Artvark Spotlight: Mia Walton
ARTVARK is a new night celebrating our favourite local artists, painters, illustrators, photographers and designers, by hosting an exhibition of their works on the walls of The Aardvark for a whole month. Our feature artist for May is the fabulous MIA WALTON, a 19 year old creative studying and working as a graphic designer while venturing on creative journeys through her business Tansy Creative. Bold colour choices can be found throughout her work, often inspired by common objects and environments of daily life, making her work a combination of the surreal and the mundane. Mia Hyde spoke to Walton ahead of the launch of her exhibition on May 23, which will feature performances from Mal De Mer, The Psychotic Reactions & Airline Food.
It’s really exciting to be able to mix the art of music with other forms of art as we are doing in this upcoming event. We know all about music at The Aardvark, but we would love to know more about what you do in the world of art!
I mainly just hole up at home and listen to true crime podcasts as i paint or draw. Its a lot of alone time and procrastination to be honest! But i have been making the effort to immerse myself within the Perth art scene these past few years. Applying to be in exhibitions, makers markets and so on!
Fremantle seems to be the “hub” of the artistic community, how have you found coming up as an artist in Fremantle? Any notable experiences or connections that have helped shape you?
I used to live in Rockingham and i 100% believe that if i was still down there I wouldn't be where i am today. Freo is just so welcoming, and super easy to meet people and make connections without even actively trying to ‘network’. I must say my boyfriend Tayler helped me get out of my shell. I started going to gigs and made all the friends I have now (most of which share the same love for perth art and music). He and my friend Poppy also work at the Aardvark which definitely helped in terms of getting chosen to be their first Resident Artist!!!
Who are some people, locally or otherwise, who inspire your work?
There are so many!!! It's kind of hard to know who or what specifically inspires my work, but i do find myself getting super giddy and motivated after going to any artistic event. Some of my favourite local artists i follow on instagram are:
I could go on.
There are so many different pathways you can take when it comes to art, what do you see in your journey forward?
I'm currently doing my Diploma of Graphic Design, so that's what I'm focusing on in the short term. I would love to just survive off being freelance, doing graphic design, selling art and even a bit of photography here and there. I have a super short attention span to I love just doing a bunch of different things at the same time. It seems to be working out for me so far!
For your exhibition launch on May 23 you've coordinated the lineup of bands to play on the night. Why did you choose the lineup you chose?
Oh my gosh it was so hard to choose only 3 bands! I chose Mal De Mer because they were one of the first Perth bands I saw live at a lil backyard gig. I was super captivated by them and continued to see them live. They've also supported me and my art in the past so it's great to finally return the favour! I chose The Psychotic Reactions for a similar reason. I saw them at that same backyard gig and I just loved what I was hearing. I haven't seen them play for ages so this was a great opportunity to fulfil that psychotic void. I chose Airline Food because they have been an all time fave. I saw them for the first time at the Rosemount and were definitely the soundtrack to my Winter, 2018. Couldn't throw a gig without them.
I saw recently you did the illustrations for Freya Haley J’s book of poetry release 'Chrysalis'. how did that partnership come about and how did you find the response from the community to this release?
Freya and I have been friends for quite a few years so when she made a call out on her IG story for an illustrator I was like me me me!!!! We ended up just meeting up heaps and dissecting each poem to come up with ideas of what I could draw. It was a long process, not just the drawings but I also structurally edited/ set up the book for print which was super time consuming. I'm so proud of what we were able to achieve together. It's pretty cool that there is a physical product that we can hold/read/look at to show for all the hard work that went into it. The response has been really positive. Frey's poetry is incredible so I'm not surprised at how well its doing!
You’ve achieved so much by the age of 19 in your work, I hear your name around the local community often. What advice do you have for other young creatives trying to make their start? What is something you’d tell them that you wish someone told you?
Some advice I have is to take full advantage of social media. Make an account to share your art and interact with other local artists. It can be daunting sharing personal work, and also draining seeing artists pumping out amazing content, but I doubt you would have even known who I was as an Artist without Instagram, as depressing as that sounds. It really is a great tool to get yourself out there. The market is so saturated these days so its a great chance to create your own little space for yourself.
I was pretty lucky to be in an art program at my high school so I feel like my teachers did say the right things to motivate me. I had a workshop with Andy Quilty in year 10 and I remember he was a huge advocate for 'Happy Accidents', and now whenever I mess something up I try to work with it rather than starting all over. Being okay with creating something you didn't plan for or that looks different to how you imagined can be really difficult, but i think its important to practice that mindset.
Where can people go to support your art further?
You can find me on Instagram @tansycreative, and on Etsy where I have prints for sale! https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/TansyCreative
MIA WALTON'S ARTVARK EXHIBITION LAUNCH AT THE AARDVARK ON THURSDAY 23 MAY, FT. PERFORMANCES FROM MAL DE MER, THE PSYCHOTIC REACTIONS, AIRLINE FOOD & DJ SWEETMAN! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO