Meet Milena Borges, who recently became a part of our Nonahood as not only a resident but a local florist and artist. Borges’ current speciality are beautifully handmade bottles and jars personalized with a special painted message and filled with dried flower arrangements. Her creations put out a warm feeling of gratitude and love, perfect for the season of thanks. Take a look!
Nonahood News: Tell us a little about your artistic background. What drove you to become an artist?
Milena Borges: It was a natural path. I have fond memories of playing with arts and crafts as a kid, painting pottery, and taking drawing lessons. Also, I am a very curious person, so anything I could learn or try to do, I would do it. I took writing classes, photography, painting, sewing, carpentry, papier mǎché, mosaic, and other fun and creative courses. I guess I was inspired by my mom, who has her own artistic side.
NHN: When did you realize creating art was your passion?
MB: I’ve always appreciated art and had hobbies in arts and crafts, but it was only after having lived in New York City, about 10 years ago, that it really became a passion for me and I decided to make it a living. While living in NYC, I met so many creative people and artists that were selling their products on Etsy.com, in little shops and street fairs. I realized I could do that, too – to use my ideas to create and make exclusive and charming products. And in the past five years, I’ve included flowers in my projects and started designing flower arrangements for events, celebrations or gifts.
NHN: How often do you find yourself creating art? What inspires you on a day-to-day basis?
MB: All the time. My favorite place to create is always around nature; it can be in a park or near a river or waterfall. The energy of nature is very powerful for me and brings clarity to my mind when I need it. I like to observe different species of plants, colors, textures, rocks … a kid playing, a fruit fallen on the ground. Everything is an inspiration to me.
NHN: How long did it take you to discover your artistic style? Which mediums do you use in your work?
MB: My style has changed over the years. The pandemic has brought up the necessity to create a different product – flower arrangements that send out inspiring and comforting messages to their recipients. That’s how I came up with the idea of the “message on a bottle.” I use upcycled glass bottles or jars painted in acrylic that hold a mini flower bouquet. The messages are created by me (inspirational or seasonal) or can be customized by any person as per request.
NHN: Which of your projects were the most challenging and why?
MB: It’s hard to say, but I think it was a quilt blanket that I made for my goddaughter a few years ago. I was just learning how to quilt and decided to start off with an advanced project. It took me so much time to complete it that, in the end, I just wanted to get it over with. It was hard and stressful to finish it, not as relaxing as a handmade project should be, but it ended up being beautifully made.
NHN: Which of your projects were your favorite to create?
MB: I always like the one that I am working on at the moment. The bottles give me great joy to make. I come up with the color, the message, the style of the flowers. It’s all based on the person sending it and on the person getting it. It wishes a person a “Happy Birthday” or a warm “Get well soon.” It shows your “Gratitude” for a friend having you over for Thanksgiving dinner.
NHN: Which artists have inspired you on your artistic journey?
MB: People in general inspire me on a daily basis. We just need to really look around and find colors and good energy in all. As far as art style, I admire indigenous artcraft very much, and I have Naif art paintings all over my home.
NHN: Future goals/plans?
MB: I would love to be able to work full-time as an artist and floral designer and maybe go back to school and get a degree in arts.