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An interview with Maria Milan Studio

Maria is an artist and interior designer by trade. She loves to use a galaxy of materials including onyx, natural stone, semi - precious stones and brass to create other worldly sculptural lights and objects that have inherent grounding and energetic properties, bringing life to each piece and to your space. She lives near the beach with her daughter Valentina, inspired by her natural surroundings and her daughter who is her biggest inspiration. We sit down to discuss her design process, where she finds her inspiration and her most treasured pieces in her home.


Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and how did you come to work in Interior Design?

I am an artist and Interior designer by trade. I live near the ocean with my little earth angel daughter Valentina. 

I am an Aquarius so I'm a creative spirit and a bit quirky once you get to know me. I'm very independent and love time to myself but I also love to have good salt of the earth people around me. 

I grew up with an artist mother and an engineer father. I feel like interior design encompases these two modalities, the practical and the emotive realms. I think that is what drew me to Interior design.

I had a creative upbringing and had an art scholarship exploring and exhibiting with different art mediums throughout high school. I later studied costume, set design and makeup artistry at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and later studied Architectural Interior design at The Queensland University of Technology graduating with a Bachelor of Built Environment - Interior design. 



Can you tell us about your design process when it comes to working with natural stone?

 I like to upcycle off-cut pieces from private design projects and give them a new life. I also like to use semi - precious stones. Whether it be a wall light or jewellery holder, each piece has a feeling and an energy, they are little pieces of mother nature and I use them in a way that best compliments their various grounding and energetic properties that are inherently found in natural stone.





 Can you tell us a bit about your feature in Real Living magazine?

One of my little neon sculptures called mortality was featured in the magazine. It was a little skull that represents a reminder to experience being in the present moment.


Where do you find inspiration?

The short answer is "everywhere." My little magical daughter Valentina is my biggest inspiration. I also find a lot of inspiration in nature, the sky, the ocean, trees, plants, animals. Movement and exercise also provide me with inspiration and get the creative juices flowing. People and other creative mediums in art, fashion, photography, film, music also provide me with a lot of inspiration. 





Can you please tell us your most treasured piece in your home?

Two Large scale paintings that my daughter painted a few years ago when she was younger. I bought two very large canvases and “commissioned” her to paint them in my favourite colour at the time, a warm sun yellow with thick chunky paint. It is very cute and special to me. 


What does ‘home’ mean to you?

Home is my safe place where I recharge, rest, create and spend time with my daughter.

We can hear the ocean from our home which is so calming and soothing. I am so grateful and feel very lucky and blessed to live here and call it our home.





Can you please talk us through your favourite piece from your collection?

The "Moon Light " sconce wall light is part of my "Wall Jewellery" collection. 

It is hand made from an off cut of quartzite and custom brass. Quartzite is a very hard rock composed predominantly of an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. It absorbs, stores, releases and regulates energy. It balances and revitalises the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes. The light creates a stunning soft glow inspired by the moonlight, with a ribbon of brass wrapped around it like a piece of jewellery.


What advice would you give to any other creatives hoping to start a business?

Start something that you love, that resonates with you and the path will slowly unfold in front of you. 



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