Backlog: Interview with Talia Migliaccio

In this interview Talia Migliaccio and I talk spirituality, travel and connection.

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Talia Migliaccio is a tattoo artist and illustrator from Colorado. Her art work often feature natural figures and shapes.

Do you think you fit into the stereotypical Colorado archetype of spiritual? Are you a spiritual person?

I personally, like if I’m categorizing Denver by a stereotype of activity I would not stereotype it by a spiritual community personally. It feels a lot more like other forms of culture to me but I also tend to not so concretely anchor places in that way. But I think in general the west coast tends to have a little bit more of a spiritual community. I mean everywhere does at the end of the day but yeah I don’t feel that way about it.

Do you feel like your own work is spiritual in any kind of way?

I mean yeah of course. I think being human is a really spiritual experience in general. I think it depends how one is to categorize that. I definitely feel like my work is more of a channel and a visualization for anchoring the forces that be that are like not as seen and known but a lot of those energies are just like bigger energies around us from celestial to like the more microbial energies of plants. I think it could be looked at as spiritual but I think it’s also just like really ancestral philosophies that have been here for a really long time. I guess I look at it more that way and I think the ancestry of people on this planet tends to deal with both the material and spiritual realms really fluidly.

Do you think that travelling ever affects your art or you as a person? Does that discourse?

You know, I’ve not really had a house or singular location for the last year and a half or so. So yeah it definitely affects me as a person and the way that I feel and the way life is and the way I am. It teaches me a lot and challenges me a lot, it nourishes me in a lot of ways, I get to experience a lot. It’s felt like a lot of different worlds because I haven’t really had one singular anchor point outside of my own body to go back to. So it’s taught me how to be present in my everyday motion in a really different way. And at the same time it definitely brings up like a lot of layers of frustration and challenge or I find myself spinning out a lot about it. But it’s also been a really big gift to be able to move that way and to be able to meet so many other inspiring people and just work with people all over. It’s definitely I think what one movement consisting of your whole life is of course gonna affect you.

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Do you feel a connection to most people you meet? Are you more people centered or are you focused on mostly other things?

I mean I really love people, I feel connected to all people. I think that as humans we have an enate connection to each other that is often times shut down or avoided. So yeah I love connecting with people immensely. I will say that it’s always a full spectrum, I feel like most things in my life feel like the full opposites of each other with everything in between. Where it’s like I love so many people and feel so deeply connected to so many people and then at the same time I feel so singular and so alone and so internal and I need space. But I think I’ve just learned how to hold my individual space differently because I’m very rarely alone physically. So yeah, I don’t know, I love both. I love all, I definitely work on being really adaptable and fluid and open with people and my spaces in general that I am interacting with.

How have you found balance? Do you feel completely in balance or do portions of your life need work?

I think to me a lot of this last year has felt like everything has fallen apart and taken a lot of unexpected turns. I feel that both individually and collectively and I think that I’ve not been trying to fight that. So I think there’s moments where I feel really unbalanced at this current moment I feel like I’m on my way to rebalancing and reforming the way things look in my life. But I don’t feel like there was ever a moment where I decided that I was gonna travel full time and not have a house. I just feel like that has now happened on two different occasions where I’ve like moved out of a house pretty quickly and then been like “okay I don’t have a house, I’m travelling full time.” But I also think that, you know, that it’s both. I feel balance and I feel imbalance, it’s a constant swing of things.

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Did you do art when you were little?

That’s definitely one thing that’s been with me since day one. Yeah, it’s been with me longer than I can like consciously remember.

What was growing up like for you? Did you always feel like you belonged or were you alienated?

I think one thing that’s been a notable experience for me for a really long time is that I’ve always just had a lot of friends older than me or not really fit in my age experience. Maturity and kind of like lifepath-wise I don’t always align with people my age, that’s shifting a little bit as I get older. I always went to schools that we were in classrooms with like third to sixth grade, or you know there was like 3 or 4 grades in a class. And I was always friends with the oldest possible people of my reaches. I’ve always been really independent, I felt really trapped by the education system. Because there’s nothing about it to me that really feels educational or really feels nourishing or substantial. And I think that I felt like I could always see ahead and I always felt really trapped by having to be in an institution that I felt like was wasting my time. Going to art school was amazing because I had an art studio that I could retreat to to create my own little world. But I feel like my childhood, while it was really amazing and my parents and family are really incredible, I also don’t feel like my childhood is fond memories for me. I feel like there was a lot of internal anger and struggle and just feeling like really trapped by being in a small body and not being able to expand into the worlds that I was feeling and seeing at the time. So it definitely was like a whole new freeing experience to not have to be in school and to finally be able to start working for myself. And just to have more flexibility in a way that I choose to learn and experience things.

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Do you like to stick to one medium or branch out?

When I’m making art, no. There’s no single medium that has my attention. I mean in general I don’t feel fully satisfied by the idea of making two dimensional art. Painting, drawing, I love it, I create books that I keep and work in everyday. But as a format of finished pieces I’m not really pulled towards making paintings and drawings. I mean that’s a world that tattoo has bridged for me where I still get to implement two-dimensional images but in a very experienced and expansive format. That’s really beyond a flat thing that goes on a wall, I’m much more interested in tangible materials, anything sculptural three-dimensional, that kind of thing. Anything that can be felt and worked through more deeply with the hands I think that aspect of not having a lot of hand integration in two-dimensional artwork is part of what doesn’t draw me to it. In terms of long term visions that I have artistically I’m much more interested in creating interdisciplinary spaces of experience. Whether that be living spaces, schools, education environments, vets. I just think really interdimensionally as far as mediums. It’s never just one thing or one way because I think I’m more interested in the bonding of art and life and experience and education being one thing. Rather than me just being an artist, that creates pieces to be looked at, that just feels really flat to me. So yeah, no, I mean medium wise no attachment to any particular mediums. But I also haven’t really been making a lot of finished art outside of tattoo the last few years. I’ve really just been travelling and meeting people and tattooing more recently.

Where do you think your career is headed? You think you’ll continue to tattoo forever?

I think once something’s with you it never really leaves. I don’t know if I’ll ever really stop tattooing. I would like to expand into other energetic exchanges so that monetarily tattoo isn’t my support system. Right now that works really well for me and I really love the experience of it and I love everything it teaches me and how I get to navigate relationships with people through this art form. But I would really like to be able to work with people on a way broader scale than just one at a time. So long term I really envision building or curating experiential education centers but I have visions that I’ve had for so many years that I don’t know if I fully have the language for them at this point in time. But there’s aspects that I feel so deeply and I know are a part of it and definitely entails making spaces and putting people together. And helping create a new educational format for learning and helping people understand how we can live differently by being the creators of our own world and not have to conform to the systems around us. But also like helping people understand how to consciously live with the planet that we live on. Because now we’re in such a disposable age culturally that a lot of what we’re choosing to engage in is really short sided and not necessarily nourishing for our own bodies or for the planet body. And without the planet body supporting us we can’t interact with any of the bullshit we interact with. So I definitely feel really strongly and passionate about that so I’m always sort of moving toward the bridge of where myself as an artist and myself as a person that is just really passionate about humanism and planetary rights can be one. And one experience that unified and well executed.

Talia’s Work can be found at or on her Instagram @Taliamigliaccio

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