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MINDFUL ART:
MINIMAL LINE ILLUSTRATIONS WITH MIRA LOU

@miraalou

Mira Lou is a Berlin based artist who creates line illustrations. Through mindfulness and minimalism, her art speaks to people by transmitting emotions in an abstract and subtle way. Today, Staiy portrays her journey as an authentic artist, focusing on the “less can be more” dimension of art.

Words By Sophie Badaoui

03/04/2021

@miraalou

A New Creative Outlet

Art has always been at the center of Mira Lou’s life. Born and bred in Berlin, she started practicing different types of art at a very young age. As a child, she used to draw and craft with her mother, which was critical for developing her creativity. Still, she was truthfully able to express herself only when she discovered photography as a teenager. She cultivated her artistic perception by visiting galleries and museums, getting inspired by how different artists communicated through their work. She also connected online with people who shared a similar photography style as hers, which shaped her own work’s identity.

After high school, she opted for a Graphic Design program at university. Her studies taught her to “focus more on the intention and message behind art and design and that looking pretty wasn’t the only value of art.” As she didn’t have time to work on her photography, she felt the need to transmit her thoughts and feelings through a “new creative outlet”. That’s where she started drawing digitally. Her minimalism approach was first culminated using photographic references for digital drawing, as it led her to only choose to represent the essential parts of them. “I tried to create a scene or a portrait with as few lines as possible.”, she shares.

Then one day, she came across One Line art through a university course and fell in love with it. She describes, “Our professor told us to portray each other without looking down on our sketch and without breaking the line through lifting the pen off the paper.” As this exercise procured her a deep sense of freedom in her work, she developed her own style in one line art. She acknowledges, “my one line style doesn’t necessarily consist of drawing one single line but rather multiple interconnected lines.” This creates a dynamic and a natural flow in portraits and images. Sometimes, she shows more details and other times she shows less, which makes her creations more abstract and subsequently more interesting. She unintentionally went from drawing chaotic, crowded lines, to “more precise, cleaner and simpler” lines. Nonetheless, she admits that she often experiments new techniques with her style as she believes she “will never be finished with it as it is a constant process”, and that her style will always reflect her own evolution and personal growth in life. 

As her studies allowed her to master both art and design, she enriched her artistic vision, and distinguishes, “design is something that is more practical and usually works with a specific topic or message. Art can be free from a practical intention and can focus more on aesthetics and emotional values.” She specifies the emotional side of her art which helps her connect with people as they can personally relate to her work. Starting with “opening an Etsy shop for commissions”, she now collaborates with brands for campaigns and branding and has illustrated books and covers. She even created her own jewellery collection. As an ambitious artist, she embraces her authenticity and uniqueness through self reflection and self discovery. Her own definition of minimalism is, ”you only keep or use what you really need”.

@miraalou

@miraalou

Even though she admits that it’s hard to implement this mantra in every area of her life, she highlights the intrinsic connection between her mindful art and sustainability: “Sustainability includes how we treat our planet, but also how we treat all living beings on it. We are one big ecosystem and everything is connected.” After all, she agrees that without sustainability, “the planet will survive after us, but we will not”. For this reason, she carries over sustainable, minimalist habits such as veganism and conscious shopping. She explains, “I try to buy less. In general. If I do need something, I first try to borrow it from a friend. After this I try to get it second hand and my last option is to buy new and as sustainable and long lasting as possible.”

Focus On the Now

When asked about her opinion on fast fashion and what she would change about the fashion industry, she responds “Instead of new trends every year and new collections every week, we should focus on pieces that are timeless and can be worn throughout a lifetime.

The modern fast fashion industry produces tons and tons of waste that pollutes our environment, exploits humanity and brings no genuine happiness. However, she admits that “focusing on sustainability is a luxury” and discusses the necessity for wealthy people to invest their money in “sustainable, fair and ethical labels”, as she sees it as “the only weapon we have against the dirty fashion industry.” 

Lastly, as an ultimate lesson, she insists, “As you almost never know how something is going to play out, I would always advise to focus on now”, as she firmly believes that “concentrating on what is currently important to you is always the best option” and that following a passion is never a waste of time.

 

@miraalou