Artist By Day, Rockstar By Night
BY TRACY RISUCCI
One of our favorite things about Instagram is the access to artists from around the world. Not sure how we found Milo, but super glad we did! A multi talented artist, that works with a variety of materials. We are especially drawn to his watercolors depicting famous artists and musicians (please see a series below)… In an effort to eliminate waste and advance his love of art, the socially conscious Milo encourages you to send him your used tees (or other apparel) to be redesigned with his artful work. Have design ideas of your own? Great. Milo is happy to create a work based on whatever inspires you. (way to collaborate Milo!) Check out his awesome website for more info.
We contacted Milo for this feature and asked him a few questions…
BB: How do you describe your style? What materials do you most commonly use?
Milo: I would describe my style as ‘crafty.’ I use lots of different techniques and mediums but I always aim for that raw, natural, finished, but not finished aesthetic. When painting I almost always use oils or watercolours. For some artworks I use recycled materials found by the side of the road, bits of old piping, metal and wood. For my degree show at Central Saint Martins all my artworks were made from leftovers scraps of materials which the fashion students didn’t need. I then used these scraps to create my textile ‘hybrid humanoid character’ series.
BB: We love your logo! What’s the story?
Milo: Haha! The logo simply means ‘Milo’ in Japanese! I went there last summer and met some really lovely people. One night we were having dinner in Okinawa and one of the Japanese waitresses came over asking if I was an artist. She came back with a piece of paper explaining what Milo meant in Japanese and all the different variations of how it could be spelled. A lot of people think I am Japanese because of the way I look. I actually have no Japanese blood!
BB: We discovered you on Instagram. Has Instagram changed your business?
Milo: I have always loved Instagram because of the people you come into contact with. I used to do a lot of modelling and now a lot of the jobs I get through Instagram. In terms of my art, Instagram has been great to expose my work to a larger audience, but it is difficult to keep updating my profile with new content while I am busy doing so many different things.
BB: Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you wanted to become an artist?
Milo: I still don’t know if I would class myself as an ‘Artist’! I have known since I was a toddler that I love colour, textures and the ability to create something from nothing to show an audience is perhaps one of my greatest joys in life. Growing up I have always excelled in art but at art school I found it difficult to understand what ‘Art’ /an ‘Artist’ was. I think it means something different to each person, but I think becoming an ‘Artist’ is a process and I’m definitely still still learning!
BB: Is there a particular person, place or experience that inspired your path?
Milo: I think there have been defining moments when certain exhibitions or artists have impressed me. I remember Banksy’s exhibition in Bristol ‘Exit Through The Gift shop’ when I was younger, then an artist who I became obsessed with was ‘Conor Harrington’ who really got me into oil painting, along with Jonathan Yeo. There was a great exhibition in the Old Vic Tunnels called ‘Minotaur’. After this I knew I wanted to make art. During Art School, Grayson Perry gave a talk and that was probably the most inspiring lecture I went to. Along with Tschabala Self and the fashion students at CSM I was encouraged to learn how to sew and thus started making my textile canvases. There are so many great artists who inspire me, but my father who is an art collector has probably influenced me a lot too!
BB: What’s your favorite way to relax?
Milo: My favourite way to relax is definitely to play guitar and write music. I play in a band ‘Bisou Noir‘ and we are going to be huge one day, I promise!
BB: How does your creative process begin?
Milo: I usually only create art in summer. I find it really hard to paint when I’m cold and it’s grey outside. I also tend to get a wave of inspiration where I will make loads of work in a few weeks then nothing for months. I get inspired by a person usually, or a film.
BB: How long does a typical piece of art take to create?
Milo: My watercolours take a few seconds to make. Oil paintings take a lot longer, maybe a few days spread over a few weeks. My sculpture and textiles probably about the same. When I’m in the creative process I don’t really concentrate on time – that’s why I love it! You can stay up all night and you are so driven by the work that you don’t care about anything else.
BB: Who’s the most interesting artist you’ve ever met?
Milo: Grayson Perry is probably the most interesting artist I’ve met. His way of thinking is so on point and he’s extremely sarcastic and funny.
BB: What artist do you most admire?
Milo: I admire different artists for different reasons. I admire Damien Hirst because I do genuinely love his work, but the fact that he is so successful and achieved it at such a young age (and whilst alive!) There are other artists like Ai Wei Wei who I admire in a completely different way – because of his politics and activism, he is truly a remarkable person.
BB: If someone is interested in a commissioned work of yours, how should they reach you?
Milo: If someone wants a commission they can just email email@example.com or reach out through Instagram! I also have a contact form on my website milomax.co.uk.
Thank you Milo!