(Excerpts from Dimitra Milan's interview with Anna Gragert from My Modern Met.)
With both your parents being established artists, what would you say is the most significant advice they've given you?
The most important advice I received is the demonstration of a work ethic. They taught me that you don’t always have to be in the mood to paint. You just paint. Every day, for eight or nine hours straight just like any other career choice. Like everything else in life, it's hard work, passion, and commitment that will make you successful. They not only told me these things, but they also demonstrate it in their own life and art careers.
It used to be like this: when I became stuck on a painting and didn’t know how to resolve it, I would quit and move on to something new. Now, I realize that, in order to become more skilled, I need to confront my comfort zones and push through the wall that's blocking me because a breakthrough is on the other side.
Can you describe your creative process? How do you incorporate your passion for traveling?
My creative process simply begins with an inner need to paint a specific subject. I paint simply what I like, what I see as beauty. I see something in my imagination and then sketch what I see and combine it with photo sources. As I begin to paint the scene, I drift into a right brain realm where I forget time and space and just sort of live inside this painting and the flow of color and brush strokes. I’m not really thinking, sort of co-creating with a Divine Hand that I find in this creative realm. Then, as I look, critique, and evaluate what I have painted, I start to get a sense of what it is all about. I really want the paintings to be open-ended and mean different things to different people. I want them to be sort of a window or door into this beautiful, creative realm so people can encounter that atmosphere where anything is possible.
Traveling for me is about adventure and a way to see God’s beautiful garden of people. I love experiencing other cultures and seeing how connected we all are. I love to taste different foods and see the beauty in the world, and to experience the breathtaking moments that become everlasting memories. Traveling helps me to not be self-focused.