Women of Impact: Milena Mortati, Founder of Cr8 Art
At a young age, Italian multimedia artist, Milena Mortati, knew she wasn’t going to thrive in any regular nine to five work environments. After college, she was offered a job at a tourist resort in North Africa where she became part of a community, performing on stage daily. The opportunity couldn’t make her any happier! It was a dream come true for her and a step in the direction of the art world.
“Meeting people from around the world, acting, singing, and dancing was everything and I knew I had found my calling. This eventually led me to New York City and Los Angeles where I was able to get my education in performing arts. I booked acting jobs here and there but ultimately found my love for painting in the process. This gave me an outlet and the freedom to be creative whenever I wanted, without the pressure of booking jobs. Even though following one’s heart has its challenges, I am learning to fall in love with the process and enjoying the ride,” Milena shares during an interview with Voyage LA.
Milena grew up in an Italian household in the German part of Switzerland. Her move to Los Angeles was fueled by the desire to creatively explore and express herself freely. Her journey as an artist, which spanned for over two decades (and counting), started with performing arts, paving the way to the visual arts—painting, sculpting, and photography.
In 2016, VIVA VOCE, her mixed media series was showcased in ten different art galleries located in London, Zurich, and Los Angeles. In December of the same year, her exhibition was on display at Art Basle Miami, the world’s largest art fair.
In 2017, her art installation, Treasures of the Heart, made its international debut in Zurich, Switzerland and was launched at AC Gallery in Hollywood.
Her approach to art and being an artist has always been unique: “Instead of pointing out what sets me apart, I’d love to dive into what I have in common with so many artists because wanting to make a life in art can be challenging,” she reminisces.
It is this perspective that brought her passion project to life. In 2018, she started drafting a business plan for CRE8, a multimedia platform designed by artists for artists, giving them an opportunity to share their talents to an international audience while helping art collectors and lovers find this hidden treasure trove of independent artists. The mission of the platform was to cultivate artist collaborations and support independent artists across mediums and from different walks of life. She wanted to provide a space where events, projects, and ideas can be brought to life. CRE8 aims to foster appreciation for the arts in a global community.
She officially registered CRE8 in February of 2020 and launched her first weekend long pop-up art show, featuring more than a dozen artists and performers. Despite the success of the event, the pandemic and the mandated shut down affected the launch of her fledgling endeavor. CRE8 turned into an online platform—showcasing online exhibits, and even launching its podcast with interviews of artists from all walks of life.
The addition of fellow artists, Diana Barillas and Kalise Wallace into the CRE8 team took Milena’s vision to the next level. The success of their show last May, a group art exhibit titled PEEPSHOW, prompted them to take the leap and open the doors to their on-site location in Los Angeles.
Encantada is the first art exhibit held at CRE8’s new home. This immersive 5D black light art experience is a sensory experience of stunning visuals, tactile feeling, and enchanting sounds, taking you on a journey of life, death, and the afterlife. The exhibit started on September 30th and is open through December 23rd. Tickets are still available for purchase on their website.
Looking back at her journey so far, Milena reflects: “If we learned anything through these difficult times, I’d hope it is the awareness of one another, the importance of community, coming together and collectively working on a better, more inclusive future.”