It’s always funny looking back at old artwork. This is because I look at it with all of the feelings and emotions I was applying at the time of its creation, yet I’m also looking at it with my more current artistic views. So there ends up being this two-way reading of a work. What I felt then and what I feel now. Which can either be quite paralleled, but more often then not is more of a “what the hell was I doing?!” kind of reaction. It’s sometimes quite amusing to see the difference in the two thought processes. One of the reasons I am so grateful that I’ve made art throughout my life, is that all my works are essentially a document and narrative to my growth and development. Or at least, to my development as an artistic practitioner. It is me expressing myself during a given time period and over the years my drawings have taken on all sorts of forms. These include Beatrix Potter-like creations of animals in clothes, fashion illustrations, running inky portraits, landscapes, sketched copies from the work of Egon Schiele and Michalengelo, life drawing, the list goes on. The above image is from my experimental phase with Indian and batik ink. I love the fluidity and seeping of colours, as I never know how a piece is going to turn out, which for me is incredibly exciting. This way of working led onto a whole bunch of ink-based experimentation and essentially changed the way I paint forever, as I still apply dripping and watered-down techniques today. Funny how one thing can lead to another and you never look back!
I think a lot of the time the danger with art is over thinking it. There is all this pressure on you as an artist to be conceptual, to have ideas that feed and fuel your work, when sometimes all you want to do is sit down and paint. I think that’s why I like this piece. I was flicking through images on my laptop and came across this work from First Year. It’s nothing special, but it just cracks me up every time I look at it due to it’s connotations. I am religious about going into uni. I hate being ill. However, on this occasion I was so hungover I should probably have been smart and stayed home. Did I though? Of course not. Instead I came in wearing sunglasses, looking like I’d just rolled out of bed and carrying a very strong black coffee. What should have been a complete write off of a day ended up being quite a laugh.
I was definitely not my usual production self. Instead, I choose to nurse my hangover by lying on this large roll of paper and just tracing my body in different positions. It was very interesting actually as I didn’t just use a singular line, I used colourful scribbles. And it was surprisingly therapeutic. Not that there’s anything therapeutic about being as hungover as I was! But hey it was self-inflicted, so what can I say? I had a good night, just a killer headache in the morning!
Needless to say, my studio pals found it hilarious. For someone who is normally up gyming at 7 in the morning, lying curled up on a roll of paper is the last thing they would have expected walking into my studio. I think that’s one of the best things about working in a studio environment, you never know what’s going to happen! One day someone’s studio might have nothing in it and you wander where the hell they are. The next day it might be like a Mary Poppins handbag of surprises and blow you half away! You just never know…I think in this instance, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But to me, it’s better to do something then nothing. Scribbling in these colours led to a whole new series of works (see https://themindofmilla.com/2015/10/12/first-year-work/) and that’s the thing, you just never know what’s going to happen.
So why waste a day? Why sit and do nothing when you can get up and go? Why become a zombie in front of Netflix when you can walk along the Quayside, or go to the library and read a book, or go out with friends and have fantastic conversations? Do what excites you, be spontaneous, be stupid, do all the things you’ll regret and learn from when you’re older. And have fun while you’re at it!