The stories behind my art: “Judith”

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“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:

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

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“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!

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The creative process…

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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]”

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“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.

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

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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.

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the texture of whipped cream

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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).

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