We had the good fortune of connecting with Milda Aleknaite and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Milda, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Art has always been part of my life. I went to art school as a child, and then in college I studied art for my bachelors degree. When I moved to the states it felt natural to follow the same path and keep my own identity by continuing to create. I have worked in different industries but always have had a hand in the art world and have been selling my work for over a decade. It’s not that I wanted to start a business, but people became fond of my work so it was a natural transition into the business side of art sales. Enhancing people’s spaces with my mixed media pieces is my favorite part. It brings me so much joy when people choose to wake up everyday and see my art. I have two very different series. I have my abstracts and my figure paintings. I always find it interesting to see which collectors are drawn to which series, both series have brought me to different people and I have so much joy in creating both.
As an Artist you have to wear lots of hats to succeed. While not all entrepreneurs are artists, all artists have to be entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur knows the key to getting their idea or product to market is through marketing and sales. I think one thing in this industry outsiders aren’t aware of, is that most of these lessons are self taught and that you don’t learn them in school – even when studying art.
I have studied fine art for my bachelors degree, and none of these subjects were taught. I didn’t learn about entrepreneurship, how to understand basic marketing or sales practices, and branding strategies. Only later in life and doing my own research have I learned a lot and still I am learning. I think that most people probably assume that in art school we are taught these things, but it’s really the opposite.
Another aspect of business is taking risk. The idea of change can be scary, and risk-taking involves unknown levels of change and being able to be positive not knowing what the outcome will be – risk can feel like jumping into the unknown. I think about risk as a necessary action for success. Every time I decide to do something that I am unsure of the outcome, it’s taking a risk. Although some are smaller than others, I know that every risk I’ve taken has landed me somewhere I’ve never been – and regardless of the outcome, you always learn from those risks you took.
If I get to the end of my life and realize that I played it safe because I was too afraid to fail, I would be mad at myself. The only way we know if life has a chance of moving in a certain direction is if we are daring enough to take the risk. I know I won’t regret taking risks.
So even if I am not painting, I am thinking about new textures in nature, photography, video editing, creating content, etc. I am always thinking about how I can multitask and have multiple creative projects that keep me fully creative and present.
To succeed you truly have to do the things you love. First of all you have to do it for yourself not thinking about anybody’s opinion.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A few years ago I decided to exhibit at Art Basel. This past year, I did again! I exhibited in December 2019 Art Basel in South Beach at the Red Dot fair. A decade ago I decided for myself to get out of my comfort zone and take more initiative about the choices I make related to my passions. A person’s “comfort zone” is called that for a reason: It’s comfortable and safe. However, your comfort zone can also be a place of stagnation — one that keeps you from seizing opportunities for growth, just because it involves something unfamiliar. Art Basel week in Miami is my most anticipated time of the year. It’s a highlight of my life. A few years ago I made a decision to be a part of it, and it was a difficult decision but the best one of my life. I’ve worked at my technique, and to be able to exhibit at one of my favorite art fairs, was such a magical moment for me. It took my a while to get where I am right now. . As I mentioned before I went to art school as a child, and then in college I studied art for my bachelors degree.
My art is exploration. There are some messages or hidden agendas, and sometimes I just want to reveal the discoveries made during my investigation. My works arise from the transfer of the inner occurrences to the outside.
I have rather unconventional approach to my paintings, which I work in acrylics for its versatility and quick drying purposes, but also incorporate other media into my work. The textural aspect of a painting is important to me, because it adds depth and captures almost a physical element to it. This process of scraping and reapplying the paints develops layers of colors and textures, which gives the satisfaction of working “in” to the painting. My ultimate intention is for people to immerse themselves into my work and to make discoveries of their own.
My latest series of the paintings is named “Be you.”
It’s simple, but I created a whole painting series on this one affirmation. In a world where we have so many different voices constantly telling us who to be, what to do, what not to do, how to say things, how to dress – I think it’s important to just listen to your inner voice and show up as yourself. There’s only one you – you need to show up as yourself.
PAINTING IS A PHYSICAL EMOTION NEVER VERBALLY SPOKEN .
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I used to always spent time in Miami, but since my art studio is in Fort Lauderdale I always can suggest great places to go to.
Best breakfast is at the Spud’s Coffee Shop on Oakland Park. You have to star your meal with fresh squeezed watermelon juice.
My favorite place for lunch is at Salt7. You can always watch boats going by.
For a dinner date I would recommend the Dune at Auberge. Thasos restaurant has the best greek food in town.
I go to Miami for the night life scene and over all ambience. Dinner at Pao and life music never disappoints.
I am a fan of the art scene and could never miss exhibitions openings. My go to would always be The Bass museum or Perez museum in Miami.
Since i have a studio with the Zero Empty Spaces group, to visit working artist studios is always great idea. They have multiple locations between Palm Beach and Miami.
To my friends I always recommend to come on the first week of December and not to miss Art Basel events.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Everyone around me where always extremely supportive. Most simply put, artistic energy runs in my family. I came from a very creative generation of musicians and artists. Some of them pursued that professionally and some for their own pleasure.
My father was a great example of how to be a true artist. He loved woodworking and made wood sculptures and installations. He didn’t want to do it for fame but only to express his creative visions. That is a true example and I wanted to be just like that. I am grateful to my parents for seeing my passion for art in the young age and encouraging all the way.
Linkedin: Milda Art
Other: Studio visits by appointments only.
Portrait is done by photographer Darius Kucys