Chiara Bautista, Love Songs on Paper – Interview

For years, details on artist Chiara Bautista, a.k.a Milk have been leaked in dribs and drabs and her interviews are not legion. But she exceptionally accepted to answer some questions for beautiful.bizarre…

But first, let’s introduce her and her amazing art.

At 38 years old, Chiara Bautista is one of the most fascinating artist that has ever been revealed by the Internet. What fascinates is of course her work first, from sketches to digital art and painting, with recognizable gracious lines and elements that connect her to pop surrealism and graphic novels. Indeed every piece of Chiara’s work is inhabited by mysterious and poetic creatures borrowed from fairy tales and released into the modern world. But it’s her story that makes Chiara’s work unique and spellbinding. Not especially her life’s bio, a bachelor’s degree in Graphic design and a long career as an illustrator for the Arizona Daily Star, in her home of Tucson, USA. No, it’s her out-of-this-world, romantic relationship with her muse, nicknamed Ilka, met online and never in real life (as far as we know). The art of Chiara is a real conversation with her muse that we are able to witness, without having the keys of understanding, we are still caught up in all its magic and romance. No need to add more.

The artwork and  Chiara’s answers will give you a special insight into this enigmatic and fascinating artist.

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Where do you find the inspiration for all the lovely creatures that inhabit your drawings (the wolf, mermaids, teddy bears, skeleton birds, etc)?

The characters and their ongoing stories are made as gifts for people I love. They are usually born from conversations, most of them from a single sentence said at the right time.

There are some references to religion and martyrs in your art : is it an inspiration, and what meaning do you see behind it?

I’m Mexican, born and raised in México, and religion is a big part of my culture. Religious icons are found and seen everywhere, not only in churches, so I grew up with that imagery as part of the background. The meaning I see in it, varies, and the only thing that never changes is that I’ve always thought they are very beautiful.

You often depict love stories with a sweet melancholy and irony : do you believe in love?

Of course I believe in love. I’m in love. And even when I’m not in love, I still believe in it.

Do you think that pain is more beautiful to draw than happiness?

I think everything can be beautiful if presented the right way. It’s all about perspective. You know what they say… for every downside, there’s an upside.

Music is really present in your artworks : how much is it important when you are working?

I love all kinds of music, I listen to music all the time. Not as much lately due to headphones being banned at work, but hey, I can always sing while I draw. I don’t need music to work, but working is definitely a lot more enjoyable with music.

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Have you ever considered doing comics or books ? What are your projects?

I have a lot of projects and never enough time to work on all of them. On top of my list, comics and graphic novels are something I’d like to try but I’d have to learn and practice a lot first. Telling a story frame by frame requires a lot more than just being able to draw. My admiration goes to all comic artists out there.

Your drawings are often used for tattoos : what do you think of it ? Are you connected with tattoo art?

I find very flattering that people like my work that much and I think it’s really sweet that they find a personal connection to the characters and their stories. As for myself, my only connection to tattoo art are the pictures people share with me when they get my illustrations tattooed on them, and the huge respect I have for tattoo artists.Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (22)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (16)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (15)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (14)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (13)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (9)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (8)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (7)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (2)Chiara_Bautista_beautifulbizarre (6)



About Author

Author of several books and bilingual writer from Paris, France.


  • Danjel
    June 24, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I’ve been following Chiara on Facebook for a quite long period of time and she never cease to amaze me with her art. I sincerely hope she will sell an artbook sooner or later. I would definitely get it.

    • Alewis
      January 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I am right there behind you she has alot of beautiful work.
      Does she have one yet?

  • Karin van de Kuilen
    June 24, 2014 at 12:48 am

    A great artist!

  • Hachi
    June 24, 2014 at 2:07 am

    shes one of my favorite artist EVER!!

  • Tim Seidler
    June 24, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I’ve been following Chiara since her MySpace days. I wish there was a way to buy her works. So talented. Seems like the demand for her pieces is pretty high and she’d be able to quit her job and create her art full time. I hope she does some day.

  • peter mcquillan
    June 24, 2014 at 9:26 am

    one of my favourite artists – just brilliant. I’m a bit envious as I often try something similar – but she is way ahead

  • Traci L. Turner
    June 27, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Wow! Just wow…
    One of my new favorites now!

  • Madison
    July 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    So hard to understand why she is still working for a newspaper and not doing her art full-time. With as many new pieces as she posts to Facebook, you’d think it’s time to pull the trigger.

  • Linette
    July 18, 2014 at 2:32 am

    That tattoo featured in this article is done by an amazing artist in Florida named Mel Perlman from Aces High Tattoo shop in S. Florida. Her work is also beautiful!

  • Linette
    July 18, 2014 at 2:34 am

    That tattoo featured in this article is done by an amazing artist in Florida named Mel Perlman from Aces High Tattoo shop in S. Florida. Her work is also beautiful!

  • Linette
    July 18, 2014 at 2:35 am

    The tattoo featured in this article is done by an amazing artist named Mel Perlman from S. Florida. She’s located at Aces High Tattoo Shop. Her work is also beautiful!

  • Kodee
    July 14, 2015 at 4:09 am

    Would love to buy her amazing creations!


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