Miso’s art practice takes her all over the world, countless times a year, but it was at her leafy Melbourne studio that we got to sit down and have a little Pillow Talk time. Known for her intricate designs and home-made tattoos, Miso, aka Stanislava Pinchuk, is a bit of an indie art icon. Her clients include Chanel, and Tiffany & Co, but this woman is seriously grounded. For this month's Pillow Talk, Stanislava muses on what home means to her, how her dreams help her art, and the trick to keeping a balanced life.
How many times did you travel last year, where to, and what for?
In the last year? This is what the list in the front of my diary tells me… Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Fukushima, Tokyo, Melbourne, Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Melbourne, Casablanca, Tangier, Tetouan, Chefchaouen, Tangier, Lisbon, Terceira, Lisbon, Paris, Kiev, Chernobyl, Kiev, Kharkov, Chuguyev, Kharkov, Kiev, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne.
My body. I mean, look at that list above! To be really honest, I don’t think I have a sense of home right now, outside of that - at all. But it doesn’t bother me!
Actually, I think being on the road, alone - that’s a real sense of ‘home’ for me. It makes me really happy, there’s such a sense of comfort in a long haul transit for me. I could just go forever, really. And making the work that I make, it really helps to be in the studio alone, to live alone. But at the same time, those studio hours and that much time on the road, there’s so much love - wether that’s people I love coming to my studio to keep me company, or seeing friends you really love & feel inspired by in another city, after a long time apart. So it’s maybe equal parts of both - which makes me feel pretty lucky.
What does being an artist feel like?
A controlled, elegant freak out.
I grew up with parents who really appreciate art, which I feel very lucky for. There wasn’t a lot of art in Kharkov, and I don’t think we had any art books - but it’s something they really love. There were lots of novels in the house, some with illustrations that I remember really well. My dad would always be playing something on guitar, my mother sewed a lot of her own clothes. They’re both really good drawers, even though they don’t do it. So there was always something creative, in some way.
What was the last thing that made you feel Zen and shut off your busy brain off completely?
I spin in my tracks way too much. Sometimes that madness is a really productive place to be, so I think it’s kind of important to say that! Otherwise - I don’t talk about it much, but I go to yoga every day. Quite intensely. Partly because my work is very physically painful to make, and I really need to undo a lot of what I do in the studio and push my muscles in another direction. But it’s also where my brain really turns off, and back on in a pretty amazing way. It’s like making two days from one.
I think I talk about that Chinese curse most days - “may your life be interesting.” How good is that?! What an amazing, funny thing to say to someone vengefully. It’s so well intentioned, and so mean. But I kind of catch me telling myself - “At least you’re not bored.” I don’t know if that’s a mantra, but it does get repeated a lot!
When you’re somewhere new, what do you do to make it feel more like home?
It’s funny, I really like those small rituals that you do when you stake a new space, or land somewhere. I think I blast the music that I’ve been listening to a lot in the weeks before, or a really familiar album. Also, I feel like if I just put on red lipstick & my perfume, it’s a small thing that makes me feel at home and feel like myself, anywhere I am. It’s completely psychosomatic, but I feel put together & ready to go, even if the rest is melting.
Good music, phone off.
I think it will always be Tokyo for me. But I just really, really fell in love with Tangier. Maybe because they’re both kind of equal, strange parts of being wild and conservative? Or maybe just their complete, visual overload - it’s that high density, vertical street structure, that doesn’t sleep either. I think it does something really good to me.
Photography // Louis Kanzo
Words // Maxine Dabrowski