Today we’d like to introduce you to Maile Earlywine.
Hi Maile, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Growing up, I had self-identity issues because I looked different than the average person in Orange County. I had dark hair with darker skin and curves. My name, Maile, is not a common name as well and I would be upset because I couldn’t find other people in California with the same name. I would always get down on myself about standing out.
My family is originally from Hawai’i so we often visited the islands. I felt more at home there than I did in Orange County because I looked like the girls there and was raised with the same morals and culture as them. My parents enrolled me in hula as a way to connect me with my roots and meet other people who were similar to me. Years later, I moved away to Oahu. There, I got the opportunity to reconnect with who I am and embrace it! I struggled with body image for a very long time and in the past few months, I learned to embrace who I am and how my body naturally looks. It’s a constant struggle but I’m learning along the way. I fell in love with art while living in Hawai’i. I would paint flowers and the beauty in nature but started to paint female figures. I started to paint female figures because I want to highlight women who are curvier and the beautiful imperfections that people often feel uncomfortable with. Along the way of creating, I have met so many amazing women who have dealt with the same struggles as me. I feel so lucky to have the power to share my story, what I’m passionate about, and empower other women to find self-love and confidence within themselves, as well as doing the same for myself. My art has allowed me to surround myself with amazing women and I am so excited to see what the future holds for me and the more people I can uplift.
Alright, 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?
It has not been a smooth road! Sometimes you plan things out or have an idea of the way things should be, but sometimes the universe has a different plan. For a while, I was nervous to share my creations with others because I felt as if they were not good enough compared to other’s work. But I am a young artist and constantly growing and progressing. For a while, it was hard for me to find stores and vendors who were willing to sell my art in their stores because they felt uncomfortable having female figures in their shops. My first shop I sold in, Sugarcane in Oahu, has helped me grow tremendously. Not only was it my first retail store I sold out of but it allowed me to gain more exposure and learn what most women in Hawai’i like to see in their wall art and greeting cards.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Right now, I create prints and greeting cards. I specialize in female figure prints that highlight curvier women that are surrounded by flora. I am most proud of my prints and the power they give women. I have been told that my prints empower others to be more comfortable with the way they look. I would definitely say that my art is very different than the average wall art you find in stores and galleries.
Any big plans?
For the future, I hope to be involved in more markets, art fairs and to connect with more women. Meeting other artists and strong independent women always motivates me to create more. I hope to grow more and normalize self-love and body image.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: mailekealohaart.com
- Instagram: http://Instagram.com/maileearlywine
Sydney Douglass Photography