5 Questions for Millo

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                     Photos via Millo. 

I came across the work of Millo on Instagram and automatically loved his eye for detail and sense of humor (and whimsy). His large murals remind me of giant coloring book pages or vignettes from children’s books.

But each scene is trademark Millo, each story endearing and sometimes mysterious. If you look closely you can find lots of fun details (can you spot the batman Millo in this post?).

The Italian artist has created work everywhere from Holland to Rome. He was kind enough to answer some questions via email. Check them out below!

1. How did you first get involved in public art?

I started in 2010 in Italy for the first time. I decided to follow my passion (I have always drawn since I was a child). I took part in a big event about street, video art, in Ancona… before that I used to paint on canvases.

2. Your pieces are very whimsical, playful and detailed. Do you plan visuals ahead of time or is your process spontaneous? 

Even if it should appear strange, I usually go to a lot of festivals without a clear idea of what to realize, only after I have spent in the city some hours,my imagination starts to work.

In any case, I only choose what the characters should do, all the rest is completely spontaneous and free hand.

3. What sorts of materials do you use when you work?

I only use acrylic paint, brushed and a good boom lift!

4. Are your characters inspired by anyone?

My characters are always inspired by someone or something. I used to reproduce things I live or things I feel… sometimes it could be a real person but most of the time it’s a question of emotions.

5. Is there somewhere in the world you would love to paint that you haven’t already visited? 

I really would like to paint in Rio even if I’ve been there… But those were holidays!

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5 Questions for Amandalynn

Natural Attraction Full Mural

All photos courtesy of Amanda Lynn.

 

I’ve had my share of fangirl moments when writing this blog. Talking with or meeting the person behind the mural only helps to add more context to a piece. Yes, some mystery is fun — and many a street artist likes to keep his/her identity hidden — but sometimes knowing the thought process behind a specific piece just makes it more meaningful. Or, you know, you might just want to talk to the person because they seem super interesting.

I first ran across Amandalynn‘s work in San Francisco and her female figures seemed to peek out at me from every corner of the city. The SF-based artist often teams up with Lady Mags to create work under the team tag Alynn-Mags. She often depicts enigmatic women surrounded by flowers and other natural elements. In addition to large-scale murals, she also creates fine art. The women are strong and confident, often looking straight out at the viewer as if they know a secret the viewer doesn’t know. Amandalynn’s line work is fluid and vibrant, no doubt due to the fact that she often uses brushes.

She graciously answered a few of my questions via email, check them out below!

Your pieces often feature photorealistic faces. Who are the women in your murals?
The women in my murals are inspirations I find through the women around me. I find these images in personal photos, books, magazines, and the web, then manipulate them to fit into my fantasy-like world.
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A lot of your murals are collaborations with Mags. How did you two meet?
I met Lady Mags in 2011, we shared a car ride back to San Francisco from Los Angeles. After talking for 5 hours straight, she invited me to paint a wall with her. I never imagined that I would find so much inspiration and life long friendship from painting murals and fine art together, and I feel incredibly lucky to have her as my artistic partner!

When you have a blank wall and full spray cans, what color do you reach for first?
Well I don’t use a lot of spray paint, I am much more of a brush painter, and my first color is always black! I tend to rely heavily on my underdrawing and sketches to layout my imagery. I then apply depth and shadows through different color layers and washes.

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What is one of the most challenging surfaces you’ve worked on?
I worked on a wall this year that had grooved siding, electrical wires, painted windows, random nails, a bum camp and lots of human pee everywhere… I ended up using a lot of spray paint on that wall because the surface was too intense for brush. And yes! I also wore gloves!

Is there somewhere in the world you would love to paint that you haven’t already visited?
Yes! I actually would love to paint all over the world. My international painting experiences have been my most favorite. I really love painting in smaller communities, it’s extremely rewarding to have locals get excited about what you are doing, and even if there is a huge language barrier, art creates a universal language we all can connect with.