SALE! “Little Bugsy Malone” [2012]

My digital piece “LITTLE BUGSY MALONE” from 2012 is now available for 3000 SEK (312 EURO / 367 USD). Send me an email if you are interested in adopting this creepy-cute girl and her little friends!

 

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Work in progress

I’ve been working in PhotoShop, but I can’t seem to finish the last piece before I finish my new collection of artworks – The Lava House. There’s something I have to go through first. A process. I have to figure something out. In the meantime, I am experimenting with an older piece I never finished. I don’t know where I am going with it yet. It is a strange and complex story in there.

Creating our own world

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.

About “Iceland”

My digital piece “Iceland” from 2015 is also a visual poem, based on my long distance relationship with Johnny.

“I am now on the second flight, it’s been delayed an hour so and I’m just sitting in the plane feeling so happy that you and I are building this wonderful home together. I’m now halfway away from both our apartments, somewhere over Iceland and thinking about how I am in the middle, between our two worlds.”
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– Johnny (on the plane from San Fransisco to Stockholm, 2015)
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Two pieces away

Some of the pieces for my art show “No Place Like Home”

Things are really starting to come together now, piece by piece. I am proud of myself for having achieved so many good things already this year. I am now only 2 digital pieces away from completing the body of work for my art show “No Place Like Home” – one of the two new collections of artworks. It feels wonderful to be this close to finishing the story about finding a home (in the world, in love, in oneself). I have been working on this collection since 2013. The two digital pieces I have yet to finish are “The Pink House” – which is the beginning of the story, and “The House of Lava” – which is the last chapter in the show.

I will also launch my Swedish writing project on Sunday this week – it’s another blog but more like a scrapbook, which will hopefully turn into a book one day.

My great grandmother Olga

“My Great Grandmother Olga” by Mia Makila, 2017 (digital)

Today is my mom’s birthday and I surprised her with this portrait of her grandmother, Olga, that I made in PhotoShop, based on a cabinet card of her (probably from the first decade of the 20th century). My mom is currently making a genealogy project about Olga, who died when my mom was very young. I thought it would be nice if my mom was able to look Olga in the eyes, something that is absolutely impossible in most of the original photos of her. It was a big challenge to retouch and clean this portrait in order to highlight her kind and sweet features. I also had to remove that chair and create an arm from nothing. It was hard work but so much fun. I gave her a new stool to sit on and 11 pink stars in the background, counting all the siblings in her family, including herself. My mom was very moved and happy about her gift, it meant a lot to hear to have a more clear picture of her grandmother’s face.

The milky, dirty original photo

A turning point

My Swedish writing project is soon ready to launched, perhaps in a week or so. I feel really good about it. It is not only a writing project, but also an initiative, a space for like minded people to connect on a deeper level. This project has so much potential and can grow in many different directions. I will link to it once it’s up and running.

“Anxiety” by Mia Makila, 2017 (digital)

I have made a new version of my digital piece Anxiety (which is based on the face in last year’s work Bones of Rape). And I have been planning more digital pieces – I have so many new things I wish to express in my work.

I keep growing out of old and twisted self images and destructive patterns that has kept me in locked positions in various relationships and situations. It is such a liberating experience and it opens up new possibilities to express myself in a more free and direct way. I think this is the turning point where I am finally able to break my fear and replace it with necessary and positive anger so I can stand up for myself when I need to – instead of my old patten where I kept quiet and allowed myself to be abused and humiliated. I have certainly come a long way. I never thought I would be able to break away from all the fear and insecurities. It seemed like they had become part of me – part of my identity. Luckily, I was wrong. Writing in my secret diary ‘the book of wrath’ has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. Learning how to be angry is amazing. It used to frighten me so, but it is truly the key to self-preservation and keeping the core safe and intact.

The language

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]

Moving forward

Today in my studio, working on “The Remains Of Lolita”

I am completely into the flow of my creativity and I am working on 10 digital pieces and paintings at the same time. But I am not stressed, I feel better than I have in a very long time. So many problems have been solved.  I am free from distractions and fears at the moment. It’s just me and my creativity – and Johnny for one hour a day during the weekdays when he’s at lunch. It’s all I need to keep moving forward.