Today we’d like to introduce you to Mai Lill.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mai. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Estonia while it was still under Soviet Union occupation until restoration of it’s independence in 1991. Growing up I was spending a lot of time at my great grandparent’s 700 years old farmhouse, since we didn’t have lots of toys to play with, I was blessed to get deeper connection with nature and animals. I really believe that being “bored” and not getting highly stimulated by electronics as a kid helped me to get creative. We (my brother & cousins) had so much fun making all kinds of creations and wood constructions at farmhouse, luckily we had access to hand tools from very early age. All this time at country side, surrounded by nature and animals, is been my huge inspiration. So what else is been inspiring me to do what I do know? I remember how happy I was when I got my first pink My Little Pony with wings and rainbow tail (through my relatives who lived in Finland). Those pastel color combinations on this Pony gave me some kind of hope, since Soviet color pallet is opposite. This toy made me happy and know I want to make art what would make people happy. As a kid I was into drawing and sketching Teenage Ninja Turtles and Disney characters and later in teenage years got into dancing pretty seriously. Dancing, performing and teaching young kids became my self-expression, art and motivation for a decade.
I first came to LA in 2009 to take dance classes from the best choreographers in the world, I stayed for three months and totally fell in love with diversity, food, weather, street art and freedom to be yourself. I kept coming back for many years till one point I decided to move to LA and start my life all over at age 26. That time I already discovered painting for myself and was fully focused on that. Yes, there are way easier things to do than being an immigrant artist in LA and a lot of times you need to do all kinds of side hustles to survive. Even tho LA is hard, I chose this journey and I don’t regret a thing. Los Angeles culture and people have been inspiring me so much and I’m blessed to call this place home now. While in LA I got into live painting scene and been lucky to perform in many festivals and underground parties, where I’ve felt welcomed and loved. Painting and creating art is been a big part of my healing progress and I’m blessed to share it with others. My mission is to create art, what would make viewers feel good and uplifted. I like to play around with different mediums and discover new possibilities, how to express my message “We•R•all•1” through art.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest personal challenge is been “believing in myself” and releasing old negative thought patterns. Finally I’ve overcome my fears and insecurities what have been holding me back in past. Overall in career I take challenges as lessons, because there is so much to learn and discover. Of course, road haven’t been always easy, but I believe if you really want something – work hard, be nice, believe in yourself & everything is possible.
Please tell us more about your art.
I’m painting mostly healing spirit animals. My main medium is acrylic on canvas, I love to paint skateboards, surfboards, jackets and sneakers. Bold lines and vibrant color combinations is something, what can describe my work, some call it visionary or psychedelic art. I’m a big believer in plant medicine and it’s healing health benefits. Experiencing and learning about it is something what have been inspiring me to do, what I do. I started with art show series “Connected” on 2014 and now working on my 7th show. Latest project what I took a part was Paint The City Peaceful in Santa Monica City, where artists came together to cover boarded up business with art & supporting Black Lives Matters movement. Goal is to rise some vibrations with my art!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Talent is important but more you have to have a good work ethic. Not to be afraid to “fail”, willing to take risks while staying humble and kind. And of course you really have to have a love for what you do and purpose.
- Website: www.mailill.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @mailillart
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mailillpony
Jennifer Esteban (white backdrop), Call Me Frankie (ultra violet), Judd Weiss (me live painting), Ago Teppand (with Giraffe), + personal collection