Mia Darling Shotwell was born in San Francisco, California. She went to primary school in England and traveled throughout Europe as a young girl. Surrounded by languages, cultures, and people of all walks of life at an early age, she cultivated a deep love for the world.
In California, Risso practiced many disciplines in the arts. She sang in an all-children’s choir, played the trombone in a jazz band, danced in local workshops, painted independently, and played principal roles in theater performances. Whether it be music, dancing, painting, or theater, she has always found a natural sense of expression in the arts.
Later Mia graduated from Principia College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Studio Art. Her adjudicated senior capstone explored the relationship between Frank O’Hara’s Beat Poetry and Abstract Expressionist paintings in the 1940s and ’50s. She also studied Digital Media Production and The Language of Drawing in Greece and Turkey. As an environmental activist, Mia participated in a Leatherback Sea Turtle expedition in Trinidad, where she conducted scientific research with her classmates. One summer, she also cycled clockwise 1000+ miles around the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. With the National Outdoor Leadership School, Mia journeyed throughout Baja Mexico on foot, in a sea kayak, and under sail.
After graduation from Principia, Mia lived in Uruguay for four years where she ran her own web design company. She has created thousands of transformational online experiences for businesses worldwide. It is her core philosophy that people have the infinite potential to manifest their dreams, and the creation of websites acts as a key stepping stone in their pathway towards success. As an MFA Interaction Design student, Mia feels inspired to intertwine a holistic approach in solving issues related to technology. She is ignited by an imaginative and curious desire to blend her multidisciplinary background in the arts with the optimization of digital interfaces.
In her free time, Mia can be found rollerblading, writing poetry, or visiting art museums. She is fluent in Spanish and speaks French and Portuguese.