One of the most interesting aspects of contemporary art and design is that, beside some few trends here and there, you have market for any type of aesthetic. Ian Thomas Miller is genius of the 80's surrealistic style with revigorating new vibe, I can't just look into these paintings without feeling back in time, here's a brief conversation we had with him.
You can reach Ian on the following links:
1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and art started?
Growing up I was heavily influenced by skate culture and album artwork, I feel like they offered a lens through which I could initially get inspired and see the diverse range and application that painting and illustration / art in general can have. I probably didn’t start taking and making art seriously until sometime in High School.
2) Which artists do you use as reference?
I’ve always been a big fan of Eljin Suzuki, George Sowden, Gerhard Richter, Lee Jinju, and David Salle.
3)Your style is quite influenced by surrealism / 80's art / fashion. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it?
Lately i’ve been really interested in 80’s interiors - the colors, shapes, and really just the overall aesthetics. In addition to that I’ve always been heavily influenced by realism / figurative based painting as much as I have been by clean / minimal design and illustration.
4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.
I usually start by taking lots of reference photos once I have a rough idea of what I want to do for any given piece. I don’t consider myself a photographer by any means, but photography has become an important part of the process for me. After acquiring all of the reference material I need, it’s just a matter of collaging together imagery; a mix of preliminary sketches, digital mock ups (photoshop and what have you), etc... It changes from piece to piece, but that’s the general process. After all of that, the actual process of painting is all that’s left.
5)What would you consider the best moment on your career till now?Do you had any 'leap of faith" on the way?
That’s a good question, and to be honest I’m not entirely sure. I’m still a very young artist and am pretty new in the game, but I suppose choosing to pursue a life in the arts is a kind of a leap of faith in its own right, haha.
6) How do you describe your daily routine?
I’ve actually been traveling the past few months so my studio / work space is pretty temporary and in a state of disarray at the moment. But my routine is usually waking up as early as I can, making some coffee, sitting down and getting to work.
7)Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why?
I would definitely say oil on panel is my favorite medium. It allows for a kind of depth that I think is difficult to achieve with other mediums. Otherwise I still like to work with ballpoint pen from time to time.
8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator / artist.
- I think it’s important to draw influence from multiple outlets and sources, look outside of just the people working in the same fields or mediums as you.
- Go to as many openings and events as possible.
- Patience, good work (usually) takes time.
- Experiment with different mediums and subject matter.
- Take virtually everything with a grain of salt.
9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit.
Aside from this website:
10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.
I think the most important thing is to develop your style and run with it, be open to critique and criticism but take it lightly, and to make the work that you want to make, not the work that you think you should be making.