Milan Finnie

Artist / Designer

I am an artist who pulls from design principals to inform my creative projects. I aim to be bold in the details I choose to incorporate, which include shapes, lines, minimal color, and repetition. I’m inspired by traditional art patterns from all over the world, particularly those which represent spiritual practices and symbolism. 


My relationship with the earth lead to my primary medium: pyrography or wood-burning art. This medium is a tribute to the earth, embodying all of the elements and affording the possibility of sustainable art practice by using local, reclaimed wood as a canvas. The style that I produce with this art form has assisted me in developing an aesthetic which appears in my digital artworks, illustrations, and beyond.


The work I produce hopes to connect with the viewer by providing captivating bold shapes, along with minimal lines, allowing each viewer’s imagination to meet with my own.


This is a combination of various projects, all using the art of pyrography, my primary medium.


Pyrography is the art of burning images onto heat tolerant surfaces. This medium is 

multi-sensory, stimulating the senses of sight by producing imagery, sound by producing the sound of wood becoming charred, smell by producing the aroma of burning timber, and touch by the feeling of varying wood textures. It’s an ancient practice that has been used for centuries.


For my process, I either produce illustrations and then transfer those illustrations onto a wooden canvas, or use the shape within the grain of the wood as a point of inspiration and allow the imagery to flow organically wouthout a plan.


This is one of six walls within a mural I produced on Tracey Rivera’s StateFarm building for activist group Imperial Beach People’s Alliance in San Diego, California.


The concept for this wall was to represent the black experience in America. The wall was named the “Africa Wall.” It’s an ode to the motherland, a place that we can look to for reference to our roots.


For each of the walls on this mural, I started with an illustration, transferred that illustration into Adobe Illustrator, projected the illustration onto a wall, and used the traced lines as a guide while painting.

Graphic Design

When producing a logo, one must consider the pay it will transfer to various surfaces. One must also consider its appeal and relationship to what it represents. This is a logo I produced for a potential seed festival.


This logo aims to represent the notable characteristics of California farm lands: sun, groves, and hills.


This iterative process involved various illustrated drafts of the logo. Once I arrived to a final illustration, Adobe Illustrator was used to trace the illustration and adjust it to be aligned and balanced. The logo went through a number of other iterative processes before I created the final draft.

Paper Graphics

This project is the visual articulation if my affinity for  a crisp and balanced product. Illustrated designs are used as rough drafts to help guide a balanced, monochromatic product. This project communicated one of the many possibilities that can be produced with just negative and positive shapes.


Inspired by pyrography, these cut outs (the top image and the bottom middle image) are were selected from a few sketchbook pages and adjusted to create these negative/positive pieces. 


The sun image is a meditative, repetitive pattern, while the woman image is representative of the female shape in it’s natural form.