The Art Biz ep. 83: Tools to Help You Emerge from a Struggle Even Stronger Than Before with Kelly Milukas

This month we're focusing on the benefits of cleaning out—removing physical clutter that leads to disorganization, eliminating obligations that are no longer serving you, and slowing down enough to focus on what matters most, in your art business and in your life.

Artist Kelly Milukas watercolor and pastel painting ©the artist
©Kelly Milukas, The Dream Lodge. Watercolor and pastel, 23 x 30 inches.

Kelly Milukas has been through more in the last 10 years than anyone should have to endure, and yet she never lost hope and determination. My conversation with her is about coming out the other side of a long struggle stronger than you were previously.

Kelly and I scheduled our conversation for this episode of Art Biz Podcast to discuss her “life edit,” which involved getting rid of what no longer served her. It quickly became apparent that ridding herself of stuff when she had to downsize her studio is something she had been preparing herself for in the many years leading up to that moment.

Her story is one of perseverance and joy. She was eager to discuss the many tools she used to facilitate her healing and the people she relied on along the way.

I hope Kelly inspires you to rid your life, with the help of proper tools and support, of what might be getting in the way of your happiness.

Listen Now

Music by Wildermiss


Encaustic color wall in Kelly Milukas studio | for the Art Biz Podcast
Go vertical in your studio space! A picturesque and practical wall of encaustic colors in Kelly's studio. Photo ©Kelly Milukas.
  • Kelly Milukas reflects on her journey from athletics to music and to art. (1:57)
  • Kelly works with scientists and starts researching stem cells for a commission for a biopharmaceutical company. (8:30)
  • A shift in health can create a shift in focus for any artist. (12:15)
  • Embracing the tools that are available to you can help you get through anything. (16:52)
  • Forging through the messy middle to come out stronger on the other side. (21:26)
  • Can 17 seconds or a deeper breath change your mindset? (25:23)
  • How to know when to power through and when to pull back. (28:55)
  • Giving yourself permission to feel your biggest emotions. (32:48)
  • Cleaning out physical objects to move your art business forward. (34:50)
  • Creating an organized studio that works for you on any budget. (41:10)
  • A look inside all that is keeping Kelly busy in her new studio. (45:00)
Kelly Milukas turns an old garage into an art studio | for the Art Biz Podcast
The work begins on Kelly Milukas's new studio.


Sheng Zhen with Master Li (free virtual meditations every Wednesday)

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (North Carolina)

“Keys to Cures” installation at Intarcia Therapeutics

Albert Clayton Gaulden’s Sedona Intensive program

Artist Libby Caldwell's therapeutic/artistic journaling

Kelly Milukas's new art studio  | for the Art Biz Podcast
Everything has a new home in Kelly's new studio, and space is maximized for efficiency.

Kelly Milukas Quotes

“If you open up your heart and mind to knowing that if you get people to help you and put them on your team, those right people are going to appear.”

“When you’re in the middle, the really difficult middle, you’re going to come out the other side, but it’s up to you how you come out. You can come out stronger.”

“Nothing is really needed. It’s what’s inside you and around you and you can be so joyful without things.”

Kelly Milukas sculpture installation | for the Art Biz Podcast
Kelly Milukas installs Keys to Cures at Intarcia Therapeutics in Boston.

“I’m happy. I’m full of joy and I’m full of what’s next.”

About My Guest

Kelly Milukas began as a sculptor and has expanded her art making to multiple mediums and projects. Her portfolio of work includes painting, pastel, photography, encaustic and cast resin sculpture.

As of 2010 her art making has taken on projects at the juncture of creativity and science. This body of work contains her nationally exhibited “Keys to the Cures” series and focuses on how art can facilitate the individual stories within science and medicine. Kelly’s artwork can be found in museums, private and corporate collections, such as The Boston Group, Intarcia Therapeutics, and Simpson Healthcare.

Follow Kelly on Instagram @kellymilukas

Listen Now

Music by Wildermiss

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5 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 83: Tools to Help You Emerge from a Struggle Even Stronger Than Before with Kelly Milukas”

  1. I just listened to this podcast with Kelly Milukas and found it so inspiring. When she spoke about how being an artist and a patient enabled her to work with an architect to create a visually pleasing space for other patients, her love and caring for other people came through.

    Whatever strength she needed to get through her struggles seems second nature for her-I’m going to come out of this better than before is her common mantra.

    How she connects her can-do approach to her art is the best part of the podcast. It inspires me as an artist. We all have our struggles, but it’s how we meet them head-on is the message of this artist.

    Thank you Kelly for sharing your story with us.

  2. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your story, strong spirit, and surviving techniques with us. You’re inspiring.

    The new studio looks great and the commission clients are sure to love work that comes from your energy.
    Best wishes and gratitude to you.

  3. Thank you Kelly for sharing your courageous journey with us. You are an amazing artist and truly an inspiration. As a fellow pastelist, I have followed your work for years and it is so wonderful to see how your work has evolved as you explored different techniques and approaches. May art continue to be a healing force in your life. Thanks so much Alyson for bringing the podcast to us!

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