Today we’d like to introduce you to Mylan Nguyen.
Mylan Nguyen is an artist of Vietnamese and Mexican descent currently living and working in Oak Cliff, where she was born and raised. Her current creative practice includes ceramics, illustration, and installation work. She works at We Are 1976, a letterpress and gift shop that supports independent artists. From time to time, she also teaches project-based workshops at places like Oil and Cotton, The Trammel Crow Collection, and the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I grew up in Oak Cliff, and back then I remember people looking down on or being afraid of the neighborhood I came from. I was raised by a single mom and we were probably considered low income because I remember getting free lunches and donated Christmas presents at some point, but I never really felt like I was lacking what I needed because I always had family and friends to help me through hard times.
Some people might view these as challenges or obstacles, but to be honest looking back on it, the situation I came from really opened up so many opportunities for me. I felt a drive to learn and strive for my dreams because that is what I was encouraged to do. Where I came from taught me a lot and makes me grateful for who I am today. Even now sometimes I get stuck or sometimes I get down, but I have surrounded myself with people who encourage me and push me and that keeps me making.
To women just starting on their journey I would just say believe in yourself and follow your passions. If times get hard just try to flip the script and learn and get stronger from the situation. Sorry if that’s pretty PBS advise lol.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Maison Mylan – what should we know?
I do lots of different things in my creative practice. I have done ceramics, drawings, paintings, installations, stick and poke tattoos, and printmaking. I sell some of my work at We Are 1976 in the Bishop Arts District, and sometimes online when I get around to uploading things to my site. Sometimes I show work in galleries, and sometimes I organize shows and participate in pop ups with my husband Taro or other friends. Currently I am in the process of illustrating some poems by a local poet, Amy Zapien.
The visual imagery of childhood trips to Dolores Hidalgo in Guanajuato, Mexico have shaped my aesthetic choices especially my relationship with color. Also, many members in my family are creative or involved in making art. Being encouraged to draw at an early age and have people around me to learn from and look up to really made it become a passion at an early age.
I studied Illustration at Otis College of Art and Design, and ceramics in Japan. I think that the style of illustration I was able to develop in my time in art school and the inspiring friends I was able to make there have stayed with me and influence what I make to this day. The time I spent living in Japan learning ceramics has been a big influence as well.
What I am most proud of as a brand is that I have been able to show and sell work for a few years now. It always feels like such an encouragement when someone is willing to invest in something I made. I am also very proud of being able to teach workshops and share my practice with other people interested in making things. But I think what I am most proud of is the community of inspiring creatives I have been able to meet and surround myself with throughout my life.
So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I think that women are well positioned for any and all opportunities as their male counterparts. I have been very lucky to know several talented and inspiring women in the Dallas art community who have made opportunities for themselves through hard work and striving. I am particularly inspired by the women I have met who are working hard at what they do and following their personal passions creating.
Lady entrepreneurs, like the ladies who I work with at We Are 1976 and Oil and Cotton, run small businesses that give so much to our community creatively. I know gallery curators, tattoo artists, teachers, event directors who plan for cultural centers and museums, artists, designers, jewelry makers, entrepreneurs, combinations of all of the above; and there are just so many content creators and organizers in general who are strong amazing women.
I hope it is the case on a larger global scale that people can acknowledge and appreciate the women today who are doing amazing work in their fields, in their communities, and their families. I really think that being raised by my mom, who was a very empowering and loving single mother, and seeing so many strong women in my family has shaped my view that ladies can have any and all the opportunities that they set their mind to!
- Address: Oak Cliff, DTX
- Website: www.maisonmylan.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @maisonmylan
All pictures were taken by me Mylan Nguyen or my husband Taro Waggoner.