Conservatory first-year Mila Brown: Viola Performance Major

What inspires you to create?

If I could sum it up in one word, I would say life inspires me to create. Of course, this is an extremely broad term. When I say life, I ultimately mean the small details of our everyday existence. The beauty in a ray of sunlight in the morning, a warm moment with a friend, a feeling of accomplishment, even mundane tasks like cooking and cleaning. Celebrating these small moments and using them as my creative outlet is what makes my life worth living.

What is the function of your art?

This is a tricky question — and a question I ask myself every day. I don’t have the true answer, but for right now, I would simply say to bring joy to myself and to others. However, art can also serve as a tool for social justice work, bringing overlooked opinions forward, or even bringing confidence and purpose to others. I have big plans that I hope to flesh out here at my time in Oberlin. Ultimately, I want to forward classical music, bringing in other influences and moving the canon forward.

What role does artmaking play in your life?

At this point, I have become synonymous with my art. It flows in and out of everything I do, from chores to practicing viola to taking a walk to actively trying to create something.

Would you say your artmaking is a healing experience?

For me, art is an extremely healing experience. It’s both a physical and mental tool that I use to sort through my emotions. Recently, I’ve been trying to live life without pushing down my feelings. Instead, I let them surface, experience them, and ultimately let them go. My craft is extremely helpful as a way to channel this energy. 

Where do you want to see your art?

Truly, I’m not sure yet. It’s hard to say whether you may or may not want your art for mass consumption, but hopefully, I’ll know soon.

How do you begin your creative process?

For me, the creative process never has an end or beginning. By learning to recognize that art and beauty lay within all things, it extends the process to be as constant as breathing. I’m constantly thinking and considering new ideas and influences.

Who are your influences and inspirations?

Ultimately, everything is my influence and inspiration. But if I had to name specific things, I am constantly and incredibly inspired by my fellow Obies! It warms my heart to see people uniquely and unabashedly crafting their artistic vision, and I hope to be just as unapologetic one day.


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