Local Artist Profile: Artist Mlak
This week we delve into the eccentric mind of local artist Karlee Anne Louise Mackie (Artist Mlak). After sell out shows in LA at Ar4t Laguna Beach Gallery in 2012 she is finally back with a new upcoming show.
You have an upcoming show this weekend, tell us about the concept..
My concept was inspired by a few events in an old diary I found, searching through old memories for some joy one day. One of the events was from 2012 and I had written all about my friend Sam’s wedding in South Africa at his family’s private safari, game reserve called Ulusaba. The experience completely blew me away, I’ve never felt such a power energy surrounded by lions, buffalo and crocodiles. If you weren’t careful being eaten was a strong possibility. The whole experience left me with a love of wild animals and I have such vivid memories of the colours and whole experience that will stay with me forever.
I also love poetry and rhymes and I’ve incorporated a rhyme into the show, and turned it into a little film with Diva Cory doing the voice over, and my little brother filming and editing a little fun piece for the show to project on a wall. Its symbolic to a few events in my life while riding to and from different party nights in the past, and to now being a new mum.
I’ve found it a little challenging to transition into being a mama, in regards to finding my creativity and self, but since stumbling upon my diary and throwing myself into a project and involving my son Koa, it’s completely lifted me up and I’m now enjoying this new confidence, body and mind all the while having my favourite sidekick by my side every day.
Describe your artistic process?
So this show is super exciting for me, as I’ve painted and illustrated my whole life. My process in the past was heavily female oriented and character based painting. It was not that enjoyable for me, meticulously battling the desire to paint realism but never being able too. So this show I’ve tried really hard to completely separate the painting and illustrations to recreate myself. It’s been challenging but I’ve had some amazing support from friends and family, as I’m hungrier than ever to make sure I’m creating, as I’m a better person and mama for it. I feel I’m at the very beginning of discovering a new process. I generally write a rhyme as I find it’s a quick release of emotion, then I find a colour pallet that resonates with the vibe, and intuitively start. I paint a few at a time, as being ADD and dyslexic my focus channels better with quick movements, then battling myself to focus on one thing.
You have been making art your whole life, how has it developed over time?
I started painting my friends surfboards on tour, which morphed into art work for my sponsors clothing, then a few sell out art shows in LA, as I was one of the first Australian paid female free surfers which seems like a lifetime ago now hahahaha. My creativity I’ve discovered is a reflection of what’s going on inside of me. It will always develop, as I am an ever developing, changing, paradoxical being. I’ll never stop creating, I’ve found if it’s not ideas, it turns into destructive behaviour in my life.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from words, and all the social media portals, music inspires me, thoughts I have, conversations, i find my inspiration in all sorts of places. My mind is switched on 24/7, but more scrambled these days from having no sleep with my newborn Koa.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given or could give to any aspiring artists?
I love the quote from Patti Smith: “Live for art, live for love”.