In this interview, Mihalski, a senior in Advanced Art, explains her love of art and what inspires her.
Why do you love art?
Art lets me express things about myself I wouldn’t otherwise be able to share. Art has been at the center of culture throughout history, and creating art myself lets me be a part of it. Art has impacted me and I want to be able to impact somebody else’s life in that way. I also love art because I can lose myself for hours. It lets me escape. I don’t think of anything.
What do you get from doing art?
I get a connection to other people in some way, even if I haven’t met them. I can look at art even if I haven’t met the person who made it and I feel connected to them because we are both artists.
What do you wish to convey in your art?
Most of my art doesn’t have any big political statement that I’m trying to send. I’m mostly trying to express who I am and how I fit into the world around me and how people around me fit into the world around them. That’s why I do a lot of portraits, so I can show what makes people different or the same. But, I don’t like the idea that art has to have some profound meaningful message. You should just draw what you like.
What medium of art is your favorite?
I don't really have a favorite medium, but I like oil paint and charcoal.
What is your favorite subject to paint?
My favorite subject, in all mediums, are figures and portraits. I absolutely love live model drawing, I’m not sure what exactly it is but there is just something so satisfying about it. I think the human form is fascinating and can always be represented in a new and interesting way. I also use my art to explore a lot of ideas about individuals and human nature, which I do through how I represent myself and others in my work.
How would you describe your style as an artist?
My style is pretty classical and realistic. I love the old masters and the techniques they used so my style definitely reflects and emulates that. I think you ought to learn the rules before you break them.
What artists inspire you?
I’m inspired by the great masters because I love classic technique and the history in it. I’m also inspired by Kehinde Wiley and Tip Toland.
Who has been the most influential teacher in your art career?
A camp counselor at the art camp where I work, her name is Luzita, is the first person to really push me and encourage me. I’ve been with her every summer for the past 12 years and while she’s no longer teaches me art she is still an incredibly important person in my “art” life. She’s also the only person, besides close friends and family, who has seen my development as an artist since the very beginning. Then at SAAS, April Ferry really pushed me my freshman year to work harder and grow more, which has stuck with me through high school.
Have you ever considered becoming a teacher or mentor rather than a free-lance artist?
It’s definitely something I’ve considered, but it’s not my first choice. If I were to teach it would have to be in a circumstance where all my students were excited and engaged; I would hate trying to teach people who didn’t want to be there. I do really enjoy working with young kids (up until about 8 years old) but I don’t know if I have the willpower to teach kids that young full-time, maybe part-time.
When did you know that art is something you wanted to do professionally?
I don’t even know. I started doing art basically as soon as I could hold a pen or pencil and I think I’ve just always known this is what I want to do with my life and that I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.
What are your goals and dreams for your art and your career in art?
Best case scenario: I would be an artist selling my art in galleries. Realistically: not to die poor on the street. But actually, I know whatever my career is or what I’m doing in life has to revolve around creating art.