A sparrow's journey through this crazy, beautiful life...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Soul Food Meet and Greet: Mika Diaz



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Watch a fun little promo video for SOUL FOOD HERE.


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Today we are welcoming Mika Diaz! After you read her interview, be sure and stop by her website!!!





My journey as an artist, a woman, and most of all a follower of Christ are one in the same. No, I did not always know that. There was never a time where I was not aware on some level that I was an artist, even before I knew what that term meant. I now know that I was very specifically created to be as artist, just as I was very specifically created to be a woman. (Psalms 139:14) We are all given the tools and gifts we need for our individual journeys in life, art was one of the tools and gifts I received that would echo God’s voice inside me, that I was special and loved. Like many, my childhood was a nightmare that created a painful reality of low self worth and loneliness. I was a very daydreamy child who was always off in space, doodling, drawing, and pretending.
I created my own world as early as I could remember to escape bullying, abuse and neglect. My art teacher in first grade singled me out to work on an art mural, she came into the classroom and in front of all the kids who made my life hell and chose me to be her assistant. That day changed my life. Art made me fearless, and gave me wings that won prestigious awards and recognition throughout high school. I was forced to go to nursing school by my mom, despite protests from my teachers and many of my own tears. I abandoned art and never looked back. It haunted me always, that pain never went away. After traveling around the world as a navy wife and having many awesome adventures we returned back here to Virginia, my hometown. Everyone I reconnected with asked me what I had done with my art. It nagged at my soul. I went to visit a working gallery, it was my favorite place as a teen. As I walked through, my heart began to break. Some of the artists I recognized, and some were new. It was like watching the lost love of my life with someone else. It was overwhelming. It was that day that I surrendered, and accepted the identity I was given.


Deciding what to create is like rummaging through a big box of stuff I have collected to see what excites me at that moment. Block printing, graphite portraits, collages, painting etc, I have never been able to commit to any one type of art.  When something comes together it a combination of all the the things I do individually. I’m not always aware where ideas come from, I daydream a lot. When my daughter complains about being bored, I tell her that its because she doesn’t spend enough time daydreaming.

The rough spots in life have a brutal effect on my creativity. I feel very detached from joy, laughter or any of the things that contribute to creative play. Not being able to plug into that “La La Land” of creativity makes whatever is happening feel larger than life and easily leads into bouts of depression.

A combination of prayer and connecting to the art of others is a muse that re-energizes me. Its like being a sick child looking outside at all the other kids playing. Wanting to have fun, wanting that joy is a strong motivator to pull myself out of whatever is holding me back.

One of my studio routines is to spend a day and take whatever new canvases I have and randomly cover them with collage papers or stamps, paint left on my pallet or whatever. It is fun, stress relieving, and takes me back to basics, just having fun in the process, being covered in messy paint just having fun. No purpose, no direction, just giving myself permission to be mindless and spontaneous. It eliminates blank surfaces which I find mind numbing, and when I am ready to paint, I pull out whatever canvas or surface that I feel drawn.

There are very few mediums I have not experienced, airbrush, oil paint, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, ceramics, pastels, sculpture, block printing, sewing, metal work, jewelry design, darkroom photography, advanced figure drawing etc. are some of the things I have studied in college. I have often been criticized by professors for not being committed, and being all over the place. My painting professors feel like anything outside painting is a distraction and all professors feel that way about what they teach. It’s why I chose to pursue a degree in studio art, which gives me permission to be all over the place without commitment. There are two things that I am resisting the urge to do, doll making and encaustic painting. This year is a time to maintain what little focus I have, and not try to do everything at the same time. I know that I am being lead to do what I am doing at present, and that there will be plenty of time for other creative adventures later.

My main goal in sharing myself and creative methods is to connect with others on their creative journey and show them how beautiful and important their art is, because of how beautiful and important they themselves are.

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Check out our new class coming December 30, 2013! Join 39 artists over 6 months for a mix of art and craft projects as diverse as the different personal styles of our instructors: cool mixed media techniques, art dolls and other sewing projects, jewelry making, handmade journals, abstract art, portraits, sculpting, works on canvas and in journals. Find out more!

2 comments:

  1. thank you for sharing your story and art

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  2. It is really great hearing the behind the scenes background of each artist. I like Mikas way of preparing her canvas's before hand. Thanks for sharing

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