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The Rainbow Visionary: Getting to Know Miami Street Artist Kazilla

Getting to know the local ladies who are running Miami's street art game

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Kazilla's multicultural misses and untamable wild things jump at their viewer thanks to her signature stark and occasionally tribal-like lines blending with bright, saturated colors. Her muses are often sexy, psychedelic, or carefree; they merge Miami's tropical touches with her New Mexican upbringing.

For Miami Art Week, Kazilla racked up a crazy amount of work. She wrapped painting a mural for newly open Aloft Brickell, painted for Revolt, and revealed a new piece for R House in Wynwood. In between it all, she is also completed several street murals, had work up at the Moksha Art Fair, and helped produce a women-only wall with her crew, Few and Far. Meet Kazilla, one of Miami's premier visual catalysts.

On her tag origin: It was a nickname my friends gave me to encompass my personality. It is my name, the tasmanian devil, and Godzilla all in one.

On how she got to Miami: I was born in Colorado and raised in New Mexico. I was on the road for a few years. I've been in Miami for about 9 years .

Companies come in and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a building and give you $500 to paint it.

Miami's first impression: I loved it. The music, culture, and colors inspired me. So I decided to move here, and the arts scene blossomed in Miami right after.

Training: I learned to spray paint after I got to Miami. I started with graffiti work and then once I got a handle on technique, I starting using my illustrations for murals. Before street art, I was an illustrator; I went to school for digital illustration. I wanted to do art direction for movies and film, but while I was in school I took a bunch of electives; visual graphics and painting were among them. That's how I fell into painting. And I love what I am doing - it's funny how life happens.

On evolving as an artist: Every project is a challenge, whether initially so or not. I always try to raise the bar and challenge myself, bringing messages and meanings to life, or trying new techniques and evolving. I like the pressure. I'm still learning. I want constant growth to come through in my pieces.

On the booze-filled Basel backlash: [Basel] is a catch 22. And the party scene is not the art scene. Locals, international artists, and even contemporaries are frustrated with the way the art is being handled. [Murals] are getting painted over so quickly. Artists give so much of yourself and it gets stripped away like that. It is about the art, but [the medium] is becoming a billboard. And so many people are not getting paid the way they should. Companies come in and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a building and give you $500 to paint it. But then the flip side is, do we not work and not get paid, or work and get pennies? Creatives get treated so badly and we make the things everyone loves. It doesn't make sense. I think we need a union so our work gets with professionalism, the change has to start with the people doing and presenting the work.

It used to be that galleries or fairs or even streets had "that one girl" featured among fifty guys, and that isn't always the case anymore.

On the progression of women in street art: It is hard to change a mentality. Street art has always been a male dominated space and women don't really get the same shine as men. But there is a movement happening - people are now seeing that and asking for female artists. It used to be that galleries or fairs or even streets had "that one girl" featured among fifty guys, and that isn't always the case anymore.

On where you can see her work: South America, Mexico, Dubai, Australia and New Zealand. Next year I'm heading to Greece and around Europe, and Asia in the fall.

On her style indulgence: I love fashion forward looks. I love fashion photography and illustration. I love clothes. I love it all!


Studio location: I have a giant warehouse in Liberty City. I have 18 artists staying with me right now!

On her inspiration: Usually music and mood, and the people I surround myself with.

On what music she loves: I love Miami base. I love Latin-infused music and hip-hop and the indie electronic scene. Singing bowls, classical - I switch it up.

Motto: Hustle. Grind. Repeat.

On her truest Miami love: The water, it soothes the soul.

On what she misses the most when she leaves town: Cuban coffee. They is no other coffee like it in the world.