Spotlight: Montana Mills
Montana Mills runs Modern Multiples, a fine art printmaking studio. He's dedicated to the realization of the collective vision between artist, publisher and printer. Each production is unique in its progression through the different levels of involvement between the artist and publisher - from color separations to stencil-making and color mixing, Montana and his team are actively involved in the creation of art. Follow along on Instagram for a peek into his process.
A Q&A with Montana about the Viva LA Experience
How has living in LA influenced your artistic style and the way in which you express yourself? Has LA influenced your choice of materials, media or message?
LA's biggest influence on me would be its culture and diversity. Growing up in Los Angeles has exposed me to so many diverse cultures growing up that I have a deep interest and appreciation for the international community. That and the expansiveness of this city. I love exploring the expanse and having friends and family all throughout the urban sprawl. Basically my "style and expression" in art is collaborative by nature and starts with social human connection.
The fact that I run a family legacy, Modern Multiples, my late uncle Richard Duardo's last fine art screen printing operation, very much dictates my media - serigraphy, or screen printing. Cause, well, I never went to art school.
What aspects of living in LA do you most appreciate? Which do you find most challenging?
There is always so much going on every day of the week! All over town in all areas of interest. I appreciate that one can fearlessly introduce themselves to most any community they think of. And at the same time, one of the more challenging aspects is that, with so many options, it can be a challenge to make/keep plans. "Wanna do ___?" "I could TOTALLY be down!" Operative word, "could." Heh...oh and on a totally more serious and depressing note, the wealth/standard of living gap from the city's entitled affluent population compared to the city's massive disenfranchised homelessness population is emotionally draining to say the least. But again, that's the world for you, all wrapped up in LA.
How does LA inspire you to express yourself?
Overlapping social circles. I enjoy people and happenings and inviting people to happenings and connecting creative people, etc. LA's quite conducive to that. The more people you get to relate to and interact with, the more you grow your community and yourself.
How has your art helped you grow as a person?
It has, has it?
What advice would you give kids growing up today who love creativity but may not be exposed to art?
Like I said, I appreciate the freedom to fearlessly introduce oneself to most any community out there on some level. So do it! Insert yourself! A few of my interns over the past years have simply cold called me and asked if they could lend a hand. I tend to applaud such bravery. These days you can directly contact just about whoever you want, so do it! Get creative!
If you could have one big wish come true for Los Angeles of the future, what would it be?
Homelessness - seriously, can we please but some HUGE time, money, thought and heart into improving this. I've seen it here my whole life, but nowadays, it's worse than ever. It's heartbreaking. So that, and this: Everyone in the Future Los Angeles will use their blinkers. ESPECIALLY in Beverly Hills. Peace!