Wherever You’re In Your Creative Journey, We’re Here To Help You Get There

Art Side of Life® is where artists find online classes, inspirational interviews, and guides to improve their skills, get advice on art tools & art supplies, and learn to make a living as an artist.

Iva Mikles (Iva rhymes with “viva”), the founder, is an artist, illustrator, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 she has worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation.

She believes that we are all creative in infinite ways, so she has made it her mission to teach you everything she knows and help you wake up or develop your creative genius so you can make a living as an artist.

Art Side of Life® started as a YouTube show and Podcast in 2017.

Iva loves learning from others by listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos with inspirational people.

She discovered not much content is created on how artists make a living and everything that comes with it: how they develop their skills and style, find and attract clients, work with agents, get employed by creative studios, price and sell their art, stay on top of the trends, choose art tools & art supplies, and so on.

And from this desire, Art Side of Life® was born.

Iva decided to create a place that would allow people worldwide to access accomplished artists’ stories, tips, ideas, and concepts. Place where we inspire each other, learn from each other and improve every day together.

She was joined by her husband to help her with operations and technology.

Since then, Art Side of Life® has evolved into a learning platform where artists find resources to improve their art skills, learn how to make a living from what makes them happy, and get advice from guides about art tools and art supplies.

Whether you want to stay up to date and motivated, or you’re just unsure which way to go in your creative journey, this is the place for you.

We want to show you how to make a living as an artist and creative person. Whether working for a creative studio, getting a freelance job, selling your art in galleries, leading workshops, or being a creative entrepreneur.

There are endless possibilities for living a creative life.

You should know that you are not alone in this journey of becoming a self-sufficient artist; someone who is passionate about their purpose in life.

Never stop improving, and let’s help each other succeed.

Who Are We?

A lot happens behind the scenes; illustrating, writing, recording, designing, teaching, coding, publishing, and reporting, so it's great to be partners in business and life!




👩‍🎨 Founder, Artist, Illustrator, Teacher

Iva and Marian



👨🏻‍💻 Founder, Tech and Business Manager

Meet Iva Mikles

Hey there! My name is Iva (rhymes with “viva”), and I’m a full-time illustrator, teacher, and nature enthusiast.

I was born and raised in Central Europe. However, I lived, worked in, and made friends from many countries, so I feel like a “global citizen” at heart.

I have always loved creating something which brightens other people’s day. You can see my portfolio on my Instagram and here: Portfolio of Iva Mikles.

I have 15 years of experience in the creative industry as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation.

I also teach art and work with businesses on social media and visual communication.

As an art teacher, I teach artists, creatives, and hobbyists worldwide.

I teach various techniques in traditional art with watercolors, acrylics, and gouache. In digital art, I focus on illustrating on iPad with Procreate. As well as digital painting in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Artists also enjoy my classes on stylized character design (drawing people, gesture drawing, portraits), art fundamentals (composition, perspective, color & light, style), and creative entrepreneurship.

Iva Mikles leading workshops and teaching digital art
Iva Mikles leading workshops and teaching digital art – Source: ©Art Side of Life

My art inspiration comes from traveling, trips to nature, decorations on old buildings, and animals.

I am based in Central Europe, where I enjoy beautiful nature and draw outside as much as possible.

My husband and I love to travel and explore different cultures, so we have lived in and visited many countries. 

I tried to learn several languages, including French, English, Spanish, Croatian, German, Swiss-German, Japanese, and Danish ... not that I can use them fluently because some of them are so hard 😳😊 ... English is still my go-to language!

My life experience has been my best creative teacher!

Throughout my creative career, I went to a design college in Denmark, taught art and creative workshops in Germany and Switzerland, worked in an advertising and design agency in Hungary for brands like Ariel and Wella, illustrated and designed for clients in Belgium, Switzerland, the USA, and around the world, and spent a quiet few years working in LEGO headquarters in Denmark.

In addition to working with inspiring companies, I started a podcast, and YouTube channel called Art Side of Life®. I chat with accomplished artists about how they make a living from making art. I have published 200+ episodes and now continue with the written interview series.

While working as a designer and illustrator in LEGO, I worked on an award-winning LEGO Friends (2013 Toy of the Year Award, 2013 Activity Toy of the Year Award). I worked on character design, style guide, packaging, color scripts, and storyboards. I helped bring the toys alive in an animated series aired on Netflix and Disney channel. With partners like DK Books, I worked on book concepts, layouts, and style guides, and with LEGOLAND parks (Merlin Entertainments), I worked on costumes and designs.

I was also part of the team working on the LEGO Lord of The Rings, LEGO Hobbit, and the early stages of the first LEGO Movie.

Alongside my commercial projects, I run my little online shop where I sell posters and other products.

I lead workshops on creativity, illustration, acrylics, watercolors, patterns, digital art, and concept art. I speak on these topics too!

Iva Mikles leading workshops and teaching traditional art
Iva Mikles leading workshops and teaching traditional art – Source: ©Art Side of Life

My inspiration comes from all around, including exploring art in different cultures, meeting new people, and hearing their stories.

I grew up going to nature with my parents a lot, so I developed a strong attachment to everything nature-related, which you can see in my art. As well as seeing animals in nature, one of my favorite experiences was feeding seeds to wild cockatoos, snorkeling with manatees and manta rays, visiting the Tasmanian Devil sanctuary, and sketching those cute "devils" while they were running around 😊.

In regards to cultural influences, I'd say some of my most memorable inspirations come from a trip with my art class to "renaissance" Italy and studying the works of the old masters, visiting Alice in Wonderland Cafe and Robot Cafe in Japan, getting lost in towns of northern Europe and admiring their colorful houses, and taking walking tours in Australian cities with their imaginative murals.

Besides art, I have many other hobbies, like drinking coffee or tea with a good book, snowboarding, swimming, various other sports, and interior design.

I love pizza and freshly baked bread, but I am allergic to white flour ... you can see the irony 😳😊. But at least I learned how to make a good dough from buckwheat flour!!

So whether you are here to inspire your creative career or paint for fun in your free time, I am happy you are here!

I hope you will find what you are looking for and more ...

Love, Iva ❤️

Inspirational Quotes

  1. "Do your best and forget the rest." - Tony Horton (Creator of revolutionary fitness programs)
  2. "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou (Poet, singer and civil rights activist)
  3. "Sucking at something every once in a while is how you achieve greatness in the long run."  - Tony Horton (Creator of revolutionary fitness programs)
  4. “Silenzio, Bruno!” (sometimes you just have to take the leap) – Alberto and Luca from Disney movie Luca (2021)
  5. “Finished, not perfect.” – Jake Parker (Creator of #Inktober)
  6. “Practice makes progress.” – Peggy Dean (Calligraphy artist and art teacher)
  7. “Nothing will work, until you do!” – Maya Angelou (Poet, singer and civil rights activist)
  8. “It’s all good in the hood” – John Nevarez (VisDev & Story artist)
  9. “I am still learning” – Michelangelo (Artist and inventor of the High Renaissance in 15th & 16th century)

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