Michael Malizia Turns Family Treasures into Works of Art

michael malizia

Photos Credit: Michael Malizia

Michael Malizia can confidently say that he has always been a creative soul. But it wasn’t until he became a father that he truly found his artistic calling. Inspired by his vast exposure to fine art and his passion for fatherhood, Malizia took family treasures created by his children and mementos saved by his wife, and created pieces of meaningful art. His creations not only documented their time as a family, but they inspired others to do the same, pushing Malizia to turn it into a business. Now, Malizia's children aren't the only ones that inspire him. Through My Life Studio, Malizia is transforming artifacts that are usually forgotten, shoved in an attic and giving them life. Malizia tells JustLuxe about his creative journey and forming My Life Studio.

michael malizia

How did your artistic career begin? 

Art has always been a part of my life and a part of who I am. To be honest, I remember being programmed from an early age that art was something to enjoy, but it was never going to be a sustainable career. Although my studies at Cornell were founded in the visual arts, I had this underlying expectation that art was not a business, it was a hobby. With that expectation and the necessity to make a living, I ended up in the trenches of the financial world. For my thirty-second birthday I found myself in front of an easel, my wife, Erin signed me up for studio time and it was like a baptism by fire. It felt right and natural. Art isn't a talent, it's intelligence, it's the way I can express myself. Fatherhood was the paradigm shift and I began pursuing something that would be rewarding, tangible, and something I could be proud of. When the opportunity presented itself to step away from the business that I had started, I jumped at it and have not looked back.  For the past four years I have been engrossed in my art and although responsibilities take hold, I will never again let anything get in the way of what is really important.

Can you tell me about "My Life Studio" and how that started/grew?

"My Life Studio" is a name coined by my daughter when I first rented my studio space. There was never an intention for it to become a business, it was simply a place that I could focus on my art and play with my children – they have their own setup which includes books, every art medium you can think of and a trampoline. As time went by I started to work on ways that I could create a "finished" piece of art with my daughter. Although these techniques were originally created to allow my daughter to "make art like dad," they ended up completely changing my techniques and forcing me to evolve as an artist. The word began to spread and people started to make inquiries about commissioned work. Through that interest the business of "My Life Studio" was born.

Erin saves everything. Everything. First illustrations, letters, doodles, airline tickets, concert stubs: you name it, we have it. We feel compelled to capture every moment, document each rite of passage and adore every doodle of our child's life. But what to do with these piles of mementos stored away in boxes? We sat there one day, and simply decided we needed another plan, a functional plan that could take these artifacts and mementos and make them something, one "thing." The journey has been figuring out exactly what that "thing" is for us, and now we help others do the same.  

"My Life Studio" transforms years of collected artifacts into a work of original, fine art. We synthesize years of growth into one fine art piece, a piece to be passed on from generation to generation. My parents recently moved and they handed me a dusty box of newspaper clippings and artifacts. While I'm happy to have that dusty box from my childhood, my girls will be handed a piece of fine art that tells their story.      

How do you find inspiration from other people's memories?

There are clearly some memories that are more inspiring than others, or just more visually pleasing. That's why the collaboration with a client is so important. It's through these interactions that I am able to gain a sense of passion for these memories. It ends up being this passion that truly drives a piece and ultimately makes it enjoyable for me as an artist. I know that if that piece captures these emotions, it will be a true treasure.

Carly Zinderman

Carly Zinderman is a Senior Staff Writer for JustLuxe, based just outside of Los Angeles, CA. Since graduating from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies, she has written on a variety of topics for books, magazines and online publications, but loves fashion and style best. In her spare time, when she?s not writing, Carly enjoys watching old movies, reading an...(Read More)

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