1. Give us a personal background on yourself?

Haiii! I hail from the North, where it’s so cold, even the whitewalkers gave up on it. Namely the burbs of Detroit, actually. I moved to Miami a couple of years ago and if I hear one more native Floridian complain about the heat, I’m going to exile them to the wall. I’m the oldest of three girls, to Lebanese immigrant parents. Which allowed me to have a taste of both worlds. For a long time, it didn’t feel like i fit in in the states, or over there, and now that I’m in Miami, I have to say it definitely feels like home. It’s like Beirut, but with laws. But in reality, there has always been this magical undercurrent that pulls at my mind, and it never felt like I fit the ‘norm’ around me, and when I tried I was void of life and happiness, a puppet, and in Miami, I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by friends and other artists that not only recognize that undercurrent, but they totally hang ten on it!

 

2. How did you first start your journey towards becoming an artist?

By mistake, for no reason other than it chose me. I’ll explain. No one, and I mean absolutely no one in my family or extended family is an artist, or creatively inclined for that matter. I might have a cousin that is a closet sketcher but that’s about it. They are science and math people. And I am/ was too. Somewhere in my teens, I doodled, sketched and painted for fun, with no real training. In college, I decided to take an oil painting class (my only piece of formal art schooling was that two credit class) even though I was a science major, then transitioned into acrylic and mixed media. It was my first time selling and getting commissioned for pieces. It was thrilling. After that, there was a large drop off (namely a decade) where I barely painted due to personal reasons. I was happy to be sad and wallow in my non-inspiration, I’d try to finish a painting here or there to no avail, even though misery is usually my greatest company in creating. When I moved to Miami, I had decided to travel around, be a little nomadic, so acrylic painting was more difficult to do on the go. I decided to play with watercolors. And somewhere in giving up control to what paint can do, I found a lot of my bliss. And one day I just doodled alongside the watercolors and Mira Doodles was born.

3. When was the first time you really saw yourself as an artist?

Art Basel 2019 at HGAB Studios actually. My first “real” show, and also my first basel. I had asked all my collectors to loan me the pieces to display my breadth of work from the past year. And I remember looking at my body of work up on the wall, and seeing my growth and transition throughout the year. But also, seeing how many pieces I had created. I was like wow, I’m doing it. I’m actually an artist. And my work is recognizable as a Mira Doodle. I had found my voice. It was hard for me to say those words before that. Being surrounded by so many classically trained artists, that to be honest, were not taking me seriously at first either, it was hard to call myself an artist. And no, it’s not about caring about what people think, but imagine you look up to someone and they look down at your work, it pinches you, you know? I quickly smoothed out that wrinkle for myself that day, and I hope they can keep up now.

 

4. What do you think new artists struggle with the most nowadays?

Marketing. Understanding the amount of work they have to put in outside of their art. The internet has been a great equalizer. On one hand, it is easier to be discovered, make sales, and grow a following outside of having to rely on galleries, and art brokers. And on the other hand you are now in a bucket with so many more people, and the barrier of entry is so much lower. It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “my work speaks for itself”, but, with attention spans shortening, you have to put in consistent work to keep people engaged, interested and connected enough to want to purchase and not just stalk your work. Most artists just want to create without dealing with the business end of things. If that’s you well RIP. As an artist, creating is now only 50% of it. The rest is storytelling, marketing, networking, learning the ins and outs of online businesses, managing online stores, websites, packaging, buyer psychology, digital content creation, photography, videography, and so so much more. Is your head spinning yet? Well, like i said the internet is a great equalizer, but that only means it provides opportunities to be successful much easier. You still have to make it happen, unless you go viral or get lucky.

 

5. How did you learn how to set a price on your art/craft?

Ahhh, this question. I feel like artists either over value or under value their work and it’s so hard to finally figure out that sweet spot. The way I look at it is, if your art is sitting around for a year, when people have inquired about it, you are most likely over pricing it, and your investment (time and money) is sitting there doing nothing for you. Vs. If you got a little less money for it, but it is sold, you can now invest the money back in, or it keeps you going to paint another day, which compounds over time to producing more work and having more time to paint. Also, don’t forget to put value on saying something “SOLD”. That’s marketing power and juice, and when people see your art selling, they want more of it, not to mention that person that bought it is further advertising for you, on their own time. They are showing it off to their friends, and coworkers, showcasing it on their socials etc…that in the long term is worth more than “just getting your original price”. I am also not saying to cut yourself at the knees, definitely price where you are comfortable based on the time, effort, and emotional investment, but like, keep it realistic. Fun fact, i’ve given away pieces for free and started out charging very small amounts until I gained my confidence, and that is OK. The little wins lead you there, follow what feels right for you and know that you work your way up.

6. What has been your favorite piece that you’ve created?

This is so so soooo hard, like how do I even pick amongst my favorite children?! Spilled milk has definitely been one of my more recent favorites (I love dark surrealism), and I think also because I made it an augmented reality piece as well. I love interactive and useable art, and I feel like my vision is shifting into those realms more and more.

 

7. Who’s one of your biggest sources of inspiration right now?

Koketit. Shantell Martin. Mr Doodle. Polina Bright. And believe it or not, spending copious amounts of time on Tiktok learning from other small artists.

 

8. If you could pick one of your pieces to represent you as a person, which one would it be and why?

I don’t think I’ve made that piece yet.

 

9. What has been your happiest moment as an artist?

When I embraced my doodles as art. It gave me a direction and also a challenge to become better.

 

10. Have you ever made any mistakes in the industry that have taught you a valuable lesson?

I don’t think you can actually get to a successful place without having fallen flat on your face multiple times. I think for me, it was embracing the value of my work, pricing accordingly, and then most importantly, taking deposits when someone is ready for a commission, even if it’s scheduled down the line. When interest is shown, definitely strike while the iron is hot. You’ll save yourself a lot of weeding out who is actually serious or not, and then it saves you time on following up etc…you lose more work while just waiting around, and you waste so much time investing in communication of something that might not happen. So, be up front, as for deposits and go from there.

11. If you were a dessert, what dessert would you be and why?

A passion fruit paletta stuffed with dulce de leche, and sprinkled with Tajin. Because I’m sweet and spicy, and I always bring the unexpected.

12. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you work?

All depends on my mood. Hip hop & R’nB mostly. Lately lots of EDM or French house as well.

 

13. What’s your least favorite trend at the moment?

This whole ‘pour painting’ trend that’s going around. I’ve seen some people transform it, and put a spin on it, for example making it look like an ocean in resin, but, in general, spilling paint on a canvas then spinning the canvas with a drill doesn’t interest me. I might even roll my eyes a little because it’s going around like covid. (too soon?)

 

14. If you could design a home out of literally any material, what would your house be made out of?

Half of it would be a tech heaven, think top secret shit that isn’t even out yet, 3d mapping projection capable, smart home a la Tony etc….and the other half would be glass greenhouse, plant heaven, contrasted with lots of cement/grounding material. Who knows, it also might be a city on wheels, or even better, built on hovering technology so I can move my headquarters around easily.

 

15. If you could leave us with one thought, what would it be?

Whatever “it” is, stop over thinking it, and just start. Start somewhere, anywhere. Start without a plan. Just fucking start and don’t look back or down.