, warmer, kinder to myself. “If you don’t deserve your own love, who does?” she asked.

It’s been a busy week at the furniture store, because of the black Friday sale. I’ve been creating advertisement material in Photoshop (small collages) but I miss making real art. I want to go deep into my creativity bubble and stay there for days. I haven’t had the time to do that I’m a while –  but this weekend will be my sanctuary. I can’t wait. I need my own world of magic and imagination. That is where I truly belong, far away from any outside pressure or cruel reality.

Hopeful

As I was walking home from work, I felt a new sense of hope that I haven’t felt in a while. I’ve had so many different kinds of closure this year. I have closed the door to my past once and for all. I really have. No more restless ghosts. I am free from it all. And I will try to change the way I look at my past by remembering the good parts instead of being haunted by all the traumas and sorrows. I have a motto that I repeat everywhere in my notebooks so I will remember it: “What I focus on, I shall receive” and I know it works, because I’ve experienced it so many times. I will try to hold on to the motto. It is a key that will unlock so many future doors. I will show you.

Killing every doubt

This weekend I’ve worked hard on my self-therapy by making notes and meditating. Since I have a few hard months behind me, I will do whatever it takes to get back to the place where I finally started to feel happy and confident. I am on the right path again, I can feel it –  I just have to power through.

I have especially focused on the psychological mechanisms behind self-doubt and what I have found is slightly bizarre; I have more doubt when it comes to good things than I have when it comes to bad. For example, I doubt my talents more than I doubt other people’s judgmental opinions about me. It doesn’t make any sense at all. I doubt love more than I doubt other people’s manipulation. But on a positive note, I can easily fix this by teaching my brain to think in new ways – just like I’ve done with so many other things. My new rule is to “only doubt things that doesn’t feel right, never doubt what makes me feel good.” I should never doubt my talent, strength or my intelligence, like I’ve done so many times in my life. Doubt is what ultimately will kill my ambition and freedom of expression, so I have to kill the act of doubting instead.  Nothing will stand in the way of my future career and success, not even my own mind.