Believe it or not, I met Miki Lowe in the comment section of an @holagwapa Instagram Post. "INTRODUCE YOURSELF!" I encouraged and she did. I immediately began stalking her account @mikihlowe (you're welcome!) and instantly fell in love with the rawness and variety this Anglo-Japanese-French-educated-Nomad-Artist was bringing to the table. Try saying that five times fast!
Her aesthetic truly has no bounds. Miki will post effortlessly intricate doodley collage things one day and a surreal photography piece she created for the AFRICA album cover the next! I couldn't even keep up with her never the less attempt to figure her out... and I loved it! But I had to get some answers so I replied to her comment and invited her to slide into my DM's, again she did!
Real Talk: Where would we be without the gram?! And more importantly, where would the Hola Gwapa community be without "Yes!" women like Miki who continue to expose their vulnerabilities, their work and their process to us? So keep reading to fall for this boundary-breaking nomad like I have as she candidly shares her insights, challenges, fears, and successes working in the art industry with us.
I was born in Kyoto, from a Japanese mother and an English father, but grew up in the south of France. In our house we communicated in a chaotic mix of all languages and customs. Now, I live between London and Spain, working between fine arts, illustration, design and sometimes as an artist’s model.
Developing at the crossroads of 3 cultures probably fostered this ‘in between’ hybrid characteristic. It has had an impact on shaping me as a person.; you belong to all your places, yet you are always a stranger- an integrated odd one out, walking on a border line, one foot in the circle, one out. It’s social yet solitary. I see it as an interesting position to be in at all times in life, especially in a creative aspect; I believe it gives one a spirit of inquiry and the habit of looking at things with multiple perspectives.
Although I don’t focus much on representing people, I like to think that my work is about being human. It’s about how we search for something beautiful. It's a eulogy to how we seek a way to transcendent moment, in our daily lives. The message I’d like to be sending is - look around you; the elements, and nature, the structures we have build amongst them, our objects, the way we move and use them- life isn’t always easy, but there is beauty.
So far in my journey there has been many components: Some skill, some luck, some practice and work, and some being stubborn. I’d say it’s a tricky industry- At times it can be exhilarating, but also tough and testing- where the stubborness comes in handy.
I lacked confidence in my work when I started out. I don’t think it’s uncommon amongst creatives, or that it’s a female issue though. It’s a scary and competitive world. Mostly by fear of losing work, I would not be assertive enough with clients, whether about pricing, creative content or work load. It also made me accept commissions that were not necessarily a good fit and that ended full of frustration, as I was forcing something unauthentic out of my hand in an unnatural way, making work that wasn't coherent with my identity. That bothered me. It’s with time and experiences, that I learned to value my work better and begin to be comfortable about turning down things if they weren’t right.
Because I split my life between places and move around, it’s not easy to have a routine. However, I am fond of rituals; when I arrive at a new place where I will live and work, the first things I do are to put fresh fruit in a bowl or get flowers. I always drink coffee to start a day, and I prefer to work in the mornings and late afternoon into the night. Mid-afternoons seem to have a weirdly heavy, unproductive feel about them. If I am in a place where it’s possible, swimming resets me.
Like the routine, my levels of motivation are changing- when they are down, I either persist in drawing even if I am not satisfied with the results until it changes. Or, I go with the lowdown and try to focus on other things- Ups and downs are natural I guess, and the trick is to remember that neither is ever permanent.
1. Andalusia’s landscapes and architectures. I have just done a road trip across the South of Spain, and I wished I had a third eye to be able to take more in. It’s exotic and warm, sometimes wild, others opulent.
2. Chris Marker’s film ’Sans Soleil’ It’s a very poetic and melancholic journey, in space, and time. And it’s visually beautiful. The colors, the eerie strangeness of the footage fascinate me.
3. Bathhouses. I'm not entirely sure why, but I am drawn to the way they look. They evoke mystery and mythology. It might be something primordial, the connection between humans and water.
It’s between Nick Cave’s ’Red right hand’, and st James’s infirmary blues.
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