#DoSomethingDoap with Miles Toland

January 29, 2018 Shiva Shakti


.::DʘAPSʘAP::. Creative Director, Miles Toland, emerged from the enchanting city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Growing up in graffiti culture, he has traveled the world embellishing the streets with his unique style, merging naturalistic human forms with transcendental designs. These human forms come to life with the expanding aura of mandalas and sacred geometry, illuminating the space in which they dwell, as a portal into the ethereal nature of consciousness on the hard concretes of decaying walls.

#DoSomethingDoap with Miles Toland - Interview - 1/29/18 
Miles' self portrait in a secret underground spot in Paris, France.
Miles' self portrait sitting in a secret underground spot in Paris, France.

What motivates your creative process?

Restless hands, a never ending desire to be better, deadlines, listening to my spirit, scratching my ego, escaping from personal and global issues, and connecting to myself and my community. I also really desire to see a certain style of art exist in the world, and I am motivated to make that a reality.

What triggered your interest in art?

I first became excited about the process of self expression and the power of art in society when I was exposed to graffiti culture as a teenager. Art was no longer the southwestern landscape painting on my living room wall but a potent energy that made me focus on improving my letter styles and actively seeing the urban landscape through a creative lens. Graffiti was my gateway to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree because it taught me that art could be embodied as an invigorating lifestyle.

When did you decide to fully commit yourself to your craft?

I was unfulfilled at a liberal arts college chasing someone else’s version of success. I knew I needed to pursue art because that's where my motivation and excitement was coming from, so I transferred to an art school, moved to Seattle and prioritized what I loved. School was a great way to focus on my skills and theory, but it was also a contrived and insulated institution. It wasn’t until I graduated, quit my barista job, and moved to India for an art residency that I really felt committed to making my career as an artist. No excuses or fall backs.

How does your passion impact your life?

One of the main reasons I became an artist is because I wanted to be my own boss. For me that means not using an alarm clock, creating my hours to fit my lifestyle, and choosing the projects where I want to direct my energy. I get to use my creativity to promote and nurture my friend’s projects and businesses that I am inspired by. It feels great to build relationships through symbiotic creativity. I’m grateful that my lifestyle is funded by patrons that believe in me and value my expression.

Miles painting "Holy Cow" 

How do you feel your art impacts the world? 

I like to think of my art as portals designed to activate spaces and imaginations. I leave these portals where I live and travel never knowing how they may ripple into the world. Sometimes my art will motivate another artist to paint, help support a non-profit or fundraiser, inspire a tattoo, stop someone for a selfie, or go viral on social media. Other times my art will be illegally reproduced without my consent, hated on by internet trolls, or in the case of street art, it may be painted over the next day. There is a whole spectrum of impact, but overall I strive to create artworks that reactivate forgotten spaces, inspire authentic creativity, and encourage people to self reflect and tap into their spirit.

What piece of advice would you give to our doapsoapers?

Don't make excuses or procrastinate. Be bold and pursue it like there is no other option, right now.

"The act of creating street art doesn't have room for self doubt. Time is short, light is fading, environmental distractions test my focus, and unforeseeable obstacles challenge my expectations. The urgency demands confidence. The vulnerability creates connection. This is where self trust is formed." - Miles


 Over the last few years, Miles Toland spent time traveling throughout India, painting beautiful murals in places such as the Beatles' Ashram in Rishikesh, Varanasi, Bombay, Delhi, Goa and Amritsar. His "Eggman" mural was recently featured in the Smithsonian Magazine and The New York Times!


Other hobbies of Miles include kite surfing in Goa, India and skiing on the mountains of his hometown in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


“Miles treats his art as a spiritual practice of bringing resistance into resonance, honoring the beauty in the decay, and finding wisdom in nature’s forms.”



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