The stories behind my art: “Grim Reaper – [Daisy Adair]”


“Grim Reaper – [Daisy Adair]” by Mia Makila, 2007

I remember making Grim Reaper – [Daisy Adair] in late 2007 very clearly, because it was the first painting where I felt like I had found something new and exciting in my color palette. I had gained weight due to my depression at the time, and I was totally hooked on sugar and candy and it’s reflected in my art as well – in the palette and in the sugary and playful tone of the style.


a contemporary grim reaper – Daisy Adair, Dead like me (2003)


Portrait of a young Marie Antoinette (1762)

The inspiration for Grim Reaper came from unexpected sources: the modern grim reapers of Dead Like Me, an american comedy-horror series that I was watching at the time, Marie Antoinette, Mark Ryden, Disney – and one day I was making whipped cream for a cake, and I just looked down at the perfect white ripples in the bowl and got inspired by the texture – so I used it in the face, and it has become a trademark for my art, the wrinkly demon faces.


the texture of whipped cream


work in progress shots

My Grim Reaper painting has been featured many times in art magazines, even on the cover of Swedish horror magazine Eskapix and the French art magazine – Freak Wave (but notice how they used an early version of the painting, without the color splashes).




I painted “Daddy’s Secret” in 2007. It is painted with acrylics on canvas and measures 50 x 50 cm. I made it for an art show in Hamburg, Germany – Don’t Wake Daddy II that I was part of in the end of the same year. I tried to play with the ‘Daddy’ theme but I wanted to make it less obvious, more ambiguous and mysterious. 

Work in progress:

dsecret3 dsecret2

I was inspired by old stories about witches and how they use objects, relics or animals as muses, things that makes them powerful and how their power are connected to something outside themselves, but at the same time, as part of themselves. I found it fascinating.

daddy12 Untitled-1

The painting was sold even before the opening of the group show “Don’t Wake Daddy II” at Feinkunst Krüger in Hamburg. It was a great success at the show and it was my debut painting in the context of the lowbrow and pop-surrealism community.

The painting is featured in many international art magazines and art books.


And here’s a cool tattoo based on my artwork (on a swedish man’s arm):


And Daddy’s Secret has even had some fan art imitations:

mia_makila_inspired_work_by_steppingondaisys-d49c5ek-700x521(made by Steppingondaisys on DeviantArt)

It is one of my favorite paintings I’ve ever done.