Artist Series / Milena: The Strip Club as "a Beautiful, Magical, Fantasy Land"

Artist Series / Milena: The Strip Club as "a Beautiful, Magical, Fantasy Land"

1. Tell us about your art in your own words! What is it?

I think this is secretly one of the hardest questions ever! My art to me has always been one big self portrait, whether it’s of myself or how I’m feeling. It almost feels like constantly working on a visual autobiography. So throughout my life where I’ve played with different subject matters or mediums, it’s like I’ve always been working through and telling the same story.

2. What part of the industry do you work in, and how has it influenced or inspired your work?

I’ve been a stripper for around 6-7 years <333 I think the strip club can just feel like such a beautiful, magical, fantasy land where anything is possible and you meet these one of a kind characters that you may never see again, or you see almost every night for years.

I started dancing while I was in college for painting and printmaking and what’s so funny to me is that back then I MAJORLY struggled to find my “thing” in art school. I would always draw a super simplified ~cartoony~ version of myself- almost daily- in my different activities or moods, so sometimes she would be in heels, sometimes sleeping. But somehow I didn’t start creating full finished strip club pieces like the ones I’ve shown until early this year!! I don’t know how it took so long to click and connect my two deepest loves in the world til so recent but wowowow lemme tell you it feels SO fulfilling.

"Centaur of Attention" The matching top and garter? Superb!

3. What artists, writers, creatives, or just life experiences outside of SW influence and inspire your work?

I feel super lucky to be surrounded by so many ultra creative people that inspire me to keep working on things even if their forms of work are so different.

A friend of mine Kat Lyons (@katllyons on IG) makes some of the most gorgeous, compelling paintings I’ve ever seen. Our styles couldn’t be more different but MAN every time she posts a new thing she’s working on or has completed I never feel more of a kickstart to sit and work on something new myself, it’s amazing.

@hizgi on IG is another artist I’ve been following for years that always get me, anyone who creates super sexy fun girlies I just can’t get enough of!

"Is 6 Open?" 2022. We have a print of this piece in the Angel Candy Office! :)
4. What is your most beloved piece of art or content you've created, and why?

I had a painting I made in college that I always thought would be my number one favorite until I made “Is 6 Open?”. I’m super proud of it, it’s my favorite for so many reasons, BUT hugely because it’s based off of my two besties/work wives and I working our beautiful stripper fairy magic going into our favorite VIP room in my favorite place in the entire world.

Once I found out at the beginning of this year that our home club would be shut down at any minute I started somewhat of a (maybe never ending??) series of works that depict what was our every night at that beautiful place. Rest in peace Oasis Goodtime Emporium </3

5. Tell us about your process! 

For my stripper related work specifically- I think I’ll just see something or experience a scenario in the club and be like “man I just want to immortalize and stare at this moment forever…”.

Sometimes I’ll start pen to paper for a casual drawing but for a full piece I’ll start sketching in Procreate on my ipad (epic name for an app lmao, but THE best drawing program I’ve ever used I highly recommend for everyone for anything). But I’ll start with a location of the club or a pose I can’t get out of my head, refine the line drawing and then use the iPad like a light box to transfer the drawing to paper!

6. Why do you create? What is the meaning or purpose of creation to you?

Truly it’s just all I know. I’ve been making art since I was a little tiny thing in my mom’s framing shop. I adore drawing and I adore dancing, I would do both of those things until I was 100 years old if I could, it just feels like what I’m supposed to do.

GF Experience, Process 
7. Is there anything you are or will be working on in the future you'd like to share?

Omg I’m working on the sketches of several different works right now. Sometimes I gotta leave things and come back to them a million times before I truly get it started, but I’m SO excited for these so keep an eye out. I may or may not be pulling in new characters inspired by some fantastic club acquaintances <3

8. What's your dream artistic creation / collaboration / project?

Once I finish working on a solid collection of this series I would LOVE to throw an art show and hopefully everyone who shows up are all wearing microkinis or I’ll scream.

9. Where can we find you and your work?

@xlildar on IG! Currently in the brain stages of a new website. 

~*But until then you can buy a print of “Is 6 Open?” directly through me. 100% of the $ goes directly towards my beautiful house mom who just lost her daughter (and fellow house mom partner in crime) as well as her job since Oasis got shut down*~

 xoxo, Milena <333


"Room 6" <3

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