MIA CROSS

CH.89: ​If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

MC: I make a lot of different types of work but usually they are in the figurative realm. With my figurative work I like to walk the line between realism and color abstraction. And my color studies could probably be classified as abstractions.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MC: Inspiration comes from any and everywhere. From mythology to jokes to two odd colors next to each other on the side of the road. For my portraiture I am always keeping my eyes peeled for the next face I want to paint and I look to my friends first.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

MC: Sometimes I’ll come up with the title first and that will inspire the whole piece. As an example I live on a pond and the other day I jotted down “The heron and the blackbird” because I always see them flying together. Other times I’ll have a concept or feeling in mind and I put the puzzle pieces together to figure out what is the best way to communicate those ideas to the viewer. Often I’ll see color relationships in my day-to-day life, write it down or take a picture, and try to capture those colors later on canvas. Although I allow my ideas to shift as I work, I always start with an idea in mind, I don’t like to just put a brush to canvas and see what happens as some artists do.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

MC: I would love for my paintings to have someone take their time, and keep searching for more.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

MC: My lifestyle includes a lot of schlepping, computer stuff, and studio time! Studio time being my favorite time. I love that everyday is different and has a new challenge. I have also found over the past couple of years that I work in waves of intensity. When I am gearing up for a show, the two or three months before are very intense, and I am working long days with no days off. After that I am usually so drained I try to take it easy. Still working everyday but without as much stress! Although, gearing up for a show is my favorite time because I like working up to a deadline.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

MC: Everyday I have goals on what I want to accomplish based on encroaching deadlines. However, if I have a new idea for a piece I will make time to see where that leads.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

MC: I have learned that you have to make it happen for yourself. Stay focused and motivated, realize you are worth it, work hard, and good things will happen. If you have a dream that you aren’t working towards, or that you don’t talk about, no one will know it is your dream! Make moves and people will catch on and maybe even help you out!

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

MC: I regard creative expression to be highly important. And I think finding what makes you happy and doing it is important. But I know we don’t live in a world where everyone has the resources or ability to solely focus on happiness and creativity, sometimes it is just about survival. In the grand scheme of life and the world I think personal style and taste are not that important. But in an ideal beautiful world, I would put them at the top!

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

MC: One of the hardest things about being an artist is the lack of financial security and rejection! But all the positives outweigh that stuff.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

MC: I love being able to use my passion to make other people happy. I love being able to create objects and works that never existed before me.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

MC: Euan Uglow is one of my favorite artists. He was introduced to me in school by one of my favorite professors, Richard Raiselis. I could look at both of their works, endlessly.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

MC: I think technology evens the playing field for artists, making everyone accessible to anyone. I have made so many connections through Instagram alone. It has allowed me to create a business!

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

MC: Yes and no. There are so many artists and so many non artists. I’m sure there is an artist who has the same world views and sensibilities as an accountant and vice versa. Maybe artists are more likely to see that every little thing is wonderful and amazing. And they take more time to look. But I haven’t met everyone yet so I am not sure!

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

MC: Yes, I love traveling. In a couple of days I will be traveling to Mexico City and Oaxaca with my boyfriend just because I want to absorb all the colors and textiles and crafts. I was lucky enough to study in Venice, Italy my junior year of college and I think it is one of my favorite cities. The light is amazing and you get to meet a lot of cats.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

MC: My favorite book recently was Bluetes by Maggie Nelson. Hmm maybe Dr. Suess too.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

MC: I hope to do more residencies abroad and show my work in new cities. I also want to do more mural work.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

MC: Being an artist means joy and never wanting to retire.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

MC: Little Baby by M. Ward

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

MC: I just want to make your eyes dance.

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