By Amanda Dibiaso
If you’ve been to many shows or festivals in the Midwest the past few years, chances are you’ve seen Indiana-based painter Patrick Milescu. With an ever-present, contagious smile that radiates good vibes and a one-of-a-kind painting style that is equally as happiness-inducing, he’s hard to miss. The first time I met Pat about a year ago his kindness and excitement about art and life in general really stuck out to me. I’ve had the pleasure and spending a lot of time with Pat in the past year at different events and recently had the opportunity to interview him and learn even more about his life and art.
Tell me about where you grew up and your family and how you feel that shaped you as an artist.
My parents were born and raised in Romania, that’s where my family is from. I’m actually the first person in my family that was born in North America. I was born in Canada, and I lived there with my parents and sister until we moved to Indiana when I was 7 and I’ve been here ever since. My parents are very cultured and love to travel, and I think growing up around their extensive collection of international music and art probably had a big influence on me. I spent a lot of my childhood traveling all over the world, which exposed me to a lot of different perspectives, idealistically and culturally. I visited museums like the Louvre, places that I really couldn’t fully appreciate at the time, but that intrigued me. I’d say my parents’ cultural influence has had a big impact on me as an artist.
How and when did you realize you had a passion for art?
I’ve always drawn and doodled throughout my life, especially in school though. I have always had an overactive imagination and A.D.D. that led me to doodle in all my classes. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school when I took an independent art study class that I really fell in love with art. I started painting because the supplies were available and I was just blown away by how fun it was.
What inspires you to create?
Above anything else, definitely music. Sometimes I wish I’d learned to play an instrument instead of paint because music is my real passion, live music specifically. I’m also inspired by other artists in this scene. I’m really just inspired by creation – creation is really an attractive force for me.
How does music play a part in your art?
My passion for art and my passion for music go hand-in-hand. I have always loved music and its ability to influence creativity. I don’t think I would be doing what I am now without live music, the live painting scene was a huge discovery for me because it combined the two things I loved most.
How would you describe your style?
Cartoonish, abstract, colorful, contemporary… I can’t really narrow it down yet but I’m still working towards expanding and experimenting with different styles until I find my niche.
What do you find most challenging about being an artist?
By far turning a profit is the hardest part – that’s my biggest obstacle, just finding a way to market my work. When it comes to painting there is no plan, no rules to it. You have to come up with your own path and sometimes it’s hard to see where you want to go next.
I know you’ve done some live painting at events – can you tell me about some of the events you’ve painted at and some things you have coming up?
I started out live painting at Hyperion in 2012, and that just opened a lot of doorways of possibilities for me. It was a life-changing experience and it really solidified what I wanted to do afterwards. I’ve painted at Hyperion and The Werk Out every year since then, and I’ve also been a part of Family Roots, ColorDance, Phases of the Moon, Rootwire, Paradise, Resonance and Good People Good Times. This year I’m returning to most all of them – I stick close to and enjoy supporting those Midwest festivals.
One thing that sticks out about you to a lot of people is that you’re always smiling, you always seem so happy – what would you say is your life motto?
It’s not so much a motto, it’s just the way I live my life – I love being nice to people. I live my life hoping to make everyone in my life as happy as possible. I love to see other people happy and I really try to live my life for other people and helping them any way I can.
Outside of painting, do you work/go to school?
I’m a telecommunications major with a minor in studio art at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, just south of Indianapolis. I’m a junior this year, and outside of school I spend most of my time working on various art projects to keep myself busy.
I know recently you’ve been getting into pin design. What made you decide to go in that direction?
Well I recently started collecting pins because of my love for Phish. I found that there is an incredibly underground, off-the-beaten-path group of people who love to create Phish pins inspired by the band or even just a song they really like or a show they went to in the past. It inspired me to see how creative and beautiful the artwork is in some of these pins – you can really see the connection that person has with the band, song or whatever it was that inspired them. It’s like little collectible art. People are creating little, collectible, masterpieces of art, and I just had to get involved in that.
What are your plans for the future – with your art and life in general?
My first goal is to finish school here in Indiana. I want to finish what I started here and get my degree and hopefully be able to relate my Telecommunications major to what I’d like to do with music and art after college. After that…I’d love to say I have a great plan, but it’s pretty up in the air between two options. I would love to move to Colorado but a huge part of me wants to move to Cincinnati to continue supporting and working alongside my friends at Essential Productions. Like I said before, I love to make people happy. Whatever I do for a living, I want to be helping people and making them happy, and that’s exactly what Essential Productions is doing. By bringing incredible events to the area on a weekly basis, they are constantly inspiring people with what they’re doing. But whatever I decide to do, I obviously plan to stay within the music scene and continue with my art and hopefully learn how make a living based off of it.
For more information about Patrick Milescu, visit “Patrick Milescu’s Art” page on Facebook and “pm1lliepaints” on Instagram