Words Of Wisdom

Artist Mike Raleza spoke to Living Luxe about his work, his inspirations and how he lives his best life

Artist Mike Raleza spoke to Living Luxe about his work, his inspirations and how he lives his best life.

Living Luxe: What does living luxuriously mean to you?
Mike Raleza: Living luxuriously has a different meaning to everyone. For some it means having the financial capability to buy and experience the finer things in life. For me, living luxuriously means time with family, simple experiences that enrich my life and most importantly, good health. We typically think that luxury costs money, but experiences are more enriching to me.
LL: How does luxury and extravagance factor into your work?
MR: Being Toronto-born with immigrant parents who immersed themselves in what is known as Little Portugal, I found myself surrounded in a culture where carpentry was an art form in itself. It was then when I understood the differences in quality of wood, paint and other building materials. Today, those life lessons translate into my everyday artwork — from how I build my own wood canvases to the types of materials I use for the 3D elements.

LL: What plays a role in allowing you to live your best life?
MR: Many people I surround myself with contribute toward me living my best life. Although, the support and love I receive from my life partner, kids and family play the most important role. They motivate me to keep dreaming in ways I never thought would be possible.

LL: What objects do you surround yourself with to inspire and support your everyday growth and why?
MR: There are many things I surround myself with that inspire me, from paint and building tools to something as simple as the texture and smell of different woods. It’s important for me to be around people who are positive, loving and supportive, which allows me to continue to grow.
LL: How important is it to you to refresh and revitalize either your work or yourself?
MR: It’s important for me to find new techniques and materials to incorporate into my artwork to create unique pieces. But it’s just as important for me to take a moment to relax and enjoy the simple things in life.

LL: What would you tell others about living their most luxurious life and how they can strive to be their personal best?
MR: I would say do what makes you happy and don’t let others keep you from fulfilling your dreams. Dream bigger than you have before and surround yourself with positive, loving, caring people.