Dimitra Milan completed her first painting at the age of 1, before many children learn to walk or talk. Growing up with the support of artist parents, she wished at first to resist taking the same path as her family, but soon realized that creating art was her undeniable calling. Graduating 2 years early through an intensive homeschooling program and then focusing on her career full time, Dimitra became a celebrated, collectable artist by the age of 15. We caught up with Dimitra to gain insight into her astonishing and early rise to success.
When did you first pick up a paint brush?
I grew up with artist parents. From a very young age, I loved to draw but I never really painted. My very first painting though, I made when I was 1 year-old. About 5 years ago, my parents opened their art school, the Milan Art Institute and began teaching classes. I was allowed to take any class I wanted. I was 12 when I took interest and mostly did the mixed media “fun” classes.
My parents told me that in order to be really skilled and to be able to fully express myself, I must be grounded in how to paint classical realistic oil paintings. I resisted it for a while because it was so hard for me, but learning how to paint realistically has really helped me in my career.
Now, I look back and realize that knowing how to paint realistically, is very important and valuable knowledge. Every great abstract artist comprehends and understands realism.
Who inspires you?
My mom is an inspiration to me, because she talks endlessly about being a world changer and a cultural warrior. She says artists lead culture. Before something happens on the earth it is first painted, written, or sung. She inspires me as an artist to have a responsibility to contribute towards positive change.
What is your greatest dream as an artist?
My greatest dream as an artist right now is to know that I inspired others to believe in the impossible. My goal is to stay passionate about painting for life, and to stay true to my creative needs. I aim to paint what I love and tell my authentic story. I hope to motivate other young artists and show them their dreams are worth fighting for.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
To paint even if I don’t feel like it. Also to go oustide my comfort zone, which launches me into the next best thing. I’ve learned that making decisions out of strength and not weakness, is key to a successful life.
What is your favorite medium?
My favorite medium is oil paint, but I love to experiment and learn new things. I also love using acrylic inks, they behave like intense watercolours. I love collage too, it adds depth and another level of interest. It’s rewarding to come close to the painting and discover the little details you didn’t know were there.
What is next for you?
Currently I am working on a series for my upcoming solo show openings in Las Vegas, Oahu, Maui, and the big island in Hawaii. I will get to travel to these great places and of course I love traveling and meeting new people. This summer I will get to go to Prague, a place my mom and I have been wanting to go to and my favorite place Greece where I will get to see my family.
Follow Dimitra’s journey, and see more of her work at www.dimitramilan.com