Mia Makila – The Art of Healing

MIA MAKILA (b. 1979) is a Swedish artist and founder of the Swedish lowbrow art movement –  ART MONSTERS OF SWEDEN.

Mia Makila working on her art while being filmed by Swedish TV, 2018

“My art is a balancing act between the raw and the delicate. It includes both dark and playful elements – like a colorful Hell, filled with absurdities, funny contradictions and sexual curiosity. Each demon in my art is part of a personal mythology. I make them look cute, bizarre and colorful – so they won’t intimidate me as much. I believe both creativity and a sense of humor will save you from self-destruction. My art and my poor little demons have saved my life many times. 

Working on the digital collage “The Moth” in Photoshop, June 2019.

My work includes many different mediums; new media (digital collages), painting, drawing, mixed media and photography. I am self taught in every creative area. I have developed by own unique new media technique in PhotoShop. I create my new media pieces by using multiple layers of images, scans and digital paint instead of the traditional collage technique of mixing paper cut outs and glue. You can simply say that I am painting with images instead of paint. When I do paint, I use acrylic on canvas or board. 

I started creating collages and mixed media pieces in 2006, three years after a messy divorce from an abusive man. Then, I used paper cut outs from books which where leftovers from my marriage. It felt great to cut, destroy and rip the books apart while gluing myself back together through my art. If you follow my art timeline, you can see the healing process – through the dark places to happy, candy colored worlds.  

My artistic expression is influenced by outsider art, the surrealists, Lucas Cranach, Hieronymus Bosch – but mostly from modern pop culture – like the Garbage Pail Kids, old Disney classics, from the visual worlds of movie directors such as David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock.  I also have a soft spot in my heart for folk art – especially Mexican folk art and votive paintings.”

– Mia Makila