• Sophie Miller

Mikki Philippe: Everything is a work in progress. Everything is growth.

An interview with artist & designer Mikki Philippe

Introduce yourself!

My name is Mikki Philippe. I’m a 5th year senior at University of Missouri — Columbia. I’m majoring in fine arts with an emphasis in painting and a minor in history. I’m from St. Louis.


How did you get started?

*Groans!* My mother said she always knew I would be an artist, but I think every artist’s parents say that.


So did you always know you wanted to pursue art?

I actually wanted to be a lawyer! I wanted to do political science and study history, but I figured if I’m going to school and paying for it, I might as well be paying for something I really love.


What is your favorite medium?

I love anything watered down, watered-down acrylic, watercolors. I love watered down mediums because of the way they interact and blend together. Once they dry they make this really fluid thing.

What’s up with the beans?

My work is super depressing deep down and the beans are just a way for me to make happier things.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created?

Ooh. I do have a favorite. My favorite one is called “Matthew.” It’s about a boy who I was very much in love with. He went to Chicago and there was no closure there and I wanted to paint something that felt like what he meant to me, if that makes sense.


That definitely makes sense. Did you ever show it to him?

I texted him about it…I don’t know.


Do you have a least favorite piece?

No. Everything is a work in progress. Everything is growth. There is nothing I don’t like.


How has Covid-19 impacted your work?

I had to move from Columbia back to St. Louis to live with my parents. I have a studio in the basement but I don’t have a place where I can make the messes that I like making. My paintings have gotten smaller. I couldn’t do my senior show in person, it had to be online.


So what do you think about the idea of online/virtual galleries?

I think that’s great because it reaches out to more people. Galleries can be so stuffy. I’m always open to expanding art in different ways.


What does your future look like?

*Widens eyes* I want to go to grad school to get an MFA and hopefully become a professor. My dream is to open a gallery in a low-income community to bring art to people who wouldn’t normally have access to it, without gentrifying the community.


Who inspires you?

Oh my gosh. Heather Day. She’s a contemporary artist. I follow her on Instagram. All her work really inspires me but I’m more inspired by my girlfriends who make art. My classmate Eliza Finck and my friend Lauren Arens. It’s so nice to have art friends because we bounce ideas off each other. Eliza’s and my studios are right next to each other. It’s like girl time all the time.


Anything you want to add?

Support your local artists and small artists!


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