“The Pink House [Genesis]” by Mia Makila, 2017

NEW ARTWORK!

“The Pink House [Genesis]” by Mia Makila, 2017, digital collage

 

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“The Wound” by Mia Makila

NEW ARTWORK!

"The Wound by Mia Makila, 2017, acrylic on canvas (50 x 61 cm)

“The Wound” by Mia Makila, 2017 (mixed media on canvas)

My new painting is finished! I put a lot of work into it and I feel great. This piece is very personal and has a lot of emotions mixed into it.

Here is what the first draft looked like:

My core expression is always found in simplicity, clarity and in the raw, captured emotions i wish to express.

Thicker skin

Writing in my new diary, the book of wrath, is truly liberating. And when was the last time I did something creative just for my own pleasure? I’ve become so used to the idea of publicly displaying all my innermost feelings and thoughts that the lines between what is private and public have become blurred and distorted. Keeping a secret journal is good practice. I can see how I have used wrath in my art as an outlet, but it’s always mixed with fear, like in my painting The Virgin from 2010. From now on, I want to separate the two emotions.

“The Virgin” by Mia Makila, 2010

I don’t like the fact that I am still so mentally fragile and sensitive to external negativity – but I have to accept that this is who I am right now and I know exactly why I’ve become so sensitive. It is not my fault. The same thing happened last summer when there was a wave of rape cases and sexual assaults, here in Sweden. It really got to me. That is when I made the two digital pieces about rape (The Little Man and Bones of Rape).

But I believe that once I’ve found the voice to my wrath and anger, it will be easier for me to deal with external dark energies. I don’t have as thick skin as other people. Just look at my paintings and you’ll see vulnerable layers of melting skin, rashes, open wounds and exposed nerves.

What I need is thicker skin and I think that’s exactly what I am working on right now with my new diary and being aware of how other people are treating me. The lack of rage and wrath has left me too vulnerable, too much of an easy prey for narcissists and abusive personalities. Once I am able to get really, really mad when I need to, instead of suppressing anger and becoming depressed and sad – I will be unstoppable in my creativity as well. I have a good confidence, but my self-esteem is still pretty shitty. I can’t wait to be able to throwing tantrums in the heat of the moment instead of keeping it all locked up inside and exploding hours later when I am all by myself and it’s too late to stand up for myself. It will be the crowning achievement when it comes to overcoming the traumas of my past.

Sanpaku eyes

Sanpaku is a Japanese term meaning “three whites,” and is generally referred to in English as “sanpaku eyes” and refers to eyes in which the white space above or below the iris is visible.

Sanpaku eyes in my art

I have always been fascinated with eyes. It is the place where I connect or feel disconnected to other people. And it is the most important element in my art. I always start out with the eyes, working my way from there like they are the gravity of the piece. The eyes is the heart of my portraits.

You can see the raw emotion I am going for, concentrated in the eyes. Madness. Fear. Rage. Horror. I love exploring these emotions through the eyes, especially eyes with three whites visible instead of the normal two. These eyes are called Sanpaku eyes, where three whites are visible; extra white below iris (yin) which comes from a long-term pressure of feeling inferior or from stress – or extra white above iris (yang) which is an indication of a manic, psychotic state, superiority or madness.

When I was abused – I got to know the yang sanpaku eyes up close, and how they got dark, almost black right before I was attacked. It was scary. Perhaps that is one reason why I work with “crazy eyes” in my art, as a way to deal with the memories.

These eyes can be so intense, yet so distant, like they are looking right through you. I read a theory about yang sanpaku eyes – which is seen in many killers and psychotic people – that their sanpaku eyes is an indication of how lost they are in their own imagination. When you are using your “inner eye” and the imagination is activated, you open your eyes wider. Try it. Look in the mirror and let your imagination take over, you will see extra whites around iris. It’s hard to catch yourself daydreaming, but try to study other people who are daydreaming and watch their eyes expand. It could be that killers and psychotic people, who have a deeply distorted sense of reality are so lost in it, and in that “daydream state” all the time. It’s just a theory but an interesting one.

Notable examples of people with yang sanpaku eyes:

I will make more research about sanpaku eyes and about how eyes can tell stories about our hearts and minds. I want to get even better at capturing the essence of madness, rage, fear and horror in my art. I never want to be too obvious, I prefer strong yet subtle expressions. That’s what makes it such a fun challenge.

I end this post with my favorite sanpaku girl – Laura Bush (perhaps just in one unfortunate photo).

Why I won’t label myself as a ‘feminist’

It has been overcast and cold for days now. I am feeling a little grey as well. There is so much negative energy in the world and I’m really sensitive to it. I wish there was something positive I could add to the world, something beyond my art and my writing – I wish I could contribute more. I am not a political artist but it’s important for me to keep working with themes like female sexuality, trauma and humiliation in my paintings. It is not a good time for women, even though we have come a long way since the really bad times. We still have a lot of battles to win, especially when it comes to our bodies.

“The Game” by Mia Makila, 2007

Because I’m dealing with female sexuality, fear and rage in my work, people often ask me  if I consider myself to be a feminist – and they are often surprised when I tell them that I’m not. Then they want to know why. To me it’s simple; I am not a feminist because I believe in common sense, decency, equality and humanity. It should not be about gender and which side you’re on. As long as we are dividing ourselves like that – feminists vs sexists etc, there will never be any equality. Just like I don’t go around saying I am “immigrant friendly” to show that I am not a racist. To me it doesn’t make sense to label myself as this or that when I am using my mind and my heart as a compass. Then I don’t need it. It is only necessary if we use our insecurity, our ego, ignorance or fear as a compass. But then it is an indication that we are not connected to our core voice – or that we have lost it to some other belief as a compensation for the pain of not being able to connect with our inner voice. Those beliefs are often promoting our ego and sense of superiority or entitlement. That’s when the core belief becomes a ‘we against them’ thing. I think this is especially an experience for younger men who feel pressured to look away from their core – because it is the place of vulnerability and self-intimacy, things which are of low priority for boys and men – or perhaps even taboo.

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Detail of “The Killer” by Mia Makila, 2008

It comes natural for me to believe that we are all equals as humans, something that goes beyond labels and ‘ism’s. Who cares about race, skin color or gender, it’s so superficial. I don’t like to talk about superficial matters. I have green eyes. I was born with blond hair. My skin is very fair. I have a pussy. None of these things will ever define me.

The real issue is about how we behave towards other people and how we perceive ourselves. If we are good, bad, indifferent, ignorant, open, honest, warm or cold. If we are tolerant, intolerant, engaged, disengaged or if we are real or fake. Those things come without color or gender.

“My pink Hell” by Mia Makila, 2008, about being bullied by girls

I have been bullied by girls and abused by men. I have been best friends with both men and women. I have betrayed both men and women. I have been betrayed by both sexes. I have been good, I have been bad. I have loved men who were bad and men who were good. The point is that we all have a choice to be a good or a bad person and that we hurt each other and we get hurt because of bad choices. I don’t believe that people are born good or bad. It is a choice. And what I’ve learned is that the worst people are also the most wounded. Suffering leads to more suffering. Hatred leads to more hate. The most dangerous person is a self-proclaimed victim – because they feel entitled to hurt other people while seeking justice or vengeance. This is how people get radicalized, why some people use psychological or physical violence on others and why there is war in the world.

The word ‘feminist’ to me is just that – a word. I am more about taking action – to share my experience of being a woman in this world, through my art and my writing. I am trying to dress the abstract feelings of humiliation and shame in colors and an artistic expression, things that women struggle with a lot when it comes to our self-images, bodies, our sexuality and capability. But I am not dealing with these subject matters because I take a political standpoint as a feminist – but because it is hard to figure these things out and if I can make some sense of it, then it’s my obligation to pass it on. Knowledge is a powerful thing. And in the end, my experience of myself and life is not that unique. It is simply nuanced slightly different that yours. The nuances is what makes it interesting. The nuances can create understanding, tolerance and acceptance. And if I can contribute with my personal nuances to other people’s monochrome views and visions of themselves and the world – then I feel like I’ve done some good in this life.

Strong inside but you don’t know it
Good little girls they never show it
When you open up your mouth to speak
Could you be a little weak

[…]

Hurt that’s not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows
When you’re trying hard to be your best
Could you be a little less

– Madonna “What It Feels Like For A Girl

 

Collecting energy

I’ve made a plan how to achieve my artistic goals. I’ve reconnected with my creativity after the long hiatus, I’ve cleaned the palette, emotionally and mentally, I’ve killed darlings and gotten rid of old mannerisms that doesn’t fit me as an artist anymore. I am ready. Ready for so many things. I want to build a new collection of works, I want to restore my career and to do it all differently. I want to do this the right way – where I have all control and not letting gallery owners or bad self esteem control me. I don’t want to compare myself to other artists or older versions of myself where I felt successful, I want to make the art I want to make and I don’t care to judge it or listen to other people’s opinions of it. This is MY gift, MY career. I will start from scratch but use my past experiences and successes in this new process to guide me right. I have a new life, peace of mind (for the first time in my life) – my mind is not clogged with PTSD and trauma, I have a much better self-esteem now, I have a new voice that I want to use in my art and I have a clearer vision of what I want to achieve.

I will take a couple of weeks to gather strength and collect energy, before I start this new artistic journey. Before I completely commit myself to what I was born to do. I can’t wait.

A new focus

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My studio, ready for new adventures

I’ve been so focused on building a new life and my new relationship this year, I haven’t really been in a place where it’s just me and my creativity. But now, I have laid the necessary foundations and they are stable. I find myself in a new place of peace and relaxation. Now, it’s time to just enjoy life and the results of the hard work and all my achievements. I will go back to making art again, and this time I feel a genuine drive, not an anxious struggle to find my way back to my creativity, I’ve already found my way back. I’m ready and so god damn inspired. I will continue my artistic journey in three phases; painting/digital art then a writing phase and then perhaps a combination of the two. I can’t wait to get started. This creative process will take years, and I am in no hurry to achieve all my goals, but I will. I feel so happy, and not at all scared or lost as I’ve felt throughout the last 6 years. Now I’ll shift my focus, from rebuilding my life to creating art and making all my dreams come true.

Details of “Enlightened”

Here are some detail studies of my latest digital artwork “Enlightened” and some original images that I used as foundation to build the artwork, layer by layer.

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An antique Asian wooden mask served as the original image for the face, and then I changed the shape of it, texture, color scheme and added my own details and features.

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I used the legs of this original image that I found on deviantart stock resources.

detail1