FC: You create all of your work in MS paint, what made you want to explore this medium so extensively?
ML: A few years ago I wanted to start making digital art but didn't know how. I didn't have access to programs like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator and they seemed too fiddly and expensive. Not my style. I wanted something more basic. I'd just started a new job and saw that MS Paint was on my computer so I started doodling with it. It felt good revisiting it as an adult, I used it a lot when I was a kid. It was partly a nostalgia thing, but also it was so simple and easy to use. People place a lot of importance on the software you use when you're making digital art. I like using MS Paint because I want to show people it's not about the tools you have but how you use them. Anyone with a computer from 1989 up until now would have used MS Paint. There's something comforting knowing that everyone has access to MS Paint.
FC: Do you ever find the limitations of MS paint challenging? What do you think the importance of design software is in relation to skill as an artist? Would you say using paint has made you a better artist?
ML: Of course! But the challenge is all part of the fun. MS Paint has pushed me to make the most of the tools I have. It's forced me think outside the box. The brushes in MS Paint are very limited and there's no right or a wrong way to use them. Unlike professional design software there is no tutorial on how to use it. You just have to fumble your way through it and come up with your own way to use the program. I think there's far too much importance placed on which design software and your skill should shine through no matter what tools you use. I've been using MS Paint for so long now that it would feel like cheating if I were to switch to a more professional program. Anyone can make a pretty picture in Photoshop but not everyone can draw with MS Paint. I don't know if it's made me a better artist but it's definitely given me room to explore the creative process.
FC: Describe your creative process.
ML: Ideas never come to me when I want them to! They never come to me when I am sitting at the computer ready to draw, it's always when I'm on the train or sitting in the backyard, so I keep notes on my phone of ideas for drawings. I spend far too long decide on a colour palette. Sometimes I spend longer choosing the colours than drawing the actual image. I like to look at photos of sunsets and landscape photography to inspired me. Then I crack open a beer and draw at the computer for hours on end in a total trance.
FC: What place do you think art has in our world? Why is art important in our society?
ML: Art makes people feel something, I think it's an emotional thing. It's about sharing emotions, from the artist to the person viewing the art. It's about connecting and finding a common ground, relating to one another by using colours and patterns and shapes. Art is an outlet and a tool for people to use however they please.
FC: Was there a pivotal moment in your life that made you want to be an artist?
ML: Not really, this is what I always planned on doing. There was no back up plan. I told my mum and dad I wanted to be an artist when I was 5 years old. My mum was an artist so I think I wanted to be just like her. She was a huge artistic influence throughout my childhood and still is today.
FC: How do you get inspired when you’re dealing with creative blocks? What are your methods for staying fresh & creative when you feel stuck with your work?
ML: I put on a record, have a drink and play around with different colour palettes. Go outside and wander around for a bit, read some design blogs. Sometimes I think I'm heading into a bit of a stale patch with my artwork but new ideas always come along because things around me are always changing, you've just gotta pay attention.
FC: One of the most complex aspects of art & design is it’s subjective nature. Despite that subjective nature, there is still a subtle distinction between “good” & “bad” art when it’s measured by commercial success. What are your thoughts on what makes some art "good" and some art 'bad"?
ML: The only art that I think counts as 'bad' art is 'fake art' - when art looks like it's trying to fit into a certain box or fit in with a current trend. You can tell when someone isn't creating from the heart because it comes out contrived, forced, too calculated. I think it's important to make art that you enjoy, not just because it's what everyone else is doing. Don't paint a fruit bowl because fruit bowls are cool right now. If you use colours and themes that are relevant to your life your art will be more 'real'. At least that's what I think.
FC: If someone wanted to purchase your art, where would they find it?
ML: I sell prints, framed prints and big canvas prints on Society6.com/mirandalorikeet!