WE MET AT A BAR ON ESSEX ST.,

BUT MILK

DOESN’T DRINK.

 

 

interview and portraits by Jay Miriam



IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


Jay Miriam: So you graduated from school last year? 

 

Milk: No, I dropped out last year.

 

JM: Where was your first apartment in New York?

 

M: It was on Pike Street, right under the bridge. It was a box, and I was paying something like 2 grand. It had rats and roaches. I was very clean but we were right under the subway.

 

JM: You work within a limited color palette — When you walk around are there certain colors you notice, or are particularly drawn to? 

 

M: Yes, I notice lights & neon signs most. Especially walking around in Chinatown at night.

 

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

 

 

JM: How much control do you have over the figures you develop? 

 

M: When I do my scan art it’s very organic. I never really know how it’s going to turn out. That’s why I love to do scan art. I also experiment with the shapes as the light passes through the object.

 

JM: What is a message you’d like a viewer to walk away with after seeing the scan art series?

 

M: I want them to appreciate the colors. A lot of people ask me “ Yo, do you put anything over your scanner? Do you clean your scanner?”

 

 

 

“People think I’m licking eggs off a scanner.”

 

That’s why I like the fact that I use food & clear liquids. I want people to look at it twice, and to keep looking at it. Try to figure out themselves, what it is.

 

JM: You really play with the idea of what is reality and what isn’t. And people have to second guess themselves.

 

M: Exactly. Especially when you’re lucid dreaming, the distortion is very important. I’m really into surrealism -- more than any other form of art.

 

JM: A scanner is sort of out dated. No one really has or uses them anymore.

 

M: It’s a middle ground between traditional and digital.

 

JM: Would you consider this a series of self-portraits?

 

M: I would call it more of a “Portrait Series“. I realized, different people change the composition. I think of the person and I create a specific color palette for them.

 

 

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK



 

JM: Do you think you’ll stay in New York for a while?

 

M: No, I don’t think so. I want to travel.

 

JM: Anywhere in mind? 

 

M: Europe or Japan. I’d like to live in Japan for a few months.

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

 

JM: There’s a really strong sense of theatrical drama in your work. Are the characters already dead by the time they reach the audience?

 

M: In my old graphic work I used to obsess with death. Especially darker sides… drug addictions. I think a lot of people romanticize with death. The idea of what happens after death.

 

JM: Yeah, like... what is that? 

 

M: Well, my idea is that death is similar to lucid dreaming. There are 7 minutes of brain activity left after you die. And it’s possible you go into a dream-state. You see flashbacks. Just like in dreaming the time feels longer. 

 

JM: What do you think about aging? 

 

M: Aging? Just a number. But you do learn a lot. Every year is growth, and always different.

 

 




IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

JM: What do you do every morning that’s different from what you do every night? 

 

M: I have a really bad habit of skipping breakfast, but then I eat a lot at night. Like, right before bed, ha hah ha.

 

JM: Like what?

 

M: Like, JUNK FOOD! Midnight deli runs. Chicken. Fried chicken.

 

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

 

JM: What would you do if you could do anything? 

 

M: That’s a hard question. If I could do anything in the world right now I would just travel. I want to explore. Even if it could be a cross state road trip.

  

JM: Anything coming up? 

 

M: I started making music. That’s going to come up soon. Hoping I can drop something this month.

 

JM: That’s awesome. What’s the name of your music persona?

 

M: Girlscout. It’s interesting. Growing up I’ve had a lot of personas. It’s a way for me to organize things in my head. When I did my mural painting I went under the name “Leonn “ — with two n’s.

 

JM: Having multiple personas is a way to break free. Also it separates the artists’ ego from the work. You’re not saying it’s about you. It’s about the work and how it stands alone. 

 

M: Exactly, that’s the other thing. It’s not about me. I do separate the artist from the work.

 

JM: Very surrealist approach to life.

 

 

 

  

for more on the artist, visit her website at JIL.NYC

 

WE MET AT A BAR ON ESSEX ST.,

BUT MILK

DOESN’T DRINK.

 

 

interview and portraits by Jay Miriam



IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


Jay Miriam: So you graduated from school last year? 

 

Milk: No, I dropped out last year.

 

JM: Where was your first apartment in New York?

 

M: It was on Pike Street, right under the bridge. It was a box, and I was paying something like 2 grand. It had rats and roaches. I was very clean but we were right under the subway.

 

JM: You work within a limited color palette — When you walk around are there certain colors you notice, or are particularly drawn to? 

 

M: Yes, I notice lights & neon signs most. Especially walking around in Chinatown at night.

 

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

 

 

JM: How much control do you have over the figures you develop? 

 

M: When I do my scan art it’s very organic. I never really know how it’s going to turn out. That’s why I love to do scan art. I also experiment with the shapes as the light passes through the object.

 

JM: What is a message you’d like a viewer to walk away with after seeing the scan art series?

 

M: I want them to appreciate the colors. A lot of people ask me “ Yo, do you put anything over your scanner? Do you clean your scanner?”

 

 

 

“People think I’m licking eggs off a scanner.”

 

That’s why I like the fact that I use food & clear liquids. I want people to look at it twice, and to keep looking at it. Try to figure out themselves, what it is.

 

JM: You really play with the idea of what is reality and what isn’t. And people have to second guess themselves.

 

M: Exactly. Especially when you’re lucid dreaming, the distortion is very important. I’m really into surrealism -- more than any other form of art.

 

JM: A scanner is sort of out dated. No one really has or uses them anymore.

 

M: It’s a middle ground between traditional and digital.

 

JM: Would you consider this a series of self-portraits?

 

M: I would call it more of a “Portrait Series“. I realized, different people change the composition. I think of the person and I create a specific color palette for them.

 

 

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK



 

JM: Do you think you’ll stay in New York for a while?

 

M: No, I don’t think so. I want to travel.

 

JM: Anywhere in mind? 

 

M: Europe or Japan. I’d like to live in Japan for a few months.

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

 

JM: There’s a really strong sense of theatrical drama in your work. Are the characters already dead by the time they reach the audience?

 

M: In my old graphic work I used to obsess with death. Especially darker sides… drug addictions. I think a lot of people romanticize with death. The idea of what happens after death.

 

JM: Yeah, like... what is that? 

 

M: Well, my idea is that death is similar to lucid dreaming. There are 7 minutes of brain activity left after you die. And it’s possible you go into a dream-state. You see flashbacks. Just like in dreaming the time feels longer. 

 

JM: What do you think about aging? 

 

M: Aging? Just a number. But you do learn a lot. Every year is growth, and always different.

 

 




IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

JM: What do you do every morning that’s different from what you do every night? 

 

M: I have a really bad habit of skipping breakfast, but then I eat a lot at night. Like, right before bed, ha hah ha.

 

JM: Like what?

 

M: Like, JUNK FOOD! Midnight deli runs. Chicken. Fried chicken.

 

 


IMAGE COURTESY OF MILK


 

 

JM: What would you do if you could do anything? 

 

M: That’s a hard question. If I could do anything in the world right now I would just travel. I want to explore. Even if it could be a cross state road trip.

  

JM: Anything coming up? 

 

M: I started making music. That’s going to come up soon. Hoping I can drop something this month.

 

JM: That’s awesome. What’s the name of your music persona?

 

M: Girlscout. It’s interesting. Growing up I’ve had a lot of personas. It’s a way for me to organize things in my head. When I did my mural painting I went under the name “Leonn “ — with two n’s.

 

JM: Having multiple personas is a way to break free. Also it separates the artists’ ego from the work. You’re not saying it’s about you. It’s about the work and how it stands alone. 

 

M: Exactly, that’s the other thing. It’s not about me. I do separate the artist from the work.

 

JM: Very surrealist approach to life.

 

 

 

  

for more on the artist, visit her website at JIL.NYC