We had the good fortune of connecting with Milena Mortati and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Milena, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Over the past two decades I’ve been actively confronting myself with the thought of how to add value to society by doing what I love and what ultimately makes me happy. I started in performing arts and gradually moved into visual art. I express my creativity through various mediums such as photography, sculpting, painting, mixed media, video art and fashion, hence the name “Rays Of Art”. This journey has led me to the desire to essentially start my own Art Gallery. The deep wish to build and create a community for artists that can support each other. This community is now called “CRE8” which has an exciting new year ahead.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Instead of pointing out what sets me apart I’d love to dive into what I have in common with so many artists because wanting to make a life in art can be challenging. From a very young age I knew I wasn’t interested in any “regular” job. I was infatuated with the world of art and very uninterested in anything academically. After I got out of college I was offered a job at a tourist resort in North Africa where I was part of a community that performed on stage daily and I can’t remember a happier time. Meeting people from around the world, acting, singing and dancing was everything and I knew I had found my calling. This eventually led me to New York and Los Angeles where I was able to get my education in performing arts. I booked acting jobs here and there but ultimately found my love for painting in the process. This gave me an outlet and the freedom to be creative whenever I wanted, without the pressure of booking job. Even though following one’s heart has its challenges, I am learning to fall in love with the process and enjoying the ride. As an artist you live in a constant state of unknowing, which at times can be quite scary and uncomfortable but the guiding light is making art from the heart. It’s the one thing that truly fulfills me even if I have no idea what’s next. Maybe that’s why most of my work is centered around the heart or the color red. I feel a great sense of fulfillment giving life to my ideas and if it brings joy to others in the process my mission is accomplished. And with the onset of the opening of CRE8 Art Gallery next year I am eager to collaborate and work with many more international artists to make the world a bit brighter.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
-A Dive In The Ocean
-Lunch at Butcher’s Daughter in Venice
-A visit to Hauser&Wirth in the heart of the Arts District
-Happy Hour at Manuela
-Catch the sunset up Griffith Park
-Watch a showing of the “Centered in the Universe” at the Griffith Observatory
-Dinner at Cliff’s Edge in Silverlake
-A night cap at La Descarga
-Olvera Street, Historical market square in Los Angeles
-Watts Towers Arts Center
-The Broad Museum
-Hollywood Night Market @Yamashiro
-Flamenco Dinner @El Cid -Thrift Store Shopping
-Petit Ermitage -Huntington Library
-CRE8 (opens next year in 2021
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?
Some of my greatest muses are Marina Abramović, Frida Kahlo, Michèle Lamy, Diane Arbus and many more. I owe everything to my wonderful parents of course for giving my life and love. My amazing community of friends. Los Angeles for providing me with the full fledged freedom of expression and the buddhist organization “Soka Gakkai International”. It is based on the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, a 12th century buddhist monk who taught that we all possess the unlimited potential to become absolutely happy, with the ability to create the life we want regardless of social status, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. Daisaku Ikeda (The 3rd President of the SGI) says: “We are all the creators of our own happiness. Realizing happiness comes down to how much we have forged ourselves spiritually. It may seem that a person’s fate can be changed by modifying their environment or circumstances, but when you think seriously about what is actually required to change one’s fate, it seems to me that the issue of self-transformation cannot be overlooked. A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.”
Other: www.CRE8worlds.com https://www.instagram.com/cre8worlds www.milenamortati.com https://www.instagram.com/minasabina