In our next episode of The Create! Podcast, Alicia interviews abstract artist Makiko Harris. This episode covers the artist’s background and inspirations, her step-by-step guide for launching a sale of your work on your own, and advice for dealing with slow seasons. Follow her journey on Instagram and see select paintings available at PxP Contemporary, our partner gallery of affordable original art!

More about Makiko Harris:

Makiko is a San Francisco-based hapa-American artist that makes highly textured abstract mixed media paintings. Leveraging her mixed-race heritage of being both Japanese and white, she creates work that explores the tension between subtlety and exuberance/composure and expressiveness. Her work also explores the resilience of the female body.

Makiko Harris was born in Breda, The Netherlands, and has lived in Tokyo, Boston, New York, and California. She studied Philosophy and Studio Art at Tufts University (B.A. 2011), focusing on Aesthetics, Philosophy of Art, and Feminist Philosophy. After graduation, she continued her studio art education at the California College of Arts in San Francisco through the continuing education program. Currently, Makiko is a Studio Artist and Board Member at Root Division - a fellowship for emerging artists that provides subsidized studio space in downtown San Francisco and professional development support.


Artist Statement

I make mixed media abstract paintings that incorporate textured surfaces and collage elements. My work, in both the making process and finished product, explores vulnerability, beauty, feminism, and the physical manifestations of experience on the body.

The process by which each piece is created through stretching, trampling, burning, scraping, flooding, covering, staining, and smearing tests the resilience and durability of the surface. The end result of a heavily impacted, wrinkled surface that is un-taught, loose, and not quite square, calls to mind how the skin on our bodies reflects back our internal and external experiences.

Through the challenges of the past year, the blank canvas was there for me as a space for expression - and space where it was okay to exhale. To express grit and pain and also the unassailable optimism of the human spirit. For me, an unstretched canvas is the perfect surface to reflect the moment. It wrinkles and buckles in unexpected ways, and balances the line between what we can control and what we cannot - encouraging me to celebrate and find beauty in the imperfect.