ArtCore: Meet Miami Based Artist Maria Tokareva

I want to inspire people to believe in themselves

Portraiture of artist Maria Tokareva

ArtCore is our core group of artists supporting artists. This week we are excited to introduce you to Miami based artist Maria Tokareva.

When you meet Maria she will surely put a smile on your face, its what she projects into the universe.  Her style is particular, one that creates happiness and joy once you lay eyes on it, one that brings out your imagination and inspires you to create. Her inspirations come from music, experiences, and life itself. She is one of a kind, her art will not only make you feel inspired but happy, it will make you go grab a canvas and start painting! We sat down with Maria to talk a little bit more about her art and her career.


What kind of art do you make?

I paint on whatever I can find, canvas, objects, and clothes.

What’s your first inspiration to create art?

 In school, all my notebooks were filled with random words and shapes of girls wearing fashion dresses and swimsuits, instead of listening to what the teachers were saying I lived in my own world. I imagined being a famous designer, flying around the world and sketching my ideas on those notebooks, I remember wishing they had no lines so I can see my drawings better.

Who are some of the artists that inspire you?

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock, and Banksy  

What has been the most challenging moment in your career?

Quitting my two jobs last year to pursue my dream of being an artist.
My family never supported my artistic fantasies even tho both my parents are musicians they always told me to go to business school…. but I never listen, I have a very stubborn personality and always go against the flow.
It was hard to believe that I could support myself by just doing what I love, most people think that making the monthly paycheck is enough and for me, with two jobs, was barely covering my basic expenses, so I decided to become an example for people like me, who where afraid to risk all they got for their dreams, I said that it’s my life and if I don’t do it now then I will never do it, there will always be things and moments in our life to test us, to see if we really want it bad enough, and if we are willing to risk everything we have and lose the fear which is the hardest part then all of our dreams will come true.
Every day I paint and dedicate all my time doing things to build my dream and most of the time feeling like everything I do is not enough, learning a lot about patience… Rome wasn’t built in one day and my empire will take some time to become an empire but hey that’s my dream and every day I get to live the life that I chose, and inspire people to do the same.

What has been your proudest moment?

 Last year in 2016 I applied to showcase my work in XContemporary Art fair for Art Basel week and I got accepted, it was the best day of my life and my proudest moment because a year before that when I first experienced Art Basel I told myself that next year I would showcase my work there and I did it.
Back then it seemed so impossible and far-fetched, I was sitting with two friends in Wynwood outside the Nomad Tribe store, on the floor with some sketches and music playing with a cardboard sign taped to the wall with the word FRAIS.
I was dreaming about being in one of those big art fairs but I just didn’t know anything about how to do it so in the meantime I did my own little street art solo show.🤣🤣
When I was preparing to showcase at XContemporary I remembered that moment and I realized that my dream became true and it only took one year not a lifetime, and I enjoyed every second of it, dragging the paintings around, talking to people, making videos, messaging all my friends to come, meeting other artists…. living my dream.

What is your biggest challenge ?

 I like to procrastinate, sometimes leaving everything for last minute and then going nonstop hardcore to get it done. It’s the thrill and adrenaline rush that gets me to finish in time but then I am all exhausted and burnt out. Also, I am an extremist for me its all or nothing, if I do something I can’t half do it. I need to give my entire soul to the project, or I won’t do it at all, there is no middle point for me…. it also applies for chocolates and ice cream I can’t just have a little, unfortunately, I will have to eat the whole thing or nothing.😜😜

What is your biggest strength? 

Empathy, it’s really easy for me to connect with people and make them happy, I just feel how they feel and can somehow make them smile.
 Maria Tokareva painting


What was the greatest lesson you learned from a mistake?

To be patient, we all want things right away right now, with a click of the mouse we can have anything we desire delivered to us, but success doesn’t work that way, we can’t just buy it and have it right now. We have to be patient and take the best of every day and learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others and to enjoy it, that’s how you start by losing the fear of being wrong, it’s a good thing to be wrong because one day you will get it right

What do you love most about what you do?

 I love that every day is completely different, I work on several projects at the same time and is a lot of fun, I can go for a walk at any time and meet people on the street, see places I have never seen before and I get to wear whatever I want, I change my outfit at least 7 times a day that I think is my favorite part to play dress up all day and to paint the clothes, always changing and becoming something new. I can’t stand uniforms.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

FIRE, READY, AIM. My mentor and best friend told me that there is no time to think about my dreams I have to jump on them and then get ready and then think about it. That’s how I quit my jobs, I just did it with no backup plans no idea about how I was going to support myself, and somehow it all worked out I figured stuff out along the way. 

How do you define happiness?

Happiness to me is chocolate….. lol just kidding, it’s a feeling when I achieve something, when I am productive and when I share my ideas and drama with others.
Happiness is rollerblading and feeling the wind on my face like I am almost flying, its jumping in the ocean topless, running until I can’t go anymore but keep going, its to hug my mom and tell her I love her, to scream magic happens out the window of my car to strangers, to shake my body to the rhythm of my favorite song, to write how I feel, to talk about life with my best friend, to hold hands in silence, to wake up early and go to yoga class, to paint my dreams and watch them become my reality….. happiness is life.

What book are you currently reading?

I love to read books, now I am reading Basquiat by Glenn O’brian, Change by design by Tim Brown and just finished The Tipping Point. My favorite book is called The Truth Machine by James L Halperin and I also love all the Harry Potter books but not the latest one it wasn’t good at all. Another book that changed my life was The White book of Ramtha, it explained so many questions I had about existence.\

What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?

Eating healthy, I became vegan almost two years ago and it was a game changer, I had all this energy and I felt so good that I got to focus more on things that made me happy. And I start the day by saying Thank You for the BEST DAY EVER!!! its funny but after that, every single day becomes the best day of my life. And I make sure to smile, usually its very infectious and people always smile back. Maria Tokareva painting

What is your higher purpose that you aim to achieve through your art?

I want to inspire people to believe in themselves, trough my art and my life story, to show them that the sky is not the limit that there is no limit to what you can do and achieve you just have to believe.

If you are coming to Miami for this years Art Basel, be sure to visit Maria’s studio in Wynwood

46 NW 36 street unit 2

Miami FL 33127

To know more about Maria Tokareva and keep up with her magic!

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