The stories behind my art: “Judith”


“Judith” by Mia Makila, 2007, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

My painting “Judith” from 2007 is one of my most important paintings ever. Because before this painting, I had just started out making ‘horror art’ but it was mostly mixed media collages. Only a few years before I started to express my pain and fear through my art, I had made very classical still lifes with flower bouquets and jungle motifs.

Like this:


“Putto in the Garden” by Mia Makila, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100 cm


“Still life with dog” by Mia Makila, 2002, acrylic on canvas

So when I started to create horror art instead of these “sweet” paintings, I finally found my true artistic voice – and I started to experiment with EVERYTHING – with new techniques, style, material, new stories and new genres. And I started to express myself instead of just depicting things.

The work I did on “Judith” marked a rebirth when it came to my painting style at the time. It is very visible in the work in progress pictures – how I was unleashing, discovering, exploring and having so much fun!


The creative process…

Bild-238 jud2

I didn’t stop experimenting until I felt like I had found something that was completely true to who I was and what I wanted to express. And from that painting on, I never went back to classical painting.

Here is a translated interview for a Swedish TV show from 2007 – I am talking about “Judith” and my creative process in the video.

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).