These paintings are the work of 16-year-old Dimitra Milan, who started painting just 4 years ago. Daughter to two artists, Milan was exposed to art from a young age, and even chose to be homeschooled so that she could dedicate more time to her training. Now an early high-school graduate and professional painter, Milan shared some of her thoughts about her parents:

“My parents have given me a lot of advice about painting and the creative process,” Milan told Bored Panda. “They have taught me a work ethic, and about my identity as an artist. They taught me to be defined from the inside, not the outside. That I find my identity in God, and not what the world or people think about me. I know that beauty starts from within, before it manifests where it can be seen. Concerning the creative process, they have taught me that hitting a wall is a natural part of growth as an artist. When you get stuck or frustrated you take risks and push through until you breakthrough the wall, and find a new discovery. This has helped me get out of my comfort zone and increase my skills rapidly.”

Read the rest of our interview with Dimitra after the pictures!

More info: dimitramilan.com | Facebook | Instagram (h/t: mymodernmet)

Interview with Dimitra Milan:

“I am the oldest of my 3 other siblings. I have two sisters and a brother. My parents who were high school sweethearts, are also established professional artists. My heritage is part Greek. I lived in Greece for a year, and i went to kindergarten there. I have a deep connection and love for that country. I have lived in Arizona my whole life, and have always loved animals. My parents say that I have asked them for a farm since I could talk. Now I have a horse, a dairy goat, a cockatiel, dogs, cats, and chickens. How I got started in painting, is my parents opened an art school and i began taking all of the classes. I was 12 when I became interested in painting. After I got over a few hurdles, I picked it up really quickly.”

“My parents have given me a lot of advice about painting and the creative process. They have taught me a work ethic, and about my identity as an artist. They taught me to be defined from the inside, not the outside. That I find my identity in God, and not what the world or people think about me. I know that beauty starts from within, before it manifests where it can be seen. Concerning the creative process, they have taught me that hitting a wall is a natural part of growth as an artist. When you get stuck or frustrated you take risks and push through until you breakthrough the wall, and find a new discovery. This has helped me get out of my comfort zone and increase my skills rapidly.”

“I paint what I see as beautiful, noble, true, and worthy. I paint women because they are beautiful, and they represent how i feel. I paint animals as symbols, and believe they represent a deeper meaning. Im not always aware of their meaning. I just paint what I am attracted to in the moment from an inner need to see what my imagination looks on the canvas. The painting tells me what it means, like there is a divine voice inside of it that tells me its mysteries. Sometimes what I paint is from what I have dreamt at night. Lately I have dreamt of being underwater and seeing glistening light sparkling above me. Below me were a 100s of stingrays with red and black backs. Like Vincent Van Gogh, “I paint my dreams and I dream my paintings””

“My process is a classical foundation with contemporary techniques. I aim to make my paintings look free and effortless; loose, not tight and over labored. I want the forms to be rendered and anatomically correct but fading into abstract brushstrokes. I have learned about the frequency of color and how some pigments move away and some come forward. I try to create depth, beauty and emotion through different frequencies of pigments. I love colors that are soft and atmospheric. I paint from my sketches and from several photographs. I love to draw with inks and discover new ways to make marks.”

“I hope that viewers feel invited to live inside the paintings and encounter a presence of beauty. I want them to feel that anything is possible, empowered, and free. I want them to get a sense of divine love and find a dreamy realm where they are inspired and uplifted”

Bored Panda would like to thank Dimitra Milan for taking the time to answer our questions!

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