Australian Fine Artist

Context and Culture
May 2nd, 2012

Illustration and Street Art

MISO was born in 1988, Kharkov, Ukraine and lives and works in Melbourne. Her early productions were done whilst she was experimenting with graffiti in the lane ways around Melbourne. She went on to create female figures loosely based on relatives and friends. These are drawn on to paper which is then cut out and pasted on to each side of doorways in lanes and backs of buildings mostly in the city centre. Her explanation for these was a desire to bring private moments into public spaces and art to those who are not normally exposed to it.

These were not done on a commercial basis and were in fact done without permission from anyone including the property owner. So in reality, were illegal.

Many of the creations she did in other cities were removed very quickly because of laws in place to remove graffiti from public spaces as quickly as possible. Some suburbs around Melbourne now have similar laws.

It was however, from this background that she was noticed and she branched out into creating installations for such institutions as the NGV and some councils.

She has also illustrated books and done several one person shows.

MISO travels quite extensively overseas and has 3 to 4 months to build up material and ideas for new work. She has recently been commissioned to illustrate books and an ABC documentary about her drew in over 1,000 enquiries about her art.

MISO stressed the importance of a good commercial web site and blog to advertise yourself.

She also is quite disciplined in her approach to her work. Below are a few points she made.

  • Keep regular hours
  • Be Diligent
  • Be disciplined
  • Organise your day and workload
  • Network
  • Keep engaged with the world
  • Have work time and personal time

All good points for anyone thinking of being a professional in the art field or any other for that matter.

Personal Comment

I liked MISO’s disciplined approach to her career. It is too easy to not put in the not so nice or “sexy” part of being a “professional” or making a career that will pay the bills.

I think that planning and making sure that your career doesn’t take over your entire life is important. So is infrastructure and networking.

Making sure you keep growing and experimenting is very important.

What I could not come to grips with or accept in this presentation is thinking that it is OK to put art, graffiti or anything else on someone else’s property without permission. I feel there is no excuse for breaking the law, just because you feel that a place “needs” your “improvement”. Noble intentions do not excuse illegal behaviour. If someone disagrees with me, I’d like their address so I can come over one night and make my own “improvements” to their house.

I am also not comfortable with having illegal activities as the foundation of a lucrative career. For anyone who is taking the path of trying to obey the law and do everything legally  this does not sit well. The comparison to someone either robbing someone or running drugs or whatever and then deciding to establish a legal business but use the gains from their illegal activity to build their legitimate business comes to mind. I am not saying that graffiti is the same level of crime, what I am saying is that it is still illegal and it has been used to establish a career.

What is wrong with asking permission, so that you are not breaking the law and have the time to plan and place your art with care and safely? You never know people might surprise you and say yes.


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