Despite the raging popularity of her work across many platforms, Stanislava Pinchuk aka Miso remains humble and almost unaffected by the cult-like following she has garnered. The day I clattered up seven floors in the old lift of the Melbourne’s historic Nicholas Building, Stanislava was literally unpacking into her new studio and preparing to leave for a month long stay in Tokyo the next day.
Being somewhat of a groupy myself, I lapped up the bare workspace and thought that despite its sparseness – it was of course brilliant and distinctly Miso-esque.
As we settled in to chat, I was both surprised and delighted to learn the background of this favourite creative as she relayed it in her softly spoken voice and threw smiles out from under her glossy dark fringe.
Born in the Ukraine, Stanislava moved to Melbourne with her family at the age of 10. Introverted by her own admission, she spent much of her childhood and early teens drawing and making her own clothes. Creativity led her to connect with a like minded crew of artists and at 14 she started doing paste ups around the city which rapidly gained an audience.
Despite, or perhaps because of, her obvious talent and love of her own art she chose to steer clear of entering formal art study on her graduation of high school. By 18 she had finished in the top wrung of Victoria’s high schools for art, was already doing paid graphic work and had been involved in a number of group shows . The jaded look on her art school friends faces assured her she was making the right decision for herself and off she went to Uni in an unexpected direction.Above is a book about flamboyant Melbourne artist and creative; Vali Myers who worked out of the same Nicholas Building studio
Having always studied French, Stanislava continued with this and also delved into Philosophy. Her double major in Art History and French taught her “to read, write and to understand.” During her study she continued with her art, supporting herself with sales through galleries and exhibitions, commercial graphic design work, curating shows and print editions through her online store she set up at the age of 19. At 21 she authored a book about the movement of street art but it wasn’t long before she stepped away from paste ups and creating work in public spaces as the issues around their legality were constant. Interestingly enough and coinciding with this, the National Gallery of Australia purchased two of her “street works” (followed by another two large works recently). The National Gallery of Victoria subsequently purchased two pieces from her most recent show…this young “street artist” wasn’t considered a public pest by the art world at large!!
At 22 Stanislava took a year off study to really delve into her art full time, giving herself time to decide if this was the right direction to head in or to return to University. She travelled ALOT, her work came easily and whats more she had an incredible time! Life was going well…. further study was delayed….
It was about 3 years ago that Stanislava started tattooing. Combining travel with her target of two solo shows per year, she had been doing a lot of embroidery and pin prick work on paper – it seemed the obvious next move was tattoos. For over a year and a half she put her steady hand to good use and tattooed friends, doing whatever they wanted. It wasn’t long until the technique, style and resulting imagery began to cross over into her work and vice versa. Slowly they became closer and she enjoyed the emerging dialogue between the ink work and her actual artwork. Stanislava began to document her work of simple trades with friends – tattoos in exchange for artwork, baking, whiskey. The resulting zine and her iconic style has seen the imagery go viral and for many showed that tattoos could be beautiful in a simple, pared back and imperfect form.
I think one of the most interesting things about Miso has been her ability to bridge and find an audience from street level, wandering creative enthusiasts online, workshopping artists in training and still clock wins with the often inaccessable upper wrungs of the fine art world. I don’t think this was an intentional result on her behalf but, for this creative groupy, its actually reassuring and exciting to see.
At 25 years old and armed with a highly transportable artform, Stanislava continues to travel and create at a rate that keeps her hungry audience happy. With her work to date spanning from paste ups, zines, drawings, paper cuts, tattooing and beyond its safe to say we are in for more interesting, innovative and distinctly Miso work to come!
All photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home.
WHAT I LEARNT FROM MISO:
Allow yourself to diversify, experiment, learn, innovate and progress.
In short – find your creative flow.