When I contacted Mika Agari a little over a month ago to see if she’d be interested in being profiled on this page, I knew I was getting in touch with a high school student, having read the original article she was featured in in the December issue of the Nashville Arts Magazine. However, I was unprepared for the fresh outpouring of ideas and conversation that ensued as we worked together to get this article put together. Anybody who says America’s youth is going to pot has clearly not spent time with Mika Agari.
Because she has already had the aforementioned print article to her name, we decided to do a shorter feature more focused on displaying her visual works. She is, after all, an artist, and an artist makes a name for herself by her works, and I hoped to contribute to that process rather than repeat something that had already been done.
Over the course of our correspondence, we talked about what her favorite season was (fall or winter!), what she felt she was best at and what she needed to work on, and why she felt called to be an artist. You won’t be surprised after seeing the slideshow of her works that she considers pen-and-ink her best medium, but perhaps you might to know that watercolor is her worst. She says that she likes precise media better and feels intimated by messier disciplines like charcoal and the aforementioned watercolor with its intentional bleeds and splatters. When asked why she needs to be an artist, she replies that it’s because you can’t pin art down, that it allows her to express herself as she is without definitions, and because she could do it forever without thinking of it as work. This is an excellent attitude to have, especially considering that she freely admitted in the Nashville Arts Magazine article that the greater part of artistic excellence comes not from raw talent but from a dedication to regular practice.
All that being said, I think her art speaks for itself.