21 Under 31 | Mike Miller

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

Mike Miller, L.A. Journeys, oil, 28 x 48.

Mike Miller, L.A. Journeys, oil, 28 x 48.

ART EDUCATION: Bachelor of fine arts from Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH. I also have to credit an amazing anatomy professor who taught me how to draw the figure as well as paint it. Currently I am pursuing my master’s in fine arts at Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA.
STYLE: Representational. Somewhat painterly but also somewhat tight. I never want the paint to get lost in the detail, which is always a challenge.
MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: A lot of my process is intuitive. I tire of routine and I often change the way I go about things. I may do a rough grisaille underpainting for three or four paintings, then switch to a charcoal underdrawing for the next two. Usually the complexity of the work dictates how I’m going to go about it.
SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: A recording artist. I love music. Singing is my second passion. A lot of people don’t know this.
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: I was once told by a professor that painting isn’t supposed to be fun; it’s work. The satisfaction comes when you stand back and look at a completed painting. That’s what is fun about it.
CREATIVE SPARK: Watching other painters work. Also looking at the photography of Walker Evans and Garry Winogrand.
ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU: I love to do illustration work, especially Norman Rockwell-inspired children’s illustrations.
FUTURE GOALS: I would like to push my painting career as far as I can, find a place to settle down, and, most importantly, be happy.
PRICE RANGE: $7,000 to $10,000.
REPRESENTATION: www.mikemillerworks.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ issue in September 2010