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Our beloved artist Mat Miller opened up to us for the second time. He told us about his style, his career and especially the pros and cons of being an artist in the UK.
The Bristol-based British artist is a specialist when it comes to beautiful art compositions and animals. His style has a japanese flavor with a metaphysical soul.
Dive into Mat’s world, and maybe you’ll find your new spirit animal.
Interview with Mat Miller
Hi Mat, we are really glad to have the chance to talk to you again.
Let’s start with an ice-breaker: What kind of music do you listen to when you’re working?
I listen to all sorts of music but I find instrumental, often quite funky stuff, lends itself well to creating and getting into the flow of things. A good example would be Dirty Art Club.
Looking at your work, I can’t help but notice the huge amount of different elements in every piece you create.
How can you always find the perfect balance between the colors, the subject, the details and the background?
I draw out the main elements as one piece, and then I have other bits and pieces that I have already made that can be added afterwards if a piece is feeling a bit sparse. Similarly
I can always take parts away after the drawing has been scanned. I make backgrounds separately too using watercolours and acrylic and blending them together in various ways on photoshop.
Getting the balance and colors to a place where I’m happy is just trial and error really.
We love your representations of journeying and spirit animals, from felines to sharks.
But what’s your personal shamanic spirit animal?
Probably a Sloth.
Do you travel much? Favorite place you visited so far and why?
I don’t travel as much as I’d like to. My favorite place I’ve visited I think has to be New York. It’s just so vast and diverse that I don’t think I’d ever get bored there.
I visited in the winter and although it was cold it looked amazing covered in snow. The food!
How would you describe your current style and how much has it changed since your artistic career started?
I don’t really know how to describe my current style. I’ll leave that up to everyone else to decide. It’s changed a hell of a lot I think. When I first started out,
there was less emphasis on actually drawing and I was making almost collage like pieces using photography with some drawn elements in photoshop.
I think I was trying to stick with what I thought was popular back then as opposed to just doing what comes naturally.
What’s the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Being creative most of the time for your job can be difficult sometimes as you can’t just flick a switch and immediately be in the right head space to create. Especially
if you’re working on a very specific brief. Over time I’ve learned to just accept this and not to force things.
You were born and raised in Buckinghamshire, you studied in West Yorkshire and you’re actually based in Bristol.
We have a question for you: what does it mean to be an artist in the UK nowadays and what’s your opinion about the British art industry?
Being an artist in the UK is just like being an artist anywhere else I expect. Being an artist in Bristol in particular though is something pretty special. The part of the city I work from is full of creative people. I’m in a building with hundreds of other artists, designers, illustrators and makers, not to mention all the other projects and events here that help the local community. Unfortunately the future of the building, Hamilton House, rests in the balance with the owners wanting to sell up for a massive profit as the area has become very desirable to property developers. It has become so desirable largely because of all the great things that happen at Hamilton House and its part in cultivating a really vibrant, creative and caring community that has positive effects reaching out all across the city. This seems to be happening all over the UK, and affordable studio space is very hard to come by. This isn’t helped by the funding cuts to the arts by the current conservative government and further funding eventually being lost by our decision to leave the EU. I fear for the creative industries in the UK if I’m honest. #savehamiltonhouse !!
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