Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Miriam Colman is best known for her intricate abstract drawings. Usually working with fountain pens on paper and occasionally felt tip pens on wood, Miriam's art features mainly birds and flowers as the main actors in each scene. Self-taught, her characters are hidden in cascades of vines and other natural elements, creating scenes that explore topics arising from living half in the closet. Currently, Miriam lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
My work is often a technical exploration of using negative and positive space to illustrate internal narratives. Sometimes I work on understanding color, but for now I prefer to work in black and white. I am constantly inspired by decorative elements around me, from leaf vein patterns to building facades. My style started as practicing mehndi designs, but rather accidentally transformed into what it is today due to a lack of access to henna and a year in Japan when my high school's rules banned me from drawing on my skin. There I started working on paper instead, trying to use what I'd considered mere decorations to create scenes. At first these scenes were rather story-less as well, but over time I challenged myself to add more and more to them and to represent situations I was going through in real life in my style.
No matter their individual topics, each drawing is always a practice in self-acceptance and an exploration of the meaning of "perfection" and "flaws." We often hold beauty as synonymous with perfection and order. Yet despite nature being riddled with "mistakes" and "flaws" at every level, it is often considered perfect. Since my drawings are an extension of myself, creating them ends up being a continuation of the battle with my self-criticism. As such it is a relatively easy and fun way to push ahead against my self-doubts, challenge what I think my limitations are, and better understand the illusions I hold about myself and the world.