It must be nice to have a really great sketch book. I’ve always had big plans for one but, no matter how great my intentions, they always end up as unfinished, coffee-stained disasters; shoved to the back of my shelf sulking in the plain embarrassment that comes with being quite so awful.
However, when it comes to making really really fantastic sketchbooks – which wow you with their creative brilliance, use of colour and fearless experimentation – Californian artist Mia Christopher hits the spot just perfectly.
A young multidisciplinary artist living and working in sunny San Francisco, it would be an understatement to say that Mia’s portfolio is impressive. Obviously being a big fan of experimenting with all kinds of materials from nail polish and glitter to raw cotton, latex and watercolour, Mia’s work is something to get excited about. In fact, we were so bowled over with Mia’s portfolio that we thought it would be a nice idea to delve into her work, her life as an artist and everything else in-between a little deeper and so, in her own words, we welcome you to Mia’s world…
Where do you work?
After a long hunt for a studio once I graduated from college I finally found a really great space and have mostly been working there these days. It’s close enough to my home where I can walk, but far enough away to put me in a different neighbourhood and allow me to check into a different kind of head-space while I am there. A private, sun-drenched room to paint and think.
How does your working day start?
I tend to start the day with several cups of coffee while doing administrative things like answering e-mails and looking over my to-do list. I try to head to the studio by 9 or 10am and stay until around 6 or 7pm.
How do you work and how has that changed?
My work used to be a lot more restrained by medium and size but I have begun to allow for a lot more mess and accident and intuition in my process. I am constantly gathering images that I find interesting through photography, screen shots, the internet, drawing, and so forth. When I am in the studio though I don’t really ever directly access these images or ideas, but they are present in my thoughts and my subconscious.
I generally work on a lot of things at once, making a gesture on one painting, then another painting, then another. Then maybe I’ll take a break and read a little bit or edit some images on the computer, then go back and work on a drawing or pour some paint. Sometimes pieces have a lot of layers that require a few days of drying time so I end up working on a lot of different things at once.
I also constantly have a sketchbook with me and work things out in it daily. It’s like a diary for ideas and experiments and documentation and feelings and just everything, I don’t give myself any restrictions for my sketchbooks. The pages can be as saturated or as minimal as I am feeling at the moment.
Where would we find you if you weren’t at work?
Probably eating an ice cream cone in the sunshine, or cuddled up in my bed with my cats reading a good book.
Would you intern for yourself?
It seems like the benefit to having an intern would be to find someone who complements me, in that they are strong in areas that I am not, but still understand my process. So I guess I’m not sure if I would want to intern for myself because I would want an intern who is great at and enjoys doing the things that I am not so great at or don’t derive as much pleasure from!