MILES

JOHNSTON

ARTIST INTERVIEW

 

"Your intuition must represent something going on inside of you, we are not capable of being truly random, so if something feels right and you don't know why, go for it, that's where the gold is! "

 

We are living in strange times. Why is it more important now than ever for us to support our artistic community?

Good question, I think if someone is fortunate enough to have some level of financial security now is a really good time to support independent artists. I think in moments of cultural crisis, artists can be one of the ways a society tries to make sense of any find a way out. A single sale can make a world of difference to an artist and is a really direct way to help them keep contributing and above water.

 

What do you think will happen to the art market in the coming year or two?

I can't say I have any particular insight into the matter. If we really are heading into an economic depression I imagine that means tough times generally for artists and galleries are possible, I worry that luxury spending on buying paintings and prints doesn't make the top of people's list when money is tight. It is also possible that it could accelerate a general trend of direct to buyer online sales from artists too as exhibitions and openings aren't happening. Personally I will just have to see how it goes and try to come up with novel ways to adapt to people's wants and needs. Perhaps runs of cheaper prints in higher volume would provide a more accessible way for people to support artists. As I said before I really have no idea, either way I'll just keep on drawing!

 

What are you focusing on at this time? Has this affected your work in any way?

I had some lucky timing with a couple of good print runs right before the situation exploded, so I am good to hunker down from home for a year really. My solo show was due this April which has been postponed to at least late summer/autumn if not next year. That said my actual day to day is surprisingly similar, most of my time before was just drawing all day from the studio and now I do that from home. I miss climbing though. I feel extremely lucky and my heart goes out to all those suffering at this moment.

 

Tell us about your first memories in art?

My mum loved to paint and she would often sit with me and my brother coming up with lots of exciting creative projects. We would collage, watercolour, sketch and even try silk paintings, all sorts. They are just happy memories, I always loved to draw.

 

 

 

What are some of the subject matters that you are trying to portray in your work?

Most of my work is my way of reflecting on the kinds of ideas that really capture and fascinate me. I work very intuitively, not actively setting out to make work explicitly about anything in particular, just following what feels 'right'. Discovering the meaning behind a piece is part of the thrill of doing it, I think it is more powerful to ask the right question than try to have a concrete answer you want to give to the viewer. Above anything my aim is to make something vulnerable and honest. I always want things to feel emotionally relevant to people's lives and not just intellectual masturbation.

 

What do you think your art says about who you are?

I think when I look at my body of work it is a pretty accurate picture of the kind of person I am flaws and all. It is a bit neurotic, repetitive occasionally, but like I mentioned before honest. Love is the message!

 

What do you enjoy about the process as a surrealist? Why were you drawn to this artistic form of expression?

I have been thinking about this a lot recently. I listened to an amazing interview on the 'Mindscape' podcast "89 | Lera Boroditsky on Language, Thought, Space, and Time" that lead me to some realizations about my particular flavour of surrealism. The podcast goes into detail about research on how humans think about abstract ideas. We have pretty developed spatial reasoning, and we use it in all kinds of strange contexts for things we have poor intuition about. A basic example would be how cultures that write from left to right tend to visualize time flowing from left to right also. I think a lot of my work is about trying to bootstrap these same spatial intuitions to abstract thoughts and feelings. In some sense they are attempts to find images that communicate something as vague as a feeling in the language of realism. I really love an image that is completely out-there, and yet feels relatable and understandable. That said, these are just some musings on the topic, honestly I was just drawn to making this kind of image as it felt more interesting to me for reasons I couldn't explain. Your intuition must represent something going on inside of you, we are not capable of being truly random, so if something feels right and you don't know why, go for it, that's where the gold is!

 

We are giving you an open platform. What do you want to tell the people out there?

Love is the only thing with any inherent value. Outside of the essentials for survival, everything you want is just your mind's attempt to come up with a circumstance where you would deserve to let go and truly be present. You don't need to wait for it, you're perfect right now.

 

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For more about the artist:

www.milesjohnstonart.com

 

 

Instagram:

@miles_art