Mia Makila – Bio

Self-Portrait, June 2019.

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.

My work includes many different mediums; digital collages, painting, drawing, mixed media and photography. I am self taught in every creative area. I have developed by own unique technique in PhotoShop – where I create my digital collages, 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. 

“The message in my art is ‘face your demons’. I try to have fun with them, dress them up in party hats and make them look cute –  so that I can stand sharing my life with them!”

Before I began using Photoshop, I made analogue collages and mixed media pieces. I used cut outs from books I kept from an abusive 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.

I use my own emotion and life as raw material in my work – my trauma, my fear and anxiety but also my desire, imagination and of course – my juicy girl power.

My artistic expression is influenced by outsider art, the surrealists, Lucas Cranach, Disney and pop culture, from movie directors (like Lynch, Bergman, Von Trier and Hitchcock) and photographers like Roger Ballen and Cindy Sherman. I also have a soft spot in my heart for folk art – especially Mexican votive paintings.

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

My painting palette, June 2019.

I was introduced to the European Lowbrow art movement 10 years ago – and it felt like home to me.  Maybe it is not surprising that I am the founder of the Swedish art project ART MONSTERS OF SWEDEN – the starting point for the Swedish lowbrow & dark art movement. I am part of the ART MONSTERS curating team with Maria Wingård. I am also the producer, writer, editor and co-host of the Swedish podcast ART MONSTERS-podden.

Instagram: @miamakila   #miamakila