We had the good fortune of connecting with Miika Kivilo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miika, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I was raised in a house of artists who were always very supportive of all my dreams. I spent most of my childhood taking art classes outside of school and doing arts and crafts at home. I loved just about any form of art (I still do) so I knew I would always want to pursue an artistic or creative career. I started being more serious about art in middle school so I applied to the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts for their fine arts department. After graduating, I then started attending Otis College of Art and Design where I got my BFA in fine arts. I have been continuing to pursue my creative career in many different ways but my main focus at the moment is being the head graphic designer for a rave clothing company. I know I want to stay involved in the rave scene somehow, so right now graphic design is what I’m really passionate about, but I still have my life goal of making giant interactive sculptures for raves and music festivals!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think what sets me apart is a free and spontaneous approach to everything I do. I don’t overthink- I feel. That being said, I am also obsessive about making everything I create match that initial creative instinct. I work hard to make everything perfect. I think the biggest obstacle is making “non visual” people understand my vision and appreciate my attention to detail. I believe a positive attitude to everything you do will let you move closer to what your real goals are. This approach certainly allowed me to move up quickly from a job in retail to being the person responsible for providing an overall unified artistic “look” for that retail store. From styling photo shoots to the graphic design promoting new content, upcoming sales and collections across social media platforms, I was able to establish a cohesive brand feel. We are all different and unique people but often people are scared of revealing that side to others. I am not afraid at all. Being bravely myself is the power in my work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since rave culture has been the driving force of my art, I love going to raves, shows, and festivals. I feel most inspired and happy after these events so I would definitely take my best friend with me! I would have them visit me in May so that we could attend the Electric Daisy Carnival. It is my all time favorite rave and is also my end goal to make an interactive art piece there. Because I love roadtrips, I would have us stop by Joshua Tree on the way back home to LA. I think it’s important for anyone visiting LA to go see the beautiful desert! Luckily LA has some of the most amazing spots to eat so I don’t feel limited in my options as to where I’d take someone, but if I really had to narrow down to my top 5 I would choose: Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada in Los Feliz, Terroni’s in West Hollywood, Pine & Crane in Silverlake, Katsu-Ya in Studio City, and Raffi’s Place in Glendale. As for drinks, some of my favorite spots are: Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, Boardner’s for their weekly event Blue Mondays, Mama Shelter, Arts District Brewing Company (they have fun games + yummy bar food as well), and Sassafras Saloon.
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?
I would love to dedicate a shoutout to Otis College of Art and Design for the mentors and peers I had while attending there. I’m so grateful I had so many opportunities to try out a bunch of different mediums and methods. I truly found my voice at OTIS. My mentor and peers would always push my artistic capabilities and believe in me. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today and create the type of artwork that I do if it weren’t for them.
Name: Saskia Kivilo / Instagram: @saskiakivilo / Website: www.saskiakivilo.com