Millie Sims is an abstract artist, specializing in geometric paintings in acrylic on canvas. A North Carolina native, Millie spent time studying and working in Paris, France, and New York City, before returning to the south, where she currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina.
Millie is inspired by the art of reinvention, framing conventional beauty in new and unexpected ways, through an exploration of mathematics in aesthetic. Throughout her body of work, she reshapes classic imagery in her signature sharp-angled style. From abstract adaptations of Audubon prints and Slim Aarons photographs to Lowcountry landscapes and chinoiserie patterns, her paintings put a fresh, modern spin on recognizable images of comfort.
Q: How did you become interested in art?
A: I don’t think I ever necessarily became interested in art. I think I was born interested. I have loved art for as long as I can remember. It feels as innate as having blue eyes and a birthmark on my shoulder. It’s just always been that way.
Q: What inspires your work in general?
A: I am very drawn to shapes and lines. I studied ballet when I was younger, which centers around using the lines of the body to create art in space. It’s such a simple concept, with an incredibly intricate application, which is beautiful to me. I like to channel this concept in my work, as I explore other areas of inspiration. In particular, I am moved by art as a spectator, and often like to adapt works of art in my style. I am also deeply moved by nature, and enjoy finding new ways to play with the Earth’s shapes.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I find it difficult to describe my art style, because I don't think it falls directly into any existing classification. It's easier for me to describe what it does than what it is. I think that my art reshapes recognizable imagery. It compacts forms into pure geometric shapes, in pure vibrant color, often transforming the palette and distorting proportions, but without losing sight of the subject. It's imaginative reinvention.
Q: How has your artwork influenced your relationship with fashion or vice versa?
A: They are somewhat intertwined. It’s very much a vice versa. I have an appreciation for aesthetic and have always considered both art and fashion forms of self expression. I studied Fashion Marketing at Parsons Paris while living in France, and informally studied art while falling in love with the city’s amazing museums. I worked in the fashion industry for a bit in Manhattan, as I also rediscovered my passion for painting, outside of work. As art transitioned from a hobby to a career, fashion became a hobby in lieu of a career. Both have been, and remain integral to my creative voice.
Q: What do you love most about living in the South?
A: I like the heat!