“The Wound” by Mia Makila, 2017 (mixed media on canvas)
“Fleurs De Finge” by Mia Makila, 2016 [digital]
“Homecoming” by Mia Makila, 2016
“The Blue Connection” by Mia Makila, 2017 [digital]
“Pink Hell” 2009
“Pink Foam Porn” by Mia Makila, 2008 [mixed media]
Black Pope Baby
“Dödsdansen” by Mia Makila, 2017 [digital collage]
All of my different sides are visible in my art.
I haven’t felt like myself for a while. I’m a little torn between different versions of myself. The office-me, the artist-me, the Swedish-speaking-me and the English-speaking me, the strong me, the scared me etc. It can be a confusing at times. I’ve always had many sides to my personality and also many layers within each side which makes me a bit complicated to say the least. This is also visible in my art. I don’t have one single signature style, but various forms of expressions. I can be raw, I can be cute, I can be dark, I can be colorful. And I can be all those things at once. Even though I win many different followers and collectors by using different techniques and styles, I sort of envy artist with a clear signature style – because they are so dedicated to it. I am too restless, too curious about the next level of expression. I am always moving forward and I can’t go back to a successful style or expression even if I’d want to. When I move on, I never look back. Going back to an old style wouldn’t feel genuine and it would look forced. So, I guess that is my style – to always reinvent myself and my visual expression. On a deeper level, I believe I’ve used my art to rediscover and reclaim all the sides to myself that used to be censored or oppressed by other people.
“Dead Lolitas” by Mia Makila, 2017 [digital[
I had some kind of breakthrough in my thoughts about my future painting last night. It was wonderful. The Dead Lolita theme has felt old for some time now. I don’t connect with the role of Lolita anymore, I’ve come too far on my journey of self-empowerment. It has been four years since I first got the idea of killing my inner Lolita – and I think I killed her on the way without even noticing. All the artworks for the Lolita show will be included in other collections.
The new theme for a future collection of paintings is “black on black” – whatever that might be. I have worked a lot with demon portraits against a black background and I would say it is my signature style. I love playing around with different nuances of black, adding more life to the dark and, often flat, color. I will also go back to making mixed media pieces instead of just acrylic on canvas – I have some new ideas I want to explore when it comes to my technique. This is exciting! I have already prepared some canvases. All covered with black paint, of course.
Stranger Things 2
It’s early Saturday morning and I’m watching the second season of Stranger Things in bed. I am also thinking about how clear-minded I feel at the moment. I have rediscovered my path again and I’ll hold on to it harder this time.
Since I have my personal life in order, I will focus on my art from now on. I have a lot of hard work to do. First, I have to price my digital pieces, make a great pricelist and then I have to finish the new collection. Nothing or no one is allowed to come in between me and my art now. I feel ready to make this new journey. The time has come for me to reclaim my career.
At the hospital for another therapy session
Therapy day. I had a lot to talk about this time. I am still a magnet for destructive connections, especially when it comes to men. “If you didn’t have your art, I’m sure you would have been even more self-destructive”, she said. It is not the first time someone has told me that my creativity seem to be a matter of life and death for me. I am so grateful for all my talents – and for being an artist. I have a great outlet for my anxiety and all my fears because of it. A place where I get to deal with all my forbidden emotions – like rage. It is forbidden and out of reach since I have a problem with exposing anger in real life. I don’t get angry, I just get sad, but of course the anger is still there – and I have a lot of it. Just look at my paintings.
I need to take my creativity even more seriously from now on. It is what keeps me balanced. Perhaps it is my fear of anger that makes it so difficult for me to go back to painting, since it is the main element in my visual expression as a painter.
The anger might be my pandora’s box. Once I figure out how to set it free, I’m sure it would both be explosive and liberating. Exposing my anger in a more honest way, is an equally scary as a wonderful thought. It would be ugly but it would set me free. I have all my talents and my artistic skills as the perfect tools for bringing it out. Writing, visual art, photography. I just have to figure out how to approach the forbidden areas of my mind.
If Michael Jackson could do it, so can I.
Det är så mörkt ute. Som om någon stulit månljuset, men innanför min hud brinner tusen månar. Jag är fylld av en längtan som läcker igenom varje tanke. Gör mig nästan sjuk. Önskar jag kunde klä av huden och låta månljuset flöda ut över världen. Vill lysa.
…that Mark Ryden liked your art on Instagram… ♥
I am done crying, worrying, doubting and freaking out. I am so done with it. From now on, I will laugh more, love harder and only look forward. The crisis with Johnny is over. We have done a lot of soul searching and a lot of thinking, and our personal issues should never interfere with our love story. The home we have built together over the last 3-4 years, is too strong to break. I didn’t understand this until after we broke up. It really amazes me.
It can be so hard to be in a long distance relationship. No eye contact. No physical dimension. Not sharing everyday stuff together. But it is also so rewarding. All we have is communication and talking from the depths of our hearts. Things get more real that way. It is more alive. I have never been closer to anyone in my whole life – even if we have a whole ocean standing in between us.
I am soon leaving for work but I can’t wait till I’ll get back home again so I can continue working on my new digital pieces. I have so much that wants to get out. I have so many stories to share with you.
I am entering yet another era. This will be my favorite one yet, I can feel it.
I am finally back to making art again. It’s been 5 months since I finished the last piece in PhotoShop (The Blue Connection). Being creative is my natural state, so I am starting to feel like myself again. I can see that my style has changed a bit since the last 2 pieces. It has shifted from a darker expression to a more delicate and dreamy style. My collage technique has always been driven by a freudian selection of images – but I work on a much deeper level now. My new collection of works will be my most personal one yet. Like visual diary notes. Who needs therapy when you have a talent to dig into yourself and bring it out as an emotional confession through a clear visual expression?
I started working on a new piece today.
Thursday morning. Classical music while having breakfast. Enjoying the moment. I started a new piece last night. It will be a new version of the lava house. I made once of the houses sink to the bottom of the lava ocean while the other one has disappeared into the black sky. It made me cry but at the same time feel a sense of inner peace. I wonder what will happen to the houses. This is such a sad ending to the story, but I have a feeling that they will be fine.
It is Tuesday and I am having lunch at the hospital before my last dentist appointment together with the therapist in my treatment for fear of the dentist. I have proved to myself that I can conquer my fears and do things that seem impossible to me. I have also studied my anxiety and see how powerful it is – how much damage it causes. To tame and soothe my anxiety is the most important thing now, otherwise I will never be able to liberate myself from my fears nor find the freedom and peace within myself that I have always needed. It is time to grow up and out of all these suffocating layers of self-protection and heavy doubts about what I am capable of.
What am I so afraid of anyway? I have survived traumas and all kinds of crap – I can survive anything that life throws at me. Am I really afraid of more bad things – or am I petrified of the possibility that life can be easy, drama free and great? Because then, I won’t need to be in constant self-protection mode and that’s when it gets scary. To be vulnerable – and free of all the heavy layers that have worked as protective scar tissue around my soul.
Who would I become if I walked through life while remembering that I can do whatever I want? Who am I becoming just by asking this question?
“The Blue Connection” by Mia Makila, 2017 [digital]
It is early morning and I am thinking about my new collection No Place Like Home and how it was supposed to be a love story. I have been working on the collection for almost 4 years now. From the time I met Johnny until now when we are broken up – you can follow our love and connection by studying my work. A house adrift. Two houses making a connection. Creating a root system. Sparks. Fire. Then – a separation. A disconnection within the root system. And now what? Am I supposed to end the collection about “finding a home” – on a bad note (with The Blue Connection)? Perhaps I have to continue working on it until something comes along that will create a ‘happy ending’? What if I have to wait for years to find my happy ending?
I will continue working on this collection to see where it’ll take me.
The biggest issue I have nowadays is without a doubt the lack of TIME. Especially now when I have two forces playing against each other; the need to rest and relax so my body is feeling OK and the need to be active and finish my new collection so I can rebuild my art career. I have been away from the art world for almost 8 years now. I have so much to do. I don’t have time to rest. This is why I have to conquer time and try to both rest and work in my free time so I can find the perfect balance. There is just not enough hours of the day – I have to create a very strict schedule and to practice self-discipline.
I have money now, to finance new art projects – all I need is the time to actually make them happen. I have no idea where or how I will find time, but I will try my best to get all the pieces of the puzzle together so I can live a balanced life without stress and pressure. I don’t know what’s worse – the pressure from falling behind in my art, or the pressure of having to rest when all I want to do is to make art.
To be able to make money off my art again, I need to finish my collection and to price it – print it – frame it – show it – sell it. And for that to happen, I need TIME.
And all this while having a full time job (which I love), dealing with health problems and a broken heart, planning collaborations, rediscovering sides to myself that I have forgotten about – and building new connections and networking.
I have to find the time to rest and the time to play. Now it’s all work and recovering from work. I know I am not cut out for a normal life – but trying to fit in. I just have to adjust the normality so it fits ME instead of the other way around. Time to conquer time and the freedom to live the life as an artist without getting disrupted by the motion of the hamster wheel.
I have been fighting a head cold for a few days and today I had to stay in bed. My head feels like a diving bell.
However, my heart is slowly healing. I am a person who mourns something before it is gone. Like I can sense that it fading out. Dying. How it’s disappearing before it actually happens. This is why it is easier from me to move on – while Johnny, on the other hand, is more present in his grief. We are there for each other and holding each other’s hand through the pain.
Even in dark times like this, I feel stronger than ever. I even feel pretty happy – not in this present situation of course, but within myself.
No wonder I haven’t been able to finish the last piece of my collection about finding ‘home’ in love and life – The Lava House, that was supposed to be the finale piece – the happy ending with Johnny sailing across the Atlantic ocean (of glowing lava) to my continent. There wasn’t any happy ending and I could not finish the piece because I want to be honest in my art – and on some subconscious level I think I knew it was not a happy piece after all. I guess I have to put this piece aside and start working on new ones and continue the story about the houses. I have some new ideas and the heartache I am going through, is filled with raw material for more works. This collection is therefore still an ongoing project.
I am going through something very private at the moment. It is scary and wonderful – but it is hard for me to write about. I am really building a life that is my own creation. So much hard work. So much pain. But you have no idea how liberating it is to create a life that is not based on any pre-made idea or normality (and numbing conformity). I have a clear vision of what kind of life I want for myself in the future. I want to explore so many sides to myself that I haven’t been able to explore before; I will become a writer, I want to explore my sexuality, eroticism and sensuality – I want to dare to love deeper and to experience pleasure that has been out of my reach, on a much higher level.
To make this journey is complicated. I have no one to ask for advice or guidance. This is my journey, it is only meant for me. There aren’t any guidelines. No manuals. Not even a clear path to follow. I have been so used to merely ‘surviving’ life after my traumas. Life was painful in every area and my focus was on getting through one hardship after the other. For 20 years. Now, I am on the other side of the darkness. Getting used to the light. I still feel blinded at times.
I am not in ‘survival mode’ anymore. I want to LIVE. LOVE. CREATE. Create magic in everything I do – in who I am becoming. Creating magic in my art, magic in other people’s hearts and minds, in the way I look at the world (as a playground). I wish to create a life that I could call a living dream.
I just have to go on dreaming the dream so I can follow it all the way to the very edge – and turn it into some kind of reality. You can call me crazy – and maybe I am – but somehow I know that this is possible. Like I have always known it’s possible; to create a life outside what people consider ‘normal’ and ‘real’ by using the magic of creativity and imagination.
Tuesday morning. I am sitting in my kitchen, staring up at the clouds and observing the wild birds fly by outside the skylight. I am deep into my PMS hormones and all the uncomfortable symptoms. My body is bloated and I am feeling like a combination between a whale and a balloon. It is ridiculous. I can’t wait for these days to be over. I know I need to lose some weight. I used to comfort myself by eating sweets and now it’s hard to get rid of the extra weight. My body doesn’t look like me, I don’t feel at home in it anymore. I refuse to look at it when I am in the shower.
Perhaps on some subconscious level, the unwanted weight is part of some kind of self-sabotage. It is hard to be in a long distance relationship – and I guess if I would to feel more beautiful and attractive, I would also have more desire to have sex. This ballooned body might serve as a physical wall of protection of my relationship – and of my own happiness. Because I feel rather sexually starved. I long for a man’s hands on me. I miss the weight of a man. Deep breaths in my ear. Against my skin. I miss the sensation of nails digging into my back. My thighs.
It has been a year since Johnny was here and by this time, I have forgotten the sweet taste of his kiss.
At times I think I am going insane from the hunger I feel inside. But I feel hungry in so many ways – for so many different things. Hunger makes you feel a little desperate at times. It is also the hunger that makes you feel alive. I do not envy people who have lost their hunger. I’d much rather go crazy because I feel such drive to devour the world (my world), than to be content and OK with being all dried up inside.
I am fighting this overwhelming feeling of fatigue, but I am obviously failing. I think I just have to surrender and stop fighting it. Perhaps I’ve been pushing myself too hard to get back into my routines of creativity and making art. I will try to be more patient and wait it out. I need to rest and stay away from any kind of pressure – especially if it’s coming from myself.
The photo shoot at the haunted hotel is less than a week away. I can’t wait. However it’s the first time I’m doing a photo shoot where I’m mimicking the method of my collaboration with Domenique; coming up with a story, creating characters, planning appropriate make up, costumes and attitudes. The biggest difference this time is that I have to do everything myself. Domenique was a make up artist and a stylist – I am neither. It makes me a little nervous. But if I succeed, I won’t feel as dependent on Domenique anymore.
I’ve spent this weekend trying to sort things, clean and organize my stuff so I can get rid of a lot of furniture – and make room for new ones. I have always loved to get rid of things, it’s more satisfying to me than to go shopping for new stuff. I love the process of change. It feels refreshing and hopeful.
I have a clear vision of how this apartment will look like, once I’m done with all the changes. It will take me a few months until it’ll match my vision. I guess I am being pretty creative after all…
It is morning again. My hair is wet. My heart wide-open. And my mind at peace (for now). I had strange dreams but I don’t feel affected by their strangeness. I have a hunger to express myself more. I have so much inside me that wants to be expressed and released. I am craving the magic of making something that has tension – and many dimensions. Living in the real world can be a flat experience. Dry. I want to be a rainfall of love and magic. Let me rain. All over the world.
It is early morning and I am on my way to work. I feel so tired – will I ever have enough energy to be creative when I get home after work? This bothers me a little. I am being sucked into real life (into the hamster wheel) and all I can do is hope that the essence of who I am won’t disappear in there.
You sacrifice your freedom to make money, in order to buy freedom because the real freedom makes you limited in this society. It’s messed up. I am not OK with this philosophy but I have no other choices right now. I miss my freedom of having time. But I don’t miss the stress and the constricted feeling of constant worrying about money.
As soon as I’ll have more energy, I will do everything I can do recreate the freedom that I miss, by starting making some real money on my art. That is my goal. This is just a little detour on my path. I know where I am going. I know what I want. And all I want – is my own definition of freedom.
I have been feeling very tired lately and today I had to stay home. I can barely keep my eyes open. Zero energy. But I have been sleeping on and off all day, hopefully I will feel better in the morning. I have also been going through all the projects I have in motion right now to sort it out – to prioritize so I can focus on one thing at a time:
- Preparing the photo shoot at the haunted hotel on July 29th
- Writing on this blog
- Finishing the last digital piece (House of Lava) in the No Place Like Home collection
- Planning the art collaboration with Mats Tusenfot
- Writing on The Anxiety Bible
- Pursuing my vision of creating a group of Swedish underground artists
- Painting on the pieces for the Dead Lolita collection
- Filming myself for Andy’s documentary about me
- Looking for Swedish galleries for my comeback show
- Preparing for a secret American group show next year
I had an amazing experience while meditating today. I saw this path in a deep forest. It was the path I have been walking on through life. The path I have created for myself. For each step I took, I continued creating the path forward. But there was a place in the forest where the trees were too many. I couldn’t find my way. I felt tired and lost. There was a armchair made of green wicker – I sat down. I knew I had to rest before I could continue my journey. Before I could decide in which direction I wanted to go next. I think this is where I am right now. I have walked on my path for such a long time. I have worked so hard to get to this place where I can finally choose where I wish to go – without any chains or restrictions. I have everything I need in order to achieve any goal or pursuit any dream. I am free now. My past is buried in the distance. My fears are losing substance. I feel stronger than ever before. I feel ready for whatever adventure I want to go for. Now, it’s time to carefully choose where to go next. To create a new path.
Me and Mats Tusenfot
I feel so high on the raw, creative juices flowing inside my mind right now! I’ve spent the whole day with my artist friend Mats Tusenfot at a café – brainstorming ideas for an upcoming collaboration. The meeting was, as always, intense and packed with inspiring stories, creative ideas and deep conversations about life, death, sex – and of course about art. I love the warm and glowing energy we generate together just by talking. To me, that is magical, to be able to connect deeply with another artist – with a friend. This collaboration will be a long-term project that will be presented to the public in a future art show. I just know it will be amazing, I can feel it. We share a visual language – you can see it in our artworks and it is rare and beautiful to be able to talk to someone else in a language most people don’t have access to. Through our art, we are able to create a world of our own. This world has its own rules – or perhaps lack of them and a different kind of gravity that pulls us in a direction that feels both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. It is the feeling of being home but not in the place you usually call home. I love that. Being at the edge of what you know and love – and the great unknown.
Yesterday, with messy hair
I am a little worried about the fact that I can’t seem to get back to working with my art after I come home from work. I need to get back into it – without pushing myself too hard of course. There has to be a balance. Perhaps I have to cut back on my writing project about anxiety – I simply don’t have enough time for all my projects. Time is without a doubt my biggest concern now when I have a daytime job. I finally have the money I need – but less time to make art.
However, I am planning all sorts of future projects. I am very excited about my upcoming photo shoot at this haunted hotel later this month. Karin and my friend Magic Frigren will be my models. It will be a great adventure! I can’t remember the last time I did something as exciting as this.
Every day, I try to find time to meditate, it is how I will stay out of the spinning hamster wheel. It will keep me grounded and centered. It is damn hard to withstand the gravity of that wheel. But I will try my hardest not to get caught it in. Time is precious and I won’t waste it on the wrong things. I hardly watch any TV or films anymore. I try to devote all my spare time to my creative projects, friends and to my relationship with Johnny. He has been holding my hand through all the processes I’ve been going through for many years now, including this big change of getting a job. We talk every morning while I take a walk to my workplace. Every morning is now a source of happiness and laughter. I feel so grateful – and so loved.
What a great weekend I’ve had. I got to enough rest and relaxation so that I can manage all my ongoing projects for next week – and I also got some new ideas for future projects as well! I am planning a secret one for next year and I have found the perfect theme for the collection of artworks that will follow the two I am working on right now. For me, this is huge! It gives me a direction to walk in. A new path to follow. A path I have to create myself.
I love the intro music for Thirtysomething including the famous acoustic guitar -mandolin -coke bottle melody.
I’ve ordered a few seasons of the 80’s drama series Thirtysomething that I loved watching when I was younger. I haven’t seen it in at least 25 years – and it’s weird watching it again when I am now thirtysomething myself.
Me, being thirtysomething
Some themes in the show feel really dated, while others are still relevant and real.
My twentysomething years were horrible, the worst years of my life. I only have a handful of good memories from those years. Being thirtysomething have been about rebuilding myself and my life and creating a career as an artist.
Me, being twentysomething
I still have two more years left in my thirties, then I’ll be fourtysomething. I am really looking forward to it. Like a fresh start. A new era.
I know that I’ve come so far, I’ve reached places I never thought were possible to reach. I am the best version of me that I’ve ever been. But I feel like there still are some missing pieces. I will look for them in my years of being fourtysomething. It will be the decade of exploration and conquests. I guess it is the nature of a person being twentysomething, but since I lost those years to trauma and PTSD, I have to reclaim them.
Me, at the age of 27 (when I rediscovered my sexuality that had been ‘killed’ by my abuser and me at the age of 34 when I was having a life crisis and knew I had to lose everything in order to start over – leaving everything behind.)
Being thirtysomething is like building a bridge between the dreams you had when you were young and the reality of life as it really turned out while most of your dreams were crushed but also reinvented.
It is lunch break at work. Another gray day. It has been a gray summer and for that I am grateful. I haven’t been able to be creative at all this week. Yesterday I knocked out right after my talk with Johnny during his lunch break (my 9 pm). I miss my art. I miss to flow with the mojo and dig deep into things. I miss feeling connected to my own private Universe without interruptions. Tomorrow I’ll try to be as creative as I can. On Sunday I have a meeting with another artist from my hometown – which is part of my plan to gather creative people and network so we can collaborate and put together great group shows in the future. I have never been so optimistic about the future before. It is filled with so many good things and they are all waiting for me. The biggest difference about my new future if I compare it to all the futures I’ve been waiting for before, is that I am creating this one from scratch. It will be my masterpiece.