Kim Katrin Milan

:: AGE

30

:: LOCATION

New York, New York, USA

:: MEDIUM

Curator, theatre, muralist, video, photography and performance. I'm multidisciplinary through and through.

:: IDENTIFIES AS

I'm a queer femme. Other words folks might use around my sexuality might be pansexuality, bisexuality or sapiosexual. I'm Black, and that for me encompasses being mixed race. Arawak, Venezuelan, Indian, Afro Dominican. I identify very strongly with my background and across these multiple experiences, I am layers, not fractions

As a womxn or womxn of color, why do you think it is important to create?

Because thousands of us have created in the past only to have our contribution erased or appropriated by others. And when I looked for evidence as a young girl that we had been here, and it was so hard to find us. Our creation gives possibility models to our futures, it honors our inheritance from our ancestry.

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

Curating and directing the Cipher Cabaret for Toronto Pride.

How do you define love?

I think that one of the shortcomings of the English language is the absence of a multitude of ways to describe love. There was an article I read a couple years ago on 23 Untranslatable Words The Describe Love Better Than You Ever Thought. There were a few I knew including ‘saudade’; Portuguese word describing the feeling of intense longing for a person or place you love but is now lost. But mostly ones I didn’t know, I can’t guarantee the translations, but for me what was helpful was giving multiple languages to love. Being able to describe the unique love I have for mi abuela, in contrast for the love I have had for a partner or even for my community. Each of these experiences come with their own unique joys and heartbreaks. What connects them at least for me is the vulnerability that is required in loving; being so invested in another’s wellbeing, that their sadness and discomfort moves you to change.  

What is the space like that you create in?

I travel a lot, so the space I create in changes frequently. In the past 3 years, I tend to stay in one place for max 1 month so it means I need to create and arrange new creative spaces all the time. In any new city,

What do you like to listen to while you create?

I like a lot of noise, energy and movement. Movies in the background, trap music, surrounded by conversation is my ideal to create.

What’s your earliest memory of making art?

I used to create radio shows and record them on tapes when I was 6 years old. I have been performing ever since.

Do you have any words of advice for young artist/creators out there?

Learn how to cultivate your instinct and intuition and to trust your gut. Take the time with yourself to develop your own standards of success and integrity.

Do you have any advice for people who want to create but are scared to/ doubt themselves/ haven’t created in awhile/ have competing priorities?

Surround yourself with a community of people who support and inspire you whether that be online or offline. We need each other, and everyone needs some support or validation. Find people who can do this for you, and also be this person for others so you can keep the inspiration flowing.

How do you make time to create?

Embedding into as much of my day as possible, from applying makeup, creating artsy to do lists

What or who keeps you inspired?

Mi Abuela. Bad Dominicana. Amanda Parris. Sonya Renee Taylor. Mary Senyonga. Laura Luna. Angelica Ross. Geena Rocero. Women inspire me constantly.

Who is a fellow artist/creative who inspires you?

The Bad Dominica and I am also deeply inspired by Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler and Grace Jones.

How do you define art?

Creative expression and personal or collective interpretation. Sometimes it stops with the first part, but the relationship we build with others when we create and invite them into our imagination is a particularly special and intimate thing.

What does art mean to you?

Art has saved my life, it has helped me cope, given me the opportunity for catharsis, allowed me to build community and it is integral to my daily life.

What do you do with art that you aren’t particularly fond of?

I think like so many artists, that deep perfectionist streak that has me overthinking to the point that I can doubt or psych myself out of creating.

What do you think are some ways/one way to strengthen/celebrate the community of womxn who are artists/creatives?

Invest in our work, membership, Patreon, purchasing prints or music – buy directly from artists and celebrate them when you do.

Kim, we wholeheartedly agree with you that we are layers, not fractions, of our multiple experiences relating to our identities and backgrounds. And thanks for introducing us to the “untranslatable words that describe love”–we love learning more ways to express ourselves.