With a good heart, I welcome you to my website; this is the 2017 version featuring Dakota floral designs I created in Adobe Illustrator CC. My name is Marlena Myles and I’m an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Tribe. I specialize in digital art, website/graphic design, graphite portraits, and I have created murals, 3D prints and paper cutting art.
Marlena Myles is a self-taught artist who finds teachers in anyone willing to share their perspective, their experiences and their thoughts.
In the past couple of years, she has started to gain recognition as being one of the only Dakota women creating digital art and hopes her hard work will someday influence other young Native women to enter the same field and share their vision with the world.
She had her first solo show at the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, SD in 2016 where she premiered Wamanica Ounchage (forms of animals) collection of animal spirits (Nagi). She later expanded on these vector illustrations to create 3D geometric masks for MadeHereMN: Spirit.
Her art continues the importance of the Dakota philosophy Mitakuye Owasin (We Are All Related) and with this understanding, we can heal the planet and our communities through positive actions and reflections.
“My hope is that the modern tools I use to create my art will be a channel to the youth, to give them the inspiration to create a future that connects with our past, to create a future that is alive with our cultural values.”
Aŋpétu Wí (in the Arts of the Americas gallery)
Minneapolis Institute of Art
June 2017 – Spring 2018.
Freeborn County Arts Initiative
Albert Lea, MN
September 14th – October 29th, 2017.
We The People
Minnesota Museum of American Art
Saint Paul, MN
August 17th – October 29th, 2017.
- The Museum of Nebraska Art
September – December 2017.
- The Plains Art Museum
February – May 2018.
- Minneapolis Institute of Art, All My Relations Gallery, Two Rivers Gallery
June 2018 – March 2019.
Graphic & Web Design
I have created flyers, postcards, t-shirt designs and even a tipi! My past clients include All My Relations Arts, Make Voting a Tradition, New Native Theatre; my website clients have been organizations, musicians and writers. If you like to commission me for your next design work, please visit my prices page for more information. Meanwhile, check out my graphic design portfolio!
Drawing portraits has been one of my first drawing passions. One of my favorite things about is capturing the essence of the person I’m focused on! My clients normally commission me for family portraits and drawings of professional athletes. Be sure to check out my price page for commission information.
I have created flyers, postcards, t-shirt designs and even a tipi! My past clients include All My Relations Arts, Make Voting a Tradition, New Native Theatre and many more. If you like to commission me for your next flyer, please visit my prices page for more information. Meanwhile, check out my graphic design portfolio!
With works ranging from vector illustrations and portrait drawings, to mural installations, Marlena has showcased her work in exhibitions including All My Relations, Red Cloud Heritage Center and elsewhere in the region. She is looking to continue her journey as an exhibiting artist with new mediums including stencil and paper-cutting art in upcoming shows.
There are several words people associate with regional Native artist Marlena Myles’ digital illustrations. Freeborn County Arts Initiative President Elisha Andrew Marin calls them “incredibly painstaking.” Curator and artist Susanne Crane calls them “techy,” “current and of the essence.”
But what are they not?
“The common misconception with Native art is that it’s traditional — it’s stuck in the past,” Myles said. “But the truth is that Native people have always been innovative. … So, to use Illustrator is just a continuation of what my ancestors already did.”
Myles said her designs pay homage to Lakota and Dakota women, who did more geometric, abstract art while the men tended toward figurative designs of war battles.read more
Get in touch
What others are saying:
“The color harmony and the richness of the patterns are a pleasure to look at. Excellent design. You enchantress! Success in the works.”
What others are saying:
“I find your art very interesting. Strangely, I haven’t had much pleasure with good vector art, especially of such high quality as yours, and I admit I am ignorant about the technique. Which makes me even more amazed by your results. There’s something irezumi-like about some of your works, that’s another factor that adds to my liking your works. I admit I am curious where your work leads you in the future, in what directions you’ll develop. I hope you keep sharing your art so we can all see by ourselves.”
What others are saying:
“I would like to say, you do incredible work! Your recent Instagram posts of your work have blown me away. Keep up the phenomenal work, you’re crazy talented. ”