Creations that come through this mermaid-looking stunning young artist captivated me with their uniqueness and foggy, smokey, feminine, emotionally charged atmosphere. Lucia combines photography, simple illustration and collage, transmitting powerful stories in a delicate and simple manner. I had the opportunity to peek inside her artistic mind and find out what inspires her, drives her forward on her creative journey and what she recommend to all those artist in continuous battles with their overactive and judging minds. Enjoy the interview with Lucia Davies-Milner!
Can you give us some insight into your artistic beginnings? When did you first notice the pull towards visual expression and through which medium it occurred?
I think my creativity has always been an outlet for how intensely I observed and felt the world ever since I was a child. I don't think there was ever a moment I became aware of myself as someone "artistic", I have just always been obsessed with how best to express what was in my mind or in my feelings, and it sort of became part of me.
Do you have formal educational background in arts? In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of such?
I did go to Goldsmiths University to study fine art in October last year (2017), and dropped out in April this year (2018)... It was a completely intuitive decision for me. I don't have any opinions on this topic per se, but I really strongly believe in knowing what you want to do with your creativity, and the importance of figuring out what drives you most to go out there and do it. I do have friends at University still who are really finding themselves there and flourishing. It just felt uninspiring to me while I was there, and I didn't want my creativity to stagnate so I left and earned some money to put on my own exhibition; which had been a dream of mine for a very long time.
Even though you are working with several different mediums: photography, illustration, video, combination of illustration and photography etc... your artwork seem to have a unique, recognizable undercurrent. Does that come spontaneously as a result of your authentic soul expression or there’s some deliberate intention behind the works to “go well together” at the end?
Thank you, it is not intentional at all, I think it comes from the place within me which I am constantly exploring - the mysterious unknowable part - and through this wanting to understand, my art often holds a sense of mysticism maybe... I'm not sure.
Do you believe to have “your own style” and if so, how did you find it?
I think style is reflective of who I am during a certain time, and who I am remains a constant discovery, so if I have my own style I think it only becomes apparent to me once I look back on my art work. As people we are constantly evolving and so naturally the style of our work will also evolve. It's not something we cans et out to find, I think it's the result of our inner exploration.
Where do you draw your inspiration from on regular basis?
I think it's hard even for myself to know what inspires me other than a question, or a mystery, or a need to understand or heal something within myself. But, to be a bit less ambiguous, I am very interested in ancient symbolism and also by the natural curves of nature; and these are things I often incorporate in my art.
More and more artists are now being discovered accross social media platforms, such as Instagram. How do you think that influences art world and artists? From one side, it may bring more attention to their work, but it may also put pressure to produce more and faster and to try to please the audience, or at least that’s the way I see it.
I agree with you in both ways. While I am so grateful for platforms like Instagram because of the beautiful connections I have made on there, I think it’s so important to be connected with yourself first and your reason for creating before going into the whirlwind of social media with your art; even with a strong mind it’s hard not to get carried away from your core sometimes. The only real risk I see for creatives is the loss of the sense of wonder in their own creative power, and the focusing instead on their art as a product or an image. This can on the contrary become an asset for those who want to make it into a business, but I guess it needs a balance and again an understanding of your intent. However, I think social media is just highlighting a way of thinking that existed before.
What is your favourite part of the creative process - the birth of the idea, execution or having a finished product in your hands?
The execution is my favourite part, whether it's a long and intense process or a short and seemingly mindless one, the making of each work feels like a journey. I rarely see my artworks as permanently "finished" products, I think that's why I always use mixed media because I love finding new ways of recycling art, and finding how many different ways I can express something.
Is there such a thing as “bad art”? If yes, how would you define it?
Well, I wonder, is there a difference between "art" and "creative expression"? because I don't believe in bad creative expression, only one that is misdirected or misunderstood; but whether there is such a thing as "bad art" I think depends on the definition of art the artist or viewer holds. Either way, I don't believe in the judgement of something as good or bad / black or white.
Do you have experience with “artist Ego” and how do you deal with it in order to remain with your head clear and focused on the creation itself?
I think it's natural sometimes to want approval or to want to stand out more than the other, we are conditioned to be this way, but as long as we have awareness of where this need is coming from it's easy to manage. It's so important to always make sure you understand what your intentions are when creating a work, or when sharing it; this can help to keep your values in check.
Many creatives describe the creative process as “birthing”, bringing a new child to the world and therefore feeling the deep connection even years after they created a piece. How do you feel about that description and can you apply it to yourself, as well?
Absolutely, yes. It depends on what emotional state I am in during the process, like if it's a particularly painful time then I feel very attached and protective over the pieces I have "given birth to" because in a way they were what helped me to heal and they feel very vulnerable. There is often a confusing time after I have completed a work, sometimes the emotions I have towards it are so strong I feel an intense aversion and don't look at my art for days - which is a phenomenon I have read about in some Mothers who want to reject their newborns straight after birth... weird analogy but the comparison has crossed my mind.
Tips for distinguishing constructive criticism from ill-intentioned criticism wrapped in misleadingly intelligent-sounding words?
I think it's a lot to do with how you receive judgement within yourself first. We are often our own worst critics but if we learn how to always see where there is room for improvement in our work without being self deprecating then it's easier to know which outside criticism is ill founded and which is honest.
What drives you to continue creating?
I wouldn't say there is a drive behind it, it's just who I am. I would go insane if I lost my ability to create, it would be like someone telling me not to breathe.
Do you have any advice for artists whose mind gets too loud every time they sit down to draw, paint, write and therefore they keep on postponing acting upon their soul’s urge?
I struggle with this too, and the only advice I have is that sometimes fighting with your mind only blocks creativity further. So, do something else, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, dance, do things that clear your head of expectations and self-made goals; do things that quiet the mind, then slowly let creativity find it's way back out through you.
✦ Quick Fire Round ✦
Analog or digital? Digital
Working in the morning or at night? Night!
Self-initiated projects or commissions? Self-initiated
Song that is playing in your head at the moment: FEELS by Snoh Alegra
Book you think everyone should read: Rumi's poetry
✦ Follow Lucia and her work ✦