We had the good fortune of connecting with Mila Sketch and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mila, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I kept thinking that my complete dedication to art will bear fruit one day as I could not imagine myself doing anything else. I learned a lot before running a full-time art business but even more so during the process.
What’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
No pain, no gain, or anything they say that values struggle to succeed. Everything you do should bring you ultimate joy even if you have worked hard for it. This work would feel effortless and rewarding.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I develop several artistic directions – fine art, large-scale murals, digital design, and, most recently, creating augmented reality and 3D installations. Fine art painting is an intimate way to connect with a single viewer. I love it when people share their emotions or thoughts on a particular artwork. Right now, the West Chelsea Contemporary gallery in Austin is exhibiting Star Compass painting.
Murals are a great way to deliver meaningful art to people who may not be exposed to art daily. It is also a fantastic way of traveling. Some of the murals I am most excited about are “Nola Mural” located inside of the historical Maritime Building in New Orleans, “Welcome to Downtown” mural covering four large exterior walls in Allentown, PA, and, of course, a seven-wall “Urban Nature” and “The Birds of Texas” murals inside of the Austin Bergstrom Int’l Airport. Getting where I am today professionally wasn’t easy. I moved to the US from Russia only five years ago. I did not know anyone in the art industry and had to start from the very beginning. Everything was new and exciting for me. I stayed focused on my art and was learning new techniques, trying new mediums and scales. My partner then, and now wife, was by my side with the love and support that I needed. I’ve learned never to give up, always believe in yourself, and treat any failure like a push forward. I want the world to know that in my art, I show the whole through a myriad of connected details. My biggest inspirations are Nature, Space, History, Science, and Technology. There are endless topics that I derive from it. The Rovers Map Art series, for example, is about connecting space and ocean through the elements of history and technology. The Territory Battle artwork, in particular, is an excellent example of it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Austin, Texas, and there are so many fun things to do in one week! I usually take my friends first to the beautiful downtown Austin on their first day to get a feel of the city. We check out the Capitol, have a drink at the gorgeous Driskill Hotel Bar, and walk down Congress Ave to see the flying bats colony in the evening. The next day, I am taking my guests to see the Oasis on Lake Austin. This picturesque site has lots from shopping to swimming, depending on the year you visit. Everyone loves it there, and there are plenty of gorgeous backgrounds for picture taking. I love art, so on day three, we usually hit the art galleries and museums. Blanton Museum of Art and the Laguna Gloria are always on my list. Then we climb on the Mt. Bonell Observation Desk to get a breathtaking view of Austin. Then we grab a delicious late lunch at the French-Vietnamese Elizabeth Street Cafe on S. 1st St. Their escargots and beef carpaccio are some of my favorites. Day four is to enjoy local nature. I make a reservation ahead to visit one of the world wonders, Hamilton Pool, in the morning. It’s always nice to complete a day with a scrumptious dinner. Izakaya and Yakitori Fukumoto are one of my favorite dinner spots, and I could eat here every day and be happy. My top three there, while hard to choose, are uni pasta, grilled octopus, and rotating izakaya dishes. I love wine, and a day trip to the Hill Country and Fredericksburg is always a highlight for an Austin visitor. We usually taste wine at the Vinovuim, Crowson, Kalasi, and the Southold wineries. Day six is when we spend time on the East Side to enjoy local street art, have a fresh craft brew at the Zilker Brewery, and then artisanal pizza and natural wine dinner at the authentic Bufalina cafe. The described itinerary has never disappointed my guests, and they always leave happy with the urge to come back soon.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shout out to West Chelsea Contemporary Gallery in Austin. They represent many excellent artists and recently went through a massive rebranding from selling Rembrandt to Banksy.
Youtube: Mila Sketch