Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
I am Heather Miller. I exhibit under WhiteRose’s Art because my name very common, even among artists. I have a BFA in digital art from George Mason University but also studied ancient religion & mythology at The Ohio State University from 2001-2003. I’ve been creating art in one form or another for decades but didn’t begin exhibiting until 2008.
What medium(s) do you work in & why?
My non-digital work is primarily three-dimensional mixed media. About 25 years ago, I discovered polymer clay & started creating little fantasy creatures. Eventually I began creating 3D models for video games, as a hobby. That led my husband to suggest art school – which caused me to laugh until I cried. I ended up going to art school, which effectively killed my love of 3D modeling, but caused me to start sculpting in real life again. I’m not sure what led me to create with all the various materials I use currently. That just sort of evolved over time.
What is your creative process like?
Sometimes I “see” the finished piece in my head. Other times a single material catches my eye and I wonder what I could create with it.
What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
Create because you love creating, not for any other reason.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
I am my own biggest challenge. Shortly after I began exhibiting art, I knew I didn’t want to be a gallery artist (one who strives to exhibit at better and better galleries). It would take too much space to explain all the reasons why. That meant I would need to become a Self-Produced Artist (who can exhibit anywhere & has full price control over their work). Sadly, I just don’t have the personality type required to be a self-produced artist. So I’m left with a desire to create art, few options for showing it, and many reasons to quit altogether.
Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:
“Drota” is a piece born out of the desire to create art while drowning in virtual ocean of doubt. It is the only piece I created in 2014. While on Pinterest, I saw a piece created by an artist who challenged herself to create a piece each week using a non-art related source of inspiration. She used pieces of furniture, bits of fabric, even stuffed animals. I thought it was a great idea. The inspiration for “Drota” was a handmade pillow I found on Etsy. The two coordinate very well.
The name of the piece comes from a model on an alien tree I created for a video game. I called that alien tree the Drota Tree. When I’m stuck for titles for my artwork, I often use the names of things I created in the digital world.
What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
This is my sixth Artomatic event. Usually my favorite part is seeing the wide variety of works which inspires me to want to experiment a bit more with my own work. This year, however, I think volunteering to do these interviews has been my favorite part. Learning more about the artists themselves, their challenges, stories, & advice has been amazing. It adds an entirely new level of depth to the Artomatic experience.