Mia Makila – Bio

“The message in my art is ‘face your demons’. I believe it is better to make peace with our inner demons, before they become destructive. So I try to have fun with them. I give them a party hat and make them look cute –  so that I can stand sharing my life with them!”

–  Mia Makila, born 1979 in Sweden.

My art is a balancing act between the raw and the delicate – and includes many dark elements but is also playful, with vivid colors, 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.








I am deeply connected
to my art and it is a second heart that keeps me alive. 
I use a lot of humor in my art – as a coping mechanism to deal with the horrors of life. You can call me ‘a blues woman of art’ if you want, but I am also playing some polka melodies to have some fun with it. Playing the polka blues – yeah, that’s what I am doing!

I am always changing and evolving both as a person and as an artist. Along with my personal growth, my art goes through a metamorphosis as well.


As a child, I had a serious case of eczema. My childhood was filled with periods of physical pain and shame – and it helped to shape my artistic mythology. I use a lot of polka dots, melting or rotting flesh, exposed nerves and scars in my art.

Skin is a barrier that I have to claw myself into, since I am always searching for the metaphysical world underneath it.



“People think I am inspired by horror and splatter films, but I am actually not. The real horror to me is READING illustrated medical books – I am such a hypochondriac!”



My inspiration comes from a lot of artistic styles and genres; outsider art and art brut,  the surrealists, 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 (ex-voto) and also American Colonial Folk art portraits.




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.





Even though I am based in Sweden, I  mostly participate in international art shows. I do not have any planned art shows for 2019  – but if you wish to show my work in your gallery, please use the contact form.

I am not open for commissions. If you are interested in purchasing, please contact me.

If you want to know more about me, read my blog or the interviews and articles that you can find in my archive.