Stephanie Milewski [stephlove]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I am a Boston based illustrator that creates multimedia 2D
paintings and drawings. I use used dried teabags and hand stitch each individually together to create paper. I then monoprint a drawing on the surface and paint into the image with gouche.
I enjoy the idea of creating something out of nothing. I believe that defines my work. I get satisfaction out of knowing that one can build beautiful things out of such a simple material.
What is your message?
I explore the boundaries of what is considered beautiful and valuable and stretch those as far as I can. I love creating a dialogue between the artwork and viewer. I also like to smudge the lines between fine art and illustration.
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
What role does technology play in your creative process?
Technology related to my work goes only as far as digital photo references and scanning. I prefer the traditional hand made art of painters, etc. over digitally created artwork.
What is art?
Art is everything.
When do you get your best ideas?
Walking down the street daydreaming, while watching t.v., during a conversation with a friend. In other words I get ideas for my work whenever they come to me. It's a pretty free form process.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
I don't really try to evaluate whether or not an idea is good or bad. Sometimes you just know if something doesn't work. I just try to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Of course subject matter is important but you can't really go wrong with the female form.
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
I began to see myself as an artist at a very young age. Everything art related always came so naturally to me and I enjoyed the reaction I would get from others as I was creating or after I had created a piece of artwork.
I began to realize that I made a special talent and a unique way of seeing things.
How should a work of art be evaluated?
A work of art should be evaluated based on the personal reaction to it. If the work is painstakingly tiresome to create yet doesn't evoke any emotional reaction from you, then there's your evaluation. And on the other hand, a work could be created in a few simple strokes in a matter of minutes and still speak volumes to the viewer.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
No, I don't believe so. Saying this is definitely true sounds like a cop out to me. If you have an idea for a body of work that would take a good amount of time to complete, that is an accomplishment in itself. You can be in the same frame of mind while creating this cohesive statement and not have to worry about having a different vision everyday.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
I admire the mixed media images of Dave McKean,
the paintings of Joe Sorren, Egon Schiele, and Ralph Steadman.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
I think it is a great show of appreciation. Without artists our communities would not be as visually appealing and diverse.
Is art necessary?
Of course art is necessary! Art is everywhere, in everything. Art is in landscaping, architecture, advertising, inside our very homes in the form of packaging and furniture. The world would be a very dull place without even half of the artwork we see around us everyday.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
There are many steps, it is up to the artist to decide what to do next. There usually isn't a right or wrong order.
Do you personally collect any items?
I collect teabags and thread to create my art. I am also a bit of a fashion nut and shopping is definitely one of my weaknesses. Thank you fashion designers!