“Though I feel that feelings are universal, the way each person interprets them is complex and individualized. I want people to look at an abstract piece and remember how that particular emotion felt for them and see it translated on the canvas.”Milaya Crowder
Today we are taking a closer look at the co-founder of Elements of the Beautiful, Milaya Crowder. Milaya is an abstract artist and photographer living in Germany who has a beautifully unique perspective through the lens of a camera and through the eyes of an artist. Today we will explore her talents outside of photography and focus on her abstract paintings. She recently held a very successful art show and we thought it was finally time to feature her creativity and art on Elements of the Beautiful.
EotB: Please tell us your story and how you began as an artist.
MC: As a teenager I was a creative person drawn to art and photography. In my bedroom my walls were covered (Like you could not see my wall) with collages of photos taken by photographers I admired as well as abstract art pieces. Logical reasoning at the time told me not to pursue art because of all the stigma of being “a starving artist” – it was something I had heard many times, and was warned against. My youth told me that others knew best and I did not pursue it. However in the past 5 years I have changed and became more confident in my aspirations – so I started to pursue them.
EotB: What was your first piece of art that you ever created?
MC: My first piece of art that was intentional was “Native” it is an abstract portrait of a Buffalo with wind dancing around it.
EotB: Do you think you have a signature style and if so how would you describe it?
MC: I love painting abstracts of complex feelings. I describe my art to others by saying it is a conflict of order and abstract. Feelings are universal and not one language can describe them perfectly. I feel like art is a better medium of conveying those feelings.
EotB: Do you have a favorite piece of art and if so which one is it?
MC: My favorite piece changes – often. But my current favorite is “Let Her Speak”, it is an abstract finger-painted piece inspired by the female voices that go unheard.
EotB: In the image above you are standing next to your untitled self-portrait. What were your intentions when you created this piece and how do you see it as a reflection of yourself?
MC: My intentions? Well my intentions were entirely to see if I could do it. This piece is a representation of how I feel: trying to keep it all together, but feeling pulled apart. The pinks representing the creative and the grays representing the logic. And how the two are fighting each other on the canvas.
EotB: Please explain the artistic process of creating a piece of art from start to finish.
MC: My artistic process is not always the same. Sometimes it is planned and sketched beforehand and other times I’m rushing to get my feelings on canvas before it goes away. The intensity of feelings are fleeting, its true that time does dilute them. So in order to capture them authentically I do often work in a throw of feelings. “Blurred” was one of those pieces for me. I do struggle with anxiety and I painted this during a deep point of it. I feel like it accurately represents how I felt, my priorities were no longer distinct, I was overwhelmed, and everything was blurred.
EotB: The names of your pieces are very unique and simple. Can you tell us how you name your pieces and what has (if anything) influenced this process?
MC: My names are simple because I want to give the viewer a jumping off point of what kind of emotion they are looking at. Though I feel that feelings are universal, the way each person interprets them is complex and individualized. I want people to look at an abstract piece and remember how that particular emotion felt for them and see it translated on the canvas.
EotB: We know that you are also a photographer. Please tell us how being an artist as influenced your photography.
MC: Good photography is something so easily commercialized. I feel like now more than ever to be more artistic and abstract in my photos like I am on canvas.
EotB: What types of materials do you use when creating your art and why have you chosen them?
MC: I use acrylic paint on canvas. About half the time I use a brush, and the rest of the time I use my finger-painting techniques.
EotB: The painting above is titled Femininity is Fierce. Can you tell us about this piece and how it came to be?
MC: This piece was a love story to my daughters. I wanted them to own their femininity represented in the pinks and purples but to also be powerful within it. Too long the narrative has said that being feminine means being quiet and yielding.
EotB: Are you available for art commissions?
MC: Once a month I do an abstract art commission. I enjoy capturing the essence of a client and putting it on canvas for a very original piece.
EotB: Please tell our readers how they can purchase your art.
MC: You can DM me on instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow Milaya on Instagram to see updated images of her abstract artwork here. You can also follow her photography through a separate Instagram account here. Milaya is our primary photographer at Elements of the Beautiful and her photography can be seen throughout the blog. Feel free to check out the tab on our home page to go directly to her images and look through our older posts featuring her work.
Photos are taken by Natasha Torres. Feel free to check out her Instagram for more images.
Location of art show was held at Weingut Hagemann.