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Art & Life with Carly Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Miller.

Carly, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I always knew I was a creative person, but struggled growing up to find where I fit. I tried everything; I danced, acted, sang, wrote short stories and poetry, but none of it felt like home to me. I suffered (and to some the degree, still suffer) with anxiety and depression every day. I found the act of physically creating to be incredibly healing. It was a place to put my energy and focus that wasn’t self-destructive. Making things with my hands, whether they’re paintings on canvas or paper or digital doodles, is one of the best coping mechanisms I’ve found. I’m still trying to find where I fit in the creative world and learning to embrace my artistic voice, but I’m also trying to trust the process along the way.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art is bold, bright, feminine, and deeply symbolic. I draw and paint, both digitally and traditionally. My work is constantly changing and growing; every day really is different. I’ve always been really into mythology, symbolism, and story-telling, so elements of those are always incorporated into my work. Every piece is different, as far as what I want people to walk away with. Some pieces are provocative, with the women I’m drawing making eye contact with the viewer, and sometimes it’s more like a glimpse into their world. People often ask me what my work means, but I’m really more interested in their interpretations. I think all art is kind of like a Rorschach test; what you take away says something about how you think and feel. I’m always trying to allow for some ambiguity in my work to give opportunity for people to walk away with their own impressions.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
Oof. This is a tough one. I think the access we have is amazing and so inspiring, but jeez is it overwhelming. I’ll spend hours scrolling on Pinterest and Instagram looking at other people’s work, comparing myself, agonizing over my “style” and how to “pick one” or develop one or whatever, and then by the time I’m done scrolling I’ve exhausted myself emotionally and just feel like an imposter. I think cities like ours can invest in artists who haven’t necessarily been discovered yet, and create opportunities for those young and up-and-coming artists. I think we need more galleries where there is an emphasis on representing those artists. I’d love to see an LA mural walk sometime in the next few years. I do a lot of begging of strangers who own restaurants and buildings to let me paint their walls, so some facilitation by the city for that kind of thing would be amazing, or maybe some kind of LA Artistic Mentorship program. We have to build the future we want to live in!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Currently, you can see my work on my Instagram and website. People can support my work by buying prints or pieces, or commissioning their own!

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