Mia Earls, senior Art major and Entrepreneurship minor said she focuses on hyperrealism, color, street style and renaissance in her sometimes 4-foot oil, acrylic or charcoal paintings. Earls said her life dream is to have her work in Miami Basel, one of the largest art shows in the United States, working around artists and developing her own brand.
Earls said she has always been artistically inclined. She also has an artistically talented older sister and grandmother and with this in family genes. Earls began drawing at a very young age and painting in junior high.
“I can’t wait to develop my own brand and then start going to shows nationally and internationally, and hopefully — not become famous — but to have my art recognized,” Earls said. “I don’t want my name recognized. I want my work recognized.”
Earls’ fellow Art major and friend, senior Sabrina Shelton, said she is inspired by Earls’ talent, use of color and technical skill. She said Earls is a perfectionist and really started to splash paint on the canvas when professors encouraged her to make art for herself — even when one of their assignments required them to make 100 pieces in one week.
“[The Art department] wasn’t as strict, which was freeing, and it was more, ‘OK what do you enjoy doing,’ and it was more conceptual than technical, which was nice and definitely a change for both of us,” Shelton said.
Earls said she is most proud of a 5-foot wide and 4-feet tall charcoal piece, based on biodiversity that she poured 200 to 300 hours of work into. She uses art as her emotional release as well as something to hold dear to her heart.
When looking at a blank canvas how do you know what to start with, or what today’s creation will entail?
“I always think I am going to be painting something — a certain something — then I start sketching it, and it will turn into something completely different. For example, there is a piece that went viral on my Instagram of the statue of David smoking, and when I started that piece, it was originally going to be a pool and tigers standing around drinking water from the pool.”
“I started my art business at 15, and it was commission, and people would ask me for a certain thing, and I would create exactly what they wanted, and it was very much transactional. As I have grown older and developed the want for uniqueness and [to] develop my own brand out of it, I’ve come to realize how important it is to paint for myself and not just for what other people want to see.”
Do you have a favorite artist or favorite painting that inspires you?
“There’s an artist named Linnéa Spransy. She has these insane abstract paintings where she uses developed patterns and repeats them on massive canvases, and they just translate so beautifully. I love her work. I will say, I do take a lot of my inspiration from Michelangelo. The classic work is just so beautiful to me. You know that during the Renaissance, artwork was booming, and they were able to render the human form so beautifully, I’ve always been fascinated with it.”
Do you find it hard to separate art from your hobby and your homework, being that it is your major, but also your creative outlet?
“I’ve actually struggled with that quite a bit. I feel like there’s definitely a stigma around my specific type of work, which is realism and classism, and I have definitely caught some flack for that type of realism style. So, I’ve had to learn how to become more abstract, which I haven’t loved, but it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone. Yeah, there are definitely times where I’m like, ‘I feel like I’m going crazy with how many pieces I have to do,’ and I feel overwhelmed, but honestly, no matter how much art I do and how much I hate how much work I have to do, whenever I’m in the studio, I enjoy every single second of it.”
What are some ways you have found you are bringing old-style canvas painting back into relevance with our generation?
“In regards to me and bringing old-style painting back to the modern world, I think I have a decent social media platform that I’ve been posting on, and I think that, when it comes to artwork, people are really curious about the process. I think I show the process and how I’m making things, and people are very captivated by seeing that process because it’s a very unique process. It kind of allows for them to be part of my artwork, and I think that’s why my pieces are successful. Because people feel they see it on a personal level. I’m very involved in fashion and social media, and I know what is hip in the moment — and [it’s] not that I purposely render that onto my canvas, but I think that because that’s in my subconscious, I do render it onto my canvas. I think that people see that, and they can relate to it or think it looks cool.”
What is something you are trying to achieve or are looking forward to in your future with art?
“I’m really, really excited to get out into the art world and start collaborating with other bigger artists and designers. I’ve always been really extroverted, and I have pretty good people skills, and I want to leverage that and develop my own brand — discuss with them their creative visions and how they do their work and be able to actually see their process is something I’m really excited about.”
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