We’ve been having some very talented artists contact us recently at Art Marketing Secrets. One of them is this weeks featured artist, Tanya Mikaela.
I can best describe my feelings about Tanya’s work by my experience today. It was – in all honesty – one of those days that we all have periodically! I had a mountain of marketing work to do and it was just too much to even think about. On top of that I knew that I also had to prepare this article – a task that I normally love to do – but today it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back!
After many hours of doing everything else I finally sat down and started work on the article. I was in the midst of resizing some of Tanya’s images in Photoshop when I found myself looking into the deeply smiling eyes of Mother Teresa in Tanya’s collage, “With Great Love”. It was one of those moments when you truly connect with a great piece of art. She was smiling at me, and I was smiling back. The stress of the day melted in a moment and I found myself swept up in a symphony of rich experience.
That is the power and awareness that art can bring in any age and that is also why we chose Tanya Mikaela as this week’s featured artist.
I am sure that you will have a range of different experiences with her work, but for me her gift is the ability to portray the beauty and strength of the feminine principle.Â There is also a deeply meditative quality in her work, and a strong undercurrent of compassion.
Last week we specifically asked you to look at Zeph Farmby’s answer to the question, “What would your perfect artist’s life look like?” because it was such a great answer. Well – its possible that Tanya has outdone him! I would be very happy to enjoy her version of the perfect artist’s life as she describes it below in Question 4. Please enjoy Tanya’s work and share your thoughts in the comments.
[kml_flashembed movie=”/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/slideshow_mikaela.swf” width=”550″ height=”481″ base=”.” /]
Note: Use the slide-show controls to pause or go to a specific image. Mouse over the images to see details about the artwork.
Tanya Mikaela grew up in an environment where her artistic talent was both appreciated and encouraged.Â Surrounded by artists, inventors and creative thinkers in a thriving artists community in Connecticut, she was exposed to a wide variety of artistic mediums throughout her childhood.Â Of this she took full advantage, exploring not only the visual arts, but immersing herself in dance and theater as well.
Tanya attended Syracuse University, and went on to receive her BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York.Â It was at Parsons, in an attempt to free her artistic voice that a visionary professor encouraged her to experiment with collage, which soon became her medium of choice. By tearing paper and applying it to canvas as a painter would apply strokes of paint she found a freedom of expression that has continued to evolve over the years.
While living the artistâ€™s life in the East Village (showing in galleries, communing with fellow artists, eating pasta with cheap wine in a rent-controlled apartment) she married actor Al Rodrigo beneath a star show in a planetarium on the Hudson River.Â With their wedding â€œnest-eggâ€ in tow they traveled throughout Italy and Greece, gathering wonderful and creative ideas along the way.Â The couple eventually returned to New York and sold their possessions to buy a car, which they drove cross-country in search of sunlight and adventure.
Now living the artistâ€™s life in L.A., Tanya continued to create and show her collages, while her latent passion for interior design quickly became a thriving career.Â Over the years, Tanya has designed homes, furnishings, and unique living spaces for many of Hollywoodâ€™s notables.Â She recently completed her most personal project to date â€“ designing and building a dream home for her family, which now includes two fantastically creative daughters, Maya and Daniela and their dog Bodhi.
It is here in her Treetop Artist Studio that Tanya has finally returned her creative focus to her collages, and she is thrilled beyond measure! Environmentally conscious, each and every collage is comprised of â€œfound materialsâ€, old magazines newspapers and more, which she then crafts into highly textural and passionate works of art. As an artist, Tanya Mikaela is pleased to be a continuing and dedicated part of the Green Movement on this planet.
The Art Marketing Secrets Signature 6 Questions
1. What led you to become an artist?
Everything in my world led me to become an artist! I had the amazing good fortune to be born into a family of artists and art appreciators. They taught me that I was capable of anything I put my mind and heart into. My father was a brilliant, creative man whose mottoâ€™s were â€œwhy buy it when you can make it yourselfâ€ and â€œthere is no such thing as â€œ I canâ€™tâ€ â€. Though often frustrating, this empowered me to use my imagination, to try new things and think outside the box. I was also fortunate enough to be born at a time when art in schools was still revered, and had teachers who were inspirational and allowed me to explore! I have always been happiest when involved in a creative project of some kind, and my greatest pleasure comes from creating beauty all around meâ€¦on a canvas as well as in my surroundings!
2. What happens for you and what do you feel when you are in the creative process?
The creative process for me looks and feels like many things: exhilaration, frustration, avoidance, inspiration, procrastination (fear of the blank canvas), meditation, dancing, reading, day-dreaming, walking in nature, snuggling my dog, letting the sun warm my eyelidsâ€¦Â All of this and more must happen for me in order to fill my soul and let it flow back out again onto my canvas. It is not direct, nor is it linear and I know much of it doesnâ€™t look at all like making art but all of it is necessary! Then, in my sacred space filled with sun and music and good energy I can surrender and create, and it feels like I am home. I know enough now to prepare and plan and then let my art be what it wants to be. The collage technique I create with is very forgiving and allows me the freedom to tear and to continuously layer the paper until the image fully reveals itself. My collages are always most successful when I can just â€œget out of my own wayâ€ and let them evolve as they will. It is a very organic process for me, making art. It is the most grounding and soul-satisfying thing I can do!
3. What is your favorite piece of your own art and why?
There are two pieces; â€œFreed Spiritâ€ and â€œWith Great Loveâ€. The first has become my signature piece and is used in my logo. It is a self-portrait that really captures how I feel when I create. The second collage I did earlier this year after reading a book about Mother Teresa. I was working on a series of great leaders who have created change in our world. This piece just makes me happy!Â I love her crinkly face, her smile and the joy and wisdom in her eyes. Note: “Freed Spirit” is the image at the top of this article and “With Great Love” is in the slide show.
4. What would your perfect artist-life look like?
Ahâ€¦I am working on manifesting that!! Well, in my perfect vision I have the freedom to spend my days making my art and feeling blissful (of course this means that I have a fabulous art rep to do all the marketing and negotiating so I am free to do what I do best). My financial needs are easily met from simply making my art and I have plenty of time to enjoy my family, to travel, to spend quality time with my amazing and artistic friends and to inspire each other creatively. In my vision I summer in Tuscany or Provence with family and friends, making art and enjoying sumptuous food and wine, and I also travel to my New York loft where I continue to create, soak up culture, eat delicious food and enjoy friends. As for my main residence, I am fortunate enough to say that I do love my home in L.A. (I spent many years visualizing this into my reality) where I have a fantastic studio to create in, so that part is already perfect!Â Also, in my vision I am giving back to the art community, funding arts programs in the schools and inspiring young artists to find their voice and make their dreams a reality.
5. How are you marketing your art?
I am experimenting with a variety of ways to market my art: my website: www.tanyamikaela.com , mailers to galleries, juried contests and exhibitions, online gallery sites for artists and artist directories, local gallery shows, artist groups and press releases. I just took a seminar on licensing art for the giftware market, so I am now exploring that as well. I also need to give enormous thanks to Daniel, whose â€œArt Marketing Secretsâ€ blog is my go-to source for new marketing ideas!
6. What else are you busting to tell the world?
I really believe that everything happens for a reason! We canâ€™t see the big picture so we just have to go out on faith and say â€œYesâ€ to all the opportunities that come our way, no matter how crazy or daunting they seem. I can honestly say the best things that life has handed me have never looked like what I expected them to, but have always been better than I could have imagined!! This year has been about saying â€œyesâ€ for me. I closed my interior design business after 13 years to follow my passion and devote as much time as I am able to making my art (this was incredibly scary, and I am beyond grateful for the support and encouragement of my family through it all). Because I just said â€œyesâ€ to it all, I have received 12 top art awards, my collage of Obama was included in the Manifest Hope show in DC for the inauguration and is now part of a fantastic book by Shepard Fairy â€œArt for Obamaâ€, I am working on ideas for a series of childrenâ€™s books with a writer friend who wants to collaborate, and I am planning a solo show of my collages at a huge spiritual center in LA this spring to coincide with earth day. The best part is that I am more grounded and centered than I have been in yearsâ€¦life is good!
Please share your thoughts on Tanya and her work in the comments below. And take a look at her beautiful website for some inspiration!
breathtaking and comforting at the same time
she must have a great heart
Tanya is one the most talented artist i have seen. She is beautiful inside and out and it manifests in everything she touches. Her work is fantastic and she is so inspiring. When you look deep in her art, every time you find something new. The subjects of her art work talk to you through the canvas. I wish her the best in life and i know that she will get whatever she wants because she asked for it, believed it and will receive it.
love your work Tanya – the current collage style reminds me of sacred stained glass without the religiosity of shrines and churches – really mesmerizing and beautiful!
Absolutely BREATHTAKING!!! Your work tells stories. This review is well stated and right on the money. You are very talented.
BEAUTIFUL ! Absolutely beautiful.
Every single piece is so inspiring, so touching, so breathtaking.
Incredible artist and obviously extremely talented.
Tanya, your work is beautiful! Amazing how much sensitivity you can capture from scrap papers! very very nice.
so nice to see work that is about goodness, and which is beautiful, too!
You cannot truly appreciate Tanya's beautiful work until you see her pieces in person. They are some of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen. Tanya is truly a very talented artist not to mention a beautiful person as well.
Tanya makes magic with paper and canvas. She creates art within her art. Her images comfort me and give me hope for a better world. Her peace activists are "inspirational" in their details, as sayings by those figures are sprinkled on the canvas and when I step back, I find the figures get revealed with such grace that I can't help being moved. Her colors light her canvases with the same joy that she brings to her life and her family. I am fortunate to have one of her works in my home, but even more fortunate to know her. Thank you, Tanya, for your magic.
Your work is so refreshing and full of life – it’s revitalizing!
Tanya is an inspiration to anyone who is in the creative arts. She has taught me never to give up and to follow your dreams. She is not only an incredibly gifted artist but also a genuine, loving, & beautiful person. I look forward to seeing what else is in store for her. Anyone who comes in contact with her work or with her in person is very lucky indeed!
My mom is now and has always been my biggest inspiration in life. She is the most amazing and genuine artist I have ever seen and I'm not just saying that because I'm her daughter. Every person who has ever walked into my house and seen her artwork has been completely amazed and now everyone knows why. Her art really comes from the heart and always has. Sometimes she will have a blank canvas in her art studio and when I ask her what she is going to create next, her response is, "I don't know yet, I guess we will both have to just wait and see what comes to me." Sometimes I just stand there in her office staring at her artwork for 15 minutes absolutely speechless. I cannot express to you in words how unbelievably breathtaking her art truly is but all I can say is, she is truly amazing.
Wow Tanya – You are a very loved, appreciated, and respected being! I think that with all this recognition and love from friends, family, and artists you are already very close to the perfect artists life.
Yeah…thank you Daniel. I am smiling and touched and teary and joyful all at once reading these comments!!
Life really is good!! Thank you immensely for selecting me, and for the beautiful things that you wrote.
You are deeply appreciated! (I'll keep you posted for the European summer adventure…there is always room in the vision for more friends!)
Tanya..where to begin? I haven't seen you in many years(since you left Ct.) and you are a gorgeous woman. Of course I have kept up with your mother and knew about all of your adventures and talent BUT seeing this is another story! I LOVE your work..what I can see in this display is so appealing to me. You must bring your art to Conn. in the summer to the art show..you will sellout..so much expression and beauty. Your girls comments brought tears to my eyes. The best to you and thanks for sharing. xxLinda
Tanya, your work is beautiful. It is wonderful to look at the subjects that inspire you; you obviously seek inner calm as you paint. Loved "The Dream" and all it's symbolism. Good luck with your art career; I'm betting you will do very well!
Tryly impressive artist. She has a unique talent that should bring her serious recognition everywhere.