We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
As a visual artist, color is probably one of the things that makes me truly happy. I’m not a materialistic person so I know stating that color makes me happy seems pretty vague, but there’s a science behind why. I received a bachelors degree in psychology and was always really drawn to color therapy. Pablo Picasso said it best, “colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” That’s something that has really resonated with me as an artist since a primary amount of my work is based in color theory. I’ve learned that color is a powerful communication tool and can be used to influence mood and even psychological reactions. Color is something that is so personal and an individual’s palette says so much about who they are as a person. When I’m unable to verbally express emotions, I turn to my paints and just start mixing colors-it’s healing in its own way. Outside of painting, colors come through in my everyday fashion-you can always detect my mood based on my outfit. I love staying in a palette of yellows, pinks, and blues-all variations of primaries. As I evolve as a woman and an artist, I know that color will remain a constant in my life and always bring me joy.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art has evolved so much over the years. I started as doing landscape photography-it was always pretty but a little boring to me. I went to UCLA for media arts postgrad and that’s where I really developed my love of color and photography. I remember having to learn Photoshop and hating it-I loved creating surreal type images in real time-not in post. I started to incorporate mirrors into my photography and it really transformed my work. It created a whole new depth and perception to my art. I like to refer to myself as an unprofessional professional. Photography is such a saturated industry these days-especially with Instagram being so prominent. It’s taken a lot of trial and error, a lot of rejection (which is a constant), a lot of people wanting you to work for free; I’m still not where I want to be “professionally”. I’ve found a way to incorporate my love of colors and mirrors by creating my own mirrors with paint! They’re all unique and special in their own way, but starting your own business is tiring! I work on my mirrors whenever I have a chance and will be selling them on consignment in the near future. In my wildest dreams, I’ll be an installation artist and create large scale mirror installations and also do art therapy. I’m still growing as an artist and while it’s hard to overcome the challenges of an unconventional life, I’ve fallen into a flow of working creatively with children. I started assistant teaching kindergarten and first grade right out of college and found my way assisting the art teacher and was always in the studio with her. I learned so much in that year and went on to freelance as an art educator at summer camps, home schools, and now am hosting my own art class with a group of adorable elementary aged kids! There’s still challenges to this of course-but I’m learning as I’m growing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m born and raised in Los Angeles so it’s funny when people always assume I know all these cool local spots but I’m always stumped when I have to think of where to go. But for hypothetical speak here goes nothing (this takes place in a world where Covid doesn’t exist anymore). We’d start everyday by doing a workout of some sort-Pilates, Yoga, Spinning, etc. After our workout, we’ll treat ourselves to a well deserved brunch! I LOVE the beach so we’d definitely go out to Malibu and go to my secret spot and then grab fish tacos at Malibu Seafood. We’d drive down PCH with the windows down blasting music we can sing along to-Sylvan Esso and The Flaming Lips are definitely on the playlist. We’d then grab drinks and dinner at Kismet and catch a show at the Fonda (I miss concerts so much). A trip to LA wouldn’t be complete without a visit to LACMA-I love the jazz nights they host in the summer. Bringing a picnic and a bottle of wine and enjoying good music with good friends is the best. I like to avoid a lot of the tourist traps in LA-Venice Boardwalk, Hollywood Walk of Fame, etc. So I’d take us vintage shopping in Los Feliz and flip through records and just enjoy my city!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the constant love and support from my friends and family. I’m very lucky to have a family who is nothing but encouraging of my art. I’ve sort of always been the black sheep of my family-I was just different and always did things in my own way and time but my family has always been extremely patient with me in finding my way. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the encouragement from my friends and my boyfriend-he always pushes me to create and inspires me to be as colorful as I am. A book that has greatly helped me is Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The book teaches us about being fully immersed in what we are doing and that people can experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and total involvement while doing something they love. It’s also known as “being in the zone” which is super important since we live in a world full of distractions!