Princess Mia is a self-taught artist who uses her emotions to convey a message in each piece of art she creates. She remembers being a very ambitious and career oriented as a child, and that carried over into her young adult life.
It wasn’t until her boyfriend encouraged her to follow her passion, that she began to see art as a viable career choice. Today she uses her art to touch the lives of all who come in contact with it.
Alyice: How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
Princess Mia: I started when I was about five. I was shy and timid and I had a hard time explaining myself and how I was feeling. I got my first art assignment in kindergarten and the class had to explain how they were feeling when they took a look at the other students’ art.
I was feeling sad during the time and the reactions from my class were sad, sorrowful, lonely. I was amazed about the different interpretations and reactions I was given for my art. I thought the concept was beautiful and began to create what I felt. . . and with that I started to get noticed as people started to interact with me more.
So with that concept, I wanted to center a world around it, and I found that art was the best place to do it.
Alyice: Why did you choose watercolor and ink as your medium?
Princess Mia: The concept of yin and yang is what drew me to use watercolor and ink. I always believed that the mediums in art had a certain characteristic and meaning behind them. The meanings and beauty of watercolor and ink stuck out to me.
Watercolor, to me, represents peace and unity. The concept of unity was inspired by the mixing of different colors together to create a singular image. As for peace, the fluidity and calm appearance as the watercolor hits the paper reminded me of peace and relaxation.
As for the hard black pen lines, I wanted to use this aspect to represent chaos. . . to balance out the peace. The hard lines and pen strokes I put in my art remind me of limitations and doubts that come along in life.
With these two elements, I felt like I am conceiving a simple way to summarize people’s daily lives—from the good to the bad.
Alyice: What is the most challenging part about working with ink and watercolors?
Princess Mia: The most challenging part is adding too much color to the piece; color that overruns the lines. . . making the image too hard to make out.
Alyice: What is the best part about working with ink and watercolors?
Princess Mia: The excitement of the overall piece is the best part of working with these mediums.
Using watercolor and ink together is an interesting combination and it gets me excited to see how well the two play out together as each piece is finalized.
Alyice: How durable are your finished pieces?
Princess Mia: For sold pieces, I roll the art up neatly and place it in a sturdy tube for safe delivery. With the pieces that haven’t sold, I make sure they remain flat and unbendable in a safe place. . . to make sure the art comes to the buyer perfectly.
Whatever they want to do with it is up to them. I let the fate of my art rest within the buyers’ hands. Whether they let it wrinkle or choose to preserve it is all up to them.
I care a lot about my art, but I create art to expose how the world isn’t perfect, so I can’t expect the person owning my art to be perfect, either.
How I see it is that my art is on a journey of its own. It is brought to life by me, but when it gets to the buyer, its life is in that person’s hands. It can be preserved and admired by others or it can be ripped apart as an outlet for someone to get over a hardship in life.
Alyice: What is your creative process like?
Princess Mia: My creative process starts off with obtaining an emotion: from hearing a story or experiencing an emotion from someone, or helping someone out with a problem. This is the main push needed to help me figure out what I am going for with my work.
Then I draw the piece on paper. I can either draw out a person or a creature, whatever I feel can best portray my message. After that, I outline the drawing in black ink and paint over it with watercolor.
What inspires my work and style is people, the things I find beautiful, and how I’m feeling that day. For example, if I’m feeling sad, or I hear a sad story on the news or from a friend, and on that same day I see smoke coming from a car (or building), then later I’m feeling nervous, it’s those emotions that add up to create a new piece. It really all depends on the day and my surroundings.
Alyice: You sell a lot of your work through Etsy. What have you found to be the best way of getting your art noticed by buyers?
Princess Mia: The best traffic comes from creating and sharing new work and listing that work on Etsy. I also post my new work on Facebook and run sales on Etsy.
Alyice: Each of your pieces tell a story, you give a brief explanation of those stories in your product descriptions, how effective has that been for selling your work online?
Princess Mia: It has been very effective. I have been told that the meaning behind the art is what makes my work interesting—to buy and observe. The best comment I had was someone telling me that my work makes them feel like they are interacting with an actual person.
Alyice: You have over 1,000 fans on your Facebook page, and it appears that you get a nice amount of interaction from your fans. What is your secret to engaging fans in conversation?
Princess Mia: My secret is treat your fans like your friends. Act like a human being and not a salesperson. Acting like a salesperson makes you come off as if your only focus is on money and not the people who support you.
I host art giveaways to allow people who love my work the chance to win free art, I ask questions my fans participate in, and I show them what I’m working on. I strive to gain interaction from others, so I try my best to make sure I give my fans something to come back for, something to check up on.