This month, we're exploring all things creative: looking at the relationship between meditation + brainwaves + creativity, and hosting plenty of events to flex our creative muscles. To prep us, we interviewed some of our favourite artists around town to give us some insight about how creativity shows up for them. First up, we have Tierney Milne, whose distinctly bright and colourful pieces never fail to put a smile on our faces.
Tell us about what you do!
Hello! I like to create pieces (both large and small) that make people feel things and inject some happiness into their lives. I come from a design and psychology background and like to use these as tools to inform my work, whether it’s as small as a cut-paper animation or as large as a painted basketball court. These days, my work is a balance of personal projects and experiments, client murals, fine art commissions, and stop motion pieces. I don’t like to pigeon-hole myself, and really enjoy being able to branch out, collaborate, and not be too married to a particular medium.
Were you always creative? When did you realize this?
Ever since I was young I was constantly playing with materials around me– crafting, drawing, curating (hoarding?), and generally just loving using my hands to bring things to life. It never really occurred to me that my interests and perspective were something unique, though, I just assumed everyone else was seeing and appreciating the same things as me. I’ve always given myself lots of low-pressure opportunities to play and try things out, but it was only after graduating from Psychology that I realized maybe this was something I could really pursue.
What is your creative ritual?
In general I find creating a vibe for myself to settle into is really important before I start working, especially on a new project. I’ll brew some tea, settle into a comfortable spot (usually with my two cats) and select the music for the day. Music is really important to me and I’m constantly curating little work playlists for myself that help move me along and put me in the right headspace. Other than that, I try to schedule projects with enough time that I can still take walks to get air/get inspired and keep things flexible as I’m really prone to overworking and not realizing it.
How would you describe feeling "in flow"/ tapping into "the flow"? When do you know you're there?
My brain is always on overdrive, but I find myself relaxing and most in the flow when I’m using my hands and installing murals. There is so much immediacy to the work, and I really love that it takes me out of my mind and I’m able to find myself painting for hours on end without realizing. Suddenly you’re not tied to your phone, you’re involved with what you’re doing in a hands-on way, and you’re really present with anyone else who is there working with you.
What is the best thing about creating art for a living?
Creating art for a living, especially art that makes its way into people’s lives in an impactful way, brings me so much joy. I’m always excited by the fact that there are no limits and no end to it– You can constantly evolve what you’re making, collaborate with new people to create something unexpected, and are able to be in control of your life and creating opportunities for yourself.
What is the trickiest or worst thing?
When I was working 9–5, I found it easier to make time for working out and eating well while still doing personal work. Now that I am self-employed, I find the structure that I self-impose can often be a bit flimsy. It can be easy to justify work over self-care sometimes, especially when an exciting project with a short deadline comes in.
If you could experiment with and master any other medium/ form of expression, what would it be?
Pottery! I really want to try experimenting with bringing some of my 2D shapes and designs to life in functional ceramics (light fixtures, bowls, etc).