Eduardo Milieris Interview



Eduardo Milieris painting a watch face

Risa Borsykowsky: How long have you been a jewelry designer?

Eduardo Milieris: I have no training as a jewelry designer and don't consider myself as one. Also I am not a watchmaker, I see myself as an artist who is making watches. I took metalsmithing lessons at 13 or 14 and later on studied at the School of Arts in my native Montevideo, Uruguay.

Was this always your career?

This is really my first 'serious' business. Before having children, before getting married, I always worked just enough to get going and maintain an easygoing lifestyle. Kind of like "The Dude'' on the Big Lebowsky. I was the photographer who walked into an ad agency with his two big dogs and a pigmy monkey riding one of them. I have a picture of Margaux (my monkey) spilling a cup of coffee on one of the director's desk.

How did you get started? Where did you train?

We could say I started working with watches as a child, painting the crystals and modifying the bands and bracelets. Apparently my fascination with time pieces goes to earlier times; My mother still keeps my first notebooks from elementary school, where the typical house drawn as a triangle for a roof and a couple of rectangles, with a path, flowers and tree in the front, always sported a clock on top of the front door.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration comes from all fronts. Junkyards are one of the best fountains of ideas and materials.

Eduardo Milieris and Risa BorsykowskyWhat do you enjoy most about this career?

The freedom to create and show whatever comes from my hands and the possibility of making an income out of that.

Who or what had the greatest influence on you as you developed as an artist, or did you always have your own style? How would you describe your style?

My great Master is Alexander Calder, a boy who never grew up, talented, with an endless creativity and always playful. Watching him perform with his mini circus is just delightful. I work hard to not have a style. I prefer the freedom of going in any direction with any given project.

What do you do for fun?

I try to have fun in everything I do. I try to instill fun in my workplace, to inspire a relaxed and fun atmosphere without the stiffness and anxiety of the race for money.

Watchcraft by Eduardo MilierisWhat advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

If you have kids, you have an obligation to put food on the table everyday, to put shoes on their feet. Get a job at the Town Hall, be a Fireman or a landscaper. If you are not a mom or a dad, you are free, do what you love even if you have to sleep under a bridge and eat the bad lunch served at the local church. The price not to be yourself is too high.

How would you describe your creative process?

There are several ways to create something: play and experiment, sit for hours at the drawing board or pay attention to your dreams. My favorite watches were created after something I thought I saw on someone's wrist in the subway or in the street. After a closer look, the real piece the person was wearing had nothing to do with what I had seen from a certain distance, but that image is already in my mind, now it is only a matter of materializing it.

Who is your favorite artist? Musician? Writer?

There are too many artists, musicians, directors and writers who make me cry. I'm a sissy.

Read all of the interviews in our "Interview with the Artist" series:

  • Gary Rosenthal Interview
  • Ayala Bar Interview
  • Michal Golan Interview
  • Eduardo Milieris Interview
  • Emily Rosenfeld Interview
  • Steven Bronstein Interview
  • Jan Marie Lanier Interview
  • Jami Miyamoto Interview

Learn more about our artists:

  • The Artists Say "Hello" - The Artists on Video
  • Advice from the Artists - Getting Started in Your Career
  • Meet All of Our Artists


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