Mikayla Gutierrez

“My work inspires me to continue this human experience and to be able to comprehend it…”

S: How would you describe your artwork?  

M: I would describe my artwork as a deep expression of my most inner needs and emotional experiences. I share myself in an effort to understand being human better! It’s an effort to expand my mind’s perception of reality.

S: How did you first become involved with making art? Is this your full-time passion?

M: I first started making art as a form of therapy for my depression during my childhood (around age 12). I had a lot of time on my hands back then and made work constantly, and I knew I wanted to get good at it. It wasn’t until I turned 18 that i realized this was my truest passion, that I wanted to become great and dedicate my life to creativity. This is my full time work! I am constantly coming up with new ways to continue making this my business, to live off my work without “selling out” too hard. I stay true to myself and in my work and that seems to be doing me well so far publicly.

S: What inspiration do you draw from your artwork?

M: Inspiration to continue living, my work inspires me to continue this human experience and to be able to comprehend it all in a way where I am better able to understand myself, the human mind and emotions, and what living really is.

S: What is your process when you create your artwork? Are you consistent with one approach or various?

M: My approach depends on the message I want to send out. An intended message takes planning and an intended medium to execute the idea. These take more thinking and the collection of ideas every day to help build the message. On the contrary, the majority of my work revolves around unintended creativity. The kind that is unleashed through my emotions and planned very little. I sleep on my feelings as a way to register them in my dreams (when your mind is your most imaginative), and I use hard symbolism that maybe I only understand, to really make people think about the idea. Through this process, the message is not understood until after the work is finished, versus my other method of knowing the message then executing the work. This is beautifully explained by famous painter Salvador Dali,  “If you understand a painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it.”

S: What tools do you utilize to make your pieces?

M: I use sleep, day dreaming, my feelings, beauty my eye captures in symbolistic objects and my subconscious to invite my creativity. Besides that, I love oil painting and lithography as my main mediums to expand on my ideas and make them visually inviting.

S: What is the art scene like in the Central Valley? What makes you different from other artists?

M: The art scene in Visalia is great! Very recently my work has been noticed and appreciated which is really nice considering my work is kind of weird and personal. I think relative to this area my work is very different and unique because of my subject matter and underlying meanings/feelings. Relative to the rest of the world though, I still have a lot to learn! And on a side note, thank you so much for creating Private Wax! I am so excited to have been invited into your space, and I love to see creativity being focused on here in our area. Thank you for your service, for artists like me could not be revered if it was for people like you!!! Thank you 🙂

Interview by Stephanie Barraza