Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

ATHGames

Ali Miller on painting emotions and moods with colors

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

In the latest episode of the Arts to Hearts Podcast, join the host, Charuka Arora, as she engages in a captivating conversation with the artist, Ali Miller. Not only is Ali an incredible artist, but she is also deeply passionate about teaching others the art.

During this insightful interview, Ali opens up about her profound connection with colors and the profound impact they have on her creations. Drawing inspiration from her life experiences, including trips and the beauty of everyday moments, Ali’s art is a blend of reality and fantasy. Through her vibrant brushstrokes, she conjures up energetic and imaginative scenes that breathe life into her canvases.

Amidst her journey, Ali candidly shares the challenges she faces as an artist. From the relentless pressure to create rapidly to grappling with self-doubt, she paints a poignant picture of the realities that artists often encounter. However, amidst these tribulations, Ali finds solace and strength to continue pursuing her passion.

Beyond her creative endeavors, Ali is a fervent advocate for teaching. She firmly believes in the transformative power of educating young students not only in the techniques of art but also in nurturing their character and values. This holistic approach resonates deeply within her, and she passionately embraces the role of a mentor, shaping young minds in both creative expression and personal growth.

Currently, Ali is delving into a new collection that mirrors her cherished memories and evokes powerful emotions.

So, tune in to the Arts to Hearts Podcast, and get ready to be captivated by the heartfelt conversation between Charuka Arora and Ali Miller. Immerse yourself in their shared passion for art, boundless creativity, and the magic that unfolds when art and life intertwine.

TimestampSummary
00:00.90Introduction and pronunciation of names
00:19.96Discussion on being a dreamy child and love for fantasy
03:07.70Conversation on the influence of colors and textures
05:03.98Exploration of how colors affect mood and psyche
07:25.74Early aspirations and career choices
09:25.13Evolution of artwork and inspiration from collaging
10:31.40Transition to digital folders for collecting imagery
11:12.81Time taken to complete paintings
11:29.53Painting process and experimentation in graduate school
12:36.74Inspiration from surroundings, art history, and fairy tales
15:03.35Creating environments of perfection and tension
16:47.51Speed and perfection as challenges in building her career
17:57.00Striving for minimalism in her paintings
19:15.27Perception of unfinished artwork
20:02.63Preference for both maximalism and minimalism
21:15.63Frustration with minimalist painting
21:50.55Desire to try different approaches and solutions
21:52.45Dealing with disappointment and self-disappointment
22:07.96Dealing with self-disappointment and periods of uncertainty
23:40.10Managing expectations as an artist
24:09.28Planning paintings more carefully
25:21.27Less pressure and having another source of income
25:47.56Sitting with disliked paintings and switching to another piece
28:00.60Role as an art teacher and artist
29:01.73Myth of stability as a professor
31:17.24Teaching younger kids is more stable with a better community
31:59.50Learning from children and teaching life skills
33:04.83Reflecting on oneself through teaching and being a good human
33:20.62Charukaarora asks Ali about her current project
33:28.53Ali discusses developing a new body of work
34:05.96Ali talks about recreating memories through color and gesture
34:31.97Ali mentions upcoming works and show preparations
34:42.25Charukaarora asks Ali where people can follow and support her
35:28.67Closing remarks and thank you to Ali and listeners
[TRANSCRIPT]

**** – (): 00:00.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Just try to keep the conversation as organic as possible. Welcome to the podcast. How are you doing? yes same ah more than happy to have you okay Allie and okay first, how do I pronounce your name Allie.

**** – (): 00:02.40

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Sounds good. Thank you I am very good. Thanks happy to be here.

**** – (): 00:18.65

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Allie. Yep.

**** – (): 00:19.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I get so confused with names my goodness. Okay welcome to the podcast Allie um, I’m very excited to speak to you and learn more about you and share with our listeners. But before we go and dive into it. Um, tell me something were you always? um. Ah, very dreamy fantasy child because your work primarily focuses on you know these fantasies and you have these exaggerated but also like real life like they do feel like of course the colors are accentuated and all of that but also very like a scene from a bedroom or a living room.

**** – (): 00:43.50

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um, if.

**** – (): 00:57.69

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So first let’s start with your from just from the beginning were you someone who was very dreamy or you know as a child who were you as a child.

**** – (): 01:08.23

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): That is a good question I I think so um I I Always loved color I was always wearing crazy mismatched outfits and my poor mom couldn’t convince me to wear anything else. Um, so I looked a little crazy. Um, and I think just like being excited by color and and pattern was kind of just like my my essence from an early age and I I think I definitely stayed in that I think all Children. You know, fantasize and it’s part of developing. Um your brain? Um, but maybe I just never totally left. It. Yeah.

**** – (): 01:51.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Stop yeah isn’t that amazing even when I was looking at your um Instagram and I was seeing your travels and you know I’ve spoken to so many people but something really um, struck to me was your even your destinations in the sense of um. You know you were in Bali and then you were in Morocco and then you know all these places India we all have a very um, very similar and shared um, aesthetic in the sense of the colors. Um in in the sense of textiles and in the sense of um. Patterns and like it’s a huge burst of inspiration for people like us who have that you know, kind of inclination when I am coming? Yes, absolutely.

**** – (): 02:31.10

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Definitely India is next on my list I would love to get there I don’t know but when I do I would love to get together. Um.

**** – (): 02:45.12

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): But yes, the colors the beads, the textures everything in India a lot of them I buy a lot of clothes from India and I think when I was yeah when I was in France I found that most of the clothing I was buying was paid in India. Um, so there’s something I have this draw to it says.

**** – (): 02:50.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh you do? wow.

**** – (): 03:00.92

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Anna.

**** – (): 03:04.51

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Ah, excited to learn of your podcast. Um, yeah.

**** – (): 03:07.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely tell me something where do you think this love for colors this love for texture where do you think it started for you like um your influences. Um, also in real life like. Were you surrounded by that or are you looking for that in your own work. How is that working for you.

**** – (): 03:30.78

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I’m trying to figure out why color is so important to me but I have established in the past recent years that that is the most exciting aspect of the studio process and creating is to develop color palettes and. Create just unusual color combinations. It. It makes my eyes happy. It puts me in a good mood I think it has the biggest effect on me and a lot of other people when they look at art. So I’ve kind of. Allowed the color to take over the the process be like the thing that gets me so excited to sit down and paint is figuring out like a color palette. Um, and how that’s going to create a narrative and a mood. Um.

**** – (): 04:25.10

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And um I can’t pinpoint how it became so important. But I I do try to I do have a lot of colorful surroundings. You can kind of see in my background a little bit. Yeah.

**** – (): 04:34.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Love your migra as well. That’s what I’m saying like you know I can feel that energy in and a lot of things that you do.

**** – (): 04:45.81

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): The the rest of my house gets even crazier and then as a kid I painted every every wall a different color. Um, it just sets up. Ah an ambiance that I think.

**** – (): 05:01.35

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I have been I was thinking about how I was going to describe my current work to you because it changes you know as you’re making it and like I’m so interested in how you’re how 1 ne’s environment and interior design and the colors you surround yourself with.

**** – (): 05:03.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 05:17.30

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Affect your your psyche your mood your interactions with people so in a way I’m very I’m you know I’m channeling this love of interior design and being ah a set designer and um. Ah, costume designer like I get to take on like a million different roles in my paintings which is really fun because I don’t really know what I’m doing outside of painting but I get to pretend that I’m a landscape architect I ah can do lighting design so it’s like this.

**** – (): 05:35.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 05:43.76

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 05:53.41

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Imaginary hypothetical world but color seems to come first as a priority. Yeah.

**** – (): 05:58.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, and did you in what was it for you like in the beginning while you were started were you always like um how has your own journey as an artist started for you. Did you always think about becoming an artist. Did you think that would be something that you’ll put on your plate you did. Okay, oh wow. Yeah.

**** – (): 06:20.26

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I did I come from a family of teachers and a psychologist and yeah and so it wasn’t um, it was they definitely were encouraging. Ah. My art practice. It seemed to be the thing that came most easily to me so I’m very grateful that they they pushed it. My parents gave me art lessons probably by the when I was 12 I started art lessons outside of school. Um, but I was always just. Drawing and I and it was encouraged um and people of my friends cheered me on and wanted to learn from me I would give them art lessons even though I didn’t really know what I was doing um and and so it just. Became like a known thing that I would do something in art but I don’t think I think even as a kid I knew that it was going to be very hard to be just an artist. So I knew that like maybe I would be a.

**** – (): 07:25.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 07:30.63

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Graphic designer and then I learned I didn’t love digital art. Um I thought maybe I might go into fashion design. Um, and and then real right? totally and I.

**** – (): 07:40.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wouldn’t that be exciting because you have that love for textiles and because I shared that interest.

**** – (): 07:50.40

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I ended up hating sewing so it seemed I’m so sorry my watch is going off. Um, but let me just put it on silent there we go. Um, so yeah, um I I think that I.

**** – (): 07:53.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah.

**** – (): 08:09.81

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Knew I’d be doing something in the arts but really wasn’t sure if I could be an artist primarily and so art teacher as a way to keep some stability in my life I Loved once I you know started teaching my friends. Um. And teaching other and working at a camp I I knew that teaching art was something I definitely wanted to do and I enjoyed it as much as making the actual art. Um, so they kind of feed one another the teaching and the art Making. Um, and sometimes they also take away from each other because there’s just not enough time in the day but teaching art will always be a passion of mine.

**** – (): 08:43.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now. Yeah.

**** – (): 08:53.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Love that How do you? Um, how do you think that I’m interested in how where you taking your reins inspirationration from ah these scenes that I like you know that I was seeing in your work. Um, they feel like fleeting moments.

**** – (): 09:09.43

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Is that if.

**** – (): 09:10.76

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, a lot of them I can see you but I can it also feels like a life lived into it like you know So how where do you find you? and what is your process look like how do you approach your work. Um, tell me more about it.

**** – (): 09:25.13

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Sure it’s It’s definitely had an evolution. Um should I tell you just about the recent work or you want to? um so I can say that like the work started out as like a lot of kind of mental collaging like when I was in college.

**** – (): 09:27.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely go ahead feel. Whatever.

**** – (): 09:43.11

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um, like I would have like a lot like cut out from magazines and kind of rearrange images to kind of create these secret Hideouts that were these like fantasy worlds that you could escape to um.

**** – (): 10:02.21

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And so I would find just kind of ran I would have folders like physical folders of you know fabric? Um Folds in different ways and like a folder for flowers a folder I was just always collecting I’m like I love.

**** – (): 10:16.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 10:20.42

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I Think like collecting imagery and objects is just like the funnest way to live your life. Um, it’s just like everything is just a discovery. Um, and.

**** – (): 10:31.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 10:34.66

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And I approach my travels like that and you know my daily walks I’m always looking for for something new. A new design and architecture that I haven’t noticed so in in the olden days I would have physical folders now I have a lot of digital folders with tons of images and photographs and.

**** – (): 10:40.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 10:52.25

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, and.

**** – (): 10:54.57

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I’m running out of storage space everywhere. So I don’t know what to do? um and so I would do ah and so a lot of people thought I used photoshop to collage images but I really hated it so I didn’t um.

**** – (): 11:04.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, um, oh.

**** – (): 11:10.70

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And it would take ah a long time to to make my paintings and it it still does but things have sped up a bit. Oh boy, it depends on how big it is um, the brainstorming process can be a while and I’m a little bit obsessive. So.

**** – (): 11:12.81

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): How how typically how long does it take for you.

**** – (): 11:27.81

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, and your old.

**** – (): 11:29.53

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I mean I’ve spent like eight nine months on a painting before that’s large and that’s like not probably that normal. Um and but some go ah things are going quicker now. So like I started out doing these kind of mental collages then eventually I did.

**** – (): 11:36.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): 2

**** – (): 11:49.12

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): In in graduate school I experimented with abstraction and just kind of no plan mushing paint around on my panels I paint on wood panel and then extracting like the images from the abstraction like almost like when you look at a cloud and you see a dog in the clouds.

**** – (): 12:01.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 12:06.98

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): So I would try to pull out imagery from the abstraction which kind of gave me this cool tension between loose painting and tight. Yeah.

**** – (): 12:13.12

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And configuration.

**** – (): 12:18.77

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And and so that was really exciting but sometimes that would take even longer and it was supposed to be a method that was going to be quicker because I was like oh I don’t have to plan anything this will go quicker it. It did not um because there was no guarantee that it would like come together. Some did some didn’t so.

**** – (): 12:21.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:28.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:36.74

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): That’s a fun thing to kind of go back to here and there that process but it wasn’t it was became eventually too mentally taxing um and then in the past few years which is the most recent work on my Instagram I have yet to update my website with it.

**** – (): 12:37.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You Yeah, but.

**** – (): 12:56.48

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um, that will happen soon and a lot of those are um from photographs from my travels from daily life. Um, and I take the composition from a photograph that. You know has some interesting arrangement of objects or or or lighting or whatever it is or textures and then I now do use some digital technology but it’s procreate um have you have you ever used Pro procreate. Yeah.

**** – (): 13:25.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh excuse? Yes, yes, yes.

**** – (): 13:31.55

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): So I had to learn it for teaching and it ended up being really useful in my own practice. So I love when that happens. Um, and so I’ll take a photograph and put it into procreate and then I will color.

**** – (): 13:32.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No practice. Yeah.

**** – (): 13:49.16

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): On top of it an experiment with like a million different versions of different color palettes that enhance the photo and by the end often. It looks completely different than the original photo because then I might like collage digitally collage other objects in um.

**** – (): 13:52.59

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, yeah. Different. Yeah.

**** – (): 14:09.30

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I’ll take bits and pieces from famous paintings from art history from people that have inspired me um, you might have even seen some aspects of bonard Pierre Bonard he’s like my my favorite um is like the the most.

**** – (): 14:11.59

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 14:18.75

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): A here. Yeah.

**** – (): 14:26.45

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I Don’t know blissful color palettes you can Imagine. He’s so free. Um with with his color. Um, and so I would say I think to go back to your original question now that I’m remembering what it was like where am I drawing inspiration from it’s my surroundings but I’m also taking. Pieces from art history people that have inspired me fairy tales ah textures clothing anything that feels like the sublime I’m trying to create these environments that are. Places that I wish I could go to and be a part of because I have this weird idea that like if you’re if everything is perfect in your surroundings. The design. The positioning everything is staged perfectly then.

**** – (): 15:03.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Code for approval Now we typical.

**** – (): 15:22.70

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Then everything’s going to go smooth in life. But um, and and I want that very badly but at the same time at the same time I know that like you could be in the most beautiful hotel or Garden or wherever.

**** – (): 15:24.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, and who like that right? Ah yeah.

**** – (): 15:40.16

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Or your living room looks perfect and your your subconscious mind will will fight what’s happening you might be in the most the most perfect situation. You could still not be happy and and so something that I.

**** – (): 15:51.18

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No, not be yeah, absolutely and.

**** – (): 15:58.14

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Recognized in my work is that there’s kind of this. Um, they’re kind of these liminal in-between spaces of like what I wish it could be what I wish I could be surrounded by um or what I wish could happen. Um.

**** – (): 16:03.94

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Makes it right? what.

**** – (): 16:15.43

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): What I’m afraid might happen combined with um, you know what’s actual with reality. So it’s kind of like the extreme of like the highest expectation like the best thing you can think of catastrophe and then reality in the middle.

**** – (): 16:22.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, the.

**** – (): 16:35.37

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): All in the same scene. Yeah, so I think that’s what I’m doing.

**** – (): 16:37.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Mixed up into one I Love that tell me something. What was the hardest thing for you so far. What has been the hardest thing for you so far as an artist um to do in your own career to build your own career.

**** – (): 16:47.51

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): A.

**** – (): 16:53.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, all these years.

**** – (): 16:55.23

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): That’s a good question. The first thing that comes to mind is speed speed has always been yeah painting fast because I have some obsessive obsessive tendencies because I think the fact that I’m trying to.

**** – (): 16:59.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Speed.

**** – (): 17:10.59

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Paint these almost perfect places is like ah ah you know it if it’s a tendency of perfection I guess in ah or or an expectation. My paintings aren’t Perfect. They’re quite sloppy up Close. Um. But they’re they’re detailed but they’re they’re a little they’re they’re kind of crazy and so I think I have this just high expectation of what I want the painting to be and I also want to revel in the process and enjoy it So speed has been an.

**** – (): 17:36.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 17:47.88

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): My enemy because I would love to be a more prolific artist but at the same time you know would my paintings be mine would they would they look the way they did if I didn’t have this kind of Tug of War with time but it is always a goal that’s underlying.

**** – (): 17:57.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now.

**** – (): 18:07.88

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Some of my decisions of life. How can I be ah, somebody an artist that makes a painting with a good painting that I’m proud of with as little information as possible something minimal I’m a maximalist but like could I. But I have a lot of negative space in a piece I don’t know but I hope one day I can figure it out. Yeah.

**** – (): 18:31.46

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I am trying to figure that out too me too I think sometimes it’s just um, even though I feel like when I look at someone’s work and I love them minimalism and I love like you know, um, how. How just in so less they are able to do like and I think it’s also something I remember 1 of my friend who was seeing a discarded painting who was which was kept in the studio and and I’d just drawn painted a little bit over it and for me it was for a very long time I kept that look. Kept looking at it and I kept saying oh my god you know, um, it’s such an unfinished piece I haven’t even worked on it and then he came in and he said oh wow I love this painting. Would you give it to me and I was like this is even like a this is even this is even I haven’t even worked on it like it. It hasn’t even started and it was like I love it.

**** – (): 19:15.27

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Sit it.

**** – (): 19:24.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And I think sometimes it’s it’s our perception and I look at someone’s work and I feel like I Love how Raw and edgy and unfinished and you know, clean and all my see it is versus when I know that I do it myself for me and I think that is um I was reading this somewhere that. Um, the kind of art that you look at and you like and for me I Love Maximalism and minimalism both. But I’m a lot more fascinated sometimes with minimalist because I feel like I have not been able to tempt that and I think um I was reading like you know the kind of art that you like.

**** – (): 19:48.97

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): It is.

**** – (): 19:55.60

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Fit with it.

**** – (): 20:02.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Will be very different from the kind of art that you have you will make because you often like things that you will not be making yourself and that is why there is this disparity.

**** – (): 20:14.79

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): That’s really interesting I’m trying to now think I think I I think I’m drawn to both. Um, yeah.

**** – (): 20:20.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, me too. But I think um I have several times attempted to have that control and I’m like for me, it’s like no I want to try more I want to try more and then sometimes I I make a mess out of it which is completely fine, but for me to. I Like the burst of like this things coming together I think that really speaks to me.

**** – (): 20:45.12

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Definitely I am in a similar position. Um I think about like I mean sometimes i. I like there’s a lot of minimalist painting that I see there’s some that I see where I’m like okay that took them 2 seconds and it’s selling for god knows how much and I sometimes get a little frustrated but I I think that I don’t know it’s ah it’s a self. It. It takes a lot of restraint and self-control to to not try. But I also think people like you and I are are very brave because like we want to try everything like you you want to make sure that you didn’t lose your chance of.

**** – (): 21:15.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 21:31.61

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 21:32.63

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Finding out that answer so I like to know every possible solution. Um I don’t know this is morbid but like what if it’s the last painting you make I don’t know I want to know that I tried everything in my capacity to make it successful? Um, but that’s also.

**** – (): 21:44.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 21:50.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): How do get and me some. How do you deal with disappointment I think this I haven’t really asked this to a lot of people. How do you deal with self disappointment I think this is something I so I feel like I’m going through a period right now where um, like periods of.

**** – (): 21:52.45

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Yeah, but.

**** – (): 22:07.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Think there is let me let me segregate these two there is disappointment when you’re working in something and I feel like for me. Um, when I’m constantly putting that effort and even if I don’t make it and more than I think at that point once you’re continually working on it. Um, you if you get in that flow State. It does not matter what you’re working on it. You just keep going and keep going and keep going and keep going but I feel like there are phases of disappointment from your own self where you feel like um, you’re struggling to get into that state. Whatever those reasons could be and you’re always like we are. Always self-critical self-judging ah that you are not.. It’s not anybody’s else’s expectation but it’s your own expectations of where you want to? you know you want your work to be seen at and I’m not talking about anything like your aspirations courier. But just the sake of making something like you know. And you know there’s something like um, what you always want to make versus what you will make there will always be a different because um of your skill gap and like you know this is an evolution process like you will always want something better than what you have and then you work your skills towards that stage. But as an artist. How do you deal with this disappointment of um within your cell sometimes like you know oh I This is what I wanted but I’m not able to get there yet. Oh my work is not looking or it’s not feeling that Way. Do you feel that way sometimes and how do you deal with that.

**** – (): 23:40.10

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Definitely It’s been um, a long journey of trying to manage ah those expectations which is kind of what my paintings are about which is like managing your expectations and then. In in those scenes that I’m painting and then at the same time the process of painting I have to do the same exact things. It’s very Meta. Um, and so some of my paintings are actually talking about the struggle of being an artist. There’s some paintings where.

**** – (): 24:00.82

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 24:09.28

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um I have a painting where my arms are stretched out like just like reaching straight out like I’m Superman um, because I’m trying to convince myself that I am powerful and confident and my easel is behind me in the painting and i’m. Clearly not the easel is all flimsy painted all kind of delicate and wobbly um and so this topic of like who am I as an artist does creep in as a narrative to a lot of my work and I do find it the the psychology and managing it. Ah, really interesting as an artist. So I like this question. Um I I definitely to be honest, would affect my mood for the entire day if the painting was not working well if I just kept redoing the same thing over and over I would be. Pretty grumpy and I would have to talk about it in therapy like sometimes like the therapy session would turn into how do I deal with my inability to get what I want in my paintings. Um, and.

**** – (): 25:21.27

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I would say a couple of things and helped improve it. Um, one was well less pressure on yourself. I Think once you are in the real art world and you’re exhibiting your work. The pressure becomes a little bit greater. Um, if you’re not living off of your sales of artwork I think it helps a little bit if you have another source of income so that every brush Stroke doesn’t feel so catastrophic if you mess up. But honestly, the biggest thing that has.

**** – (): 25:47.56

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 25:52.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, but.

**** – (): 25:58.68

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And helpful to me is to plan the paintings more carefully and the digital art which I hated growing up ended up being like my life’s saver I am I’m obsessive and free.

**** – (): 26:08.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Female.

**** – (): 26:15.53

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): In my digital paintings I make like 20 different versions of this of my paintings before I actually start painting but then once I start painting. Um I have a pretty good idea of what I want it to look like.

**** – (): 26:19.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 26:27.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Where you want to head.

**** – (): 26:32.20

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): But I also still have to translate these like digital brush strokes into oil paint now and so there’s an element of surprise still where I can still get excited and not bored because I’m not you know, painting it exactly.

**** – (): 26:38.59

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now.

**** – (): 26:49.97

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): But I have a little bit more of a guideline and for me that has been really helpful I think and especially when you work on wood panel and you sand them and they need to be super smooth when I would mess up on a panel. And it wasn’t and I didn’t have the painting planned because they were kind of spontaneous. Um, it was a big deal I’d have to sand it off I paid a ton of money to have the wood panel made and it was just really really kind of devastating. Um.

**** – (): 27:19.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): A.

**** – (): 27:23.42

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): And and now if I have a little bit of a better idea of where I’m going with the painting. The risk is lower that I’ll mess up. Yeah, um, those are 2 things that are helping me struggle and another and 1 psychologist I saw years ago actually said I would like you to.

**** – (): 27:31.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 27:43.14

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Just sit with the works that the the paintings that you don’t like like get used to the discomfort of looking at them. Don’t turn them facing the wall which is what I would do um and work on a different painting. Don’t just stay there working on the same painting switched to another piece which was something that was.

**** – (): 27:44.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 27:50.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 27:59.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 28:00.60

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Very very hard for me and I watch my and it’s funny because you can help other artists and as a art instructor I see my students do this all the time or I’m like you’re done. Don’t ruin it or let’s just switch to another thing and they they want to fix it in the moment and I.

**** – (): 28:18.93

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, there’s this sudden gave this urge. Yeah yeah, how about um, what about your role as an art teacher and your role as an artist. How do you think both of these help you and um, you’ve also.

**** – (): 28:20.30

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I Understand that? yeah.

**** – (): 28:36.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): In the beginning. You also spoke about the idea that um that you know the idea that we do not have to just be 1 kind of artist that people expect you out of like you know, um. Living off your art or all of those things. What was your biggest myth that you had um and that you had to break for yourself about being an artist. Let’s start start with that then I’ll ask my next question.

**** – (): 29:01.73

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): What was the biggest myth I believed about being an artist who that’s a good question but well I always knew it was hard I.

**** – (): 29:17.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah.

**** – (): 29:21.54

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): My my original dream was to be a painting I teach high school and middle school. Originally I was very set on teaching college. Um, and so and and so I did I was a painting professor for about 7 years and I absolutely loved it.

**** – (): 29:25.89

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And okay, back.

**** – (): 29:32.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay so.

**** – (): 29:41.31

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um, but I made very very it pays less especially if you’re part-time than teaching younger students. Maybe maybe because the college students are easier to work with I don’t know and it’s it’s less days a week and and so I thought.

**** – (): 29:44.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Or yeah.

**** – (): 30:01.27

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): I Think my biggest myth was more towards like what the life of a professor would be um and like well I I think I I didn’t realize how unstable the career was and how much.

**** – (): 30:06.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh why? so.

**** – (): 30:19.96

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um, pressure there is when you’re up for tenure to try to make your to try to get tenure. Um, and so I while I Absolutely love teaching college I think that cut that cutthroat environment.

**** – (): 30:36.27

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 30:39.68

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Was not um and I well it it was fine but you know it’s very competitive and I did have a full time job in ah in my last year of teaching college and it was great but it was just a 1 year contract so it’s just It gets very um, unstable and I think I I didn’t know that going in and so I always wanted something stable to help support my art career. Um, and so I had no idea that being a professor was going to be so.

**** – (): 31:00.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah I.

**** – (): 31:09.26

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 31:16.66

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Insane. But.

**** – (): 31:17.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But you feel it You do feel differently now being not in a college and teaching younger kids. But I also think um, yeah.

**** – (): 31:22.85

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, the the community is better. Yeah, and it’s a little bit more stable but it takes more time. Um, And. Um, and you have to deal with disciplinary issues which can be very frustrating sometimes um, but you Learn. Um.

**** – (): 31:40.39

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But also I think inspiring and refreshing because I feel like younger children are such a great source of inspiration the ability to ask questions unindered and like to see things from a very unfiltered perspective to have a very strong.

**** – (): 31:49.63

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): The.

**** – (): 31:59.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But naive but also have that strength in that naivety and I think that’s self-conviction a lot of things that I feel like I I didn’t have children in my life as like a couple of years ago but ever since I’ve had my my niece and nephew I feel like I’m very pretty close to my niece and she’s very young now but I just feel like. I feel I learned so much from her because ah, how unapologetic but yet so kind but like you know I think there’s so much that we learn just as in values also from children that sometimes we do not learn from each other as athletes. As well.

**** – (): 32:40.30

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Definitely definitely um and and working with trying to teach them the the skills outside of art just like how to exist in the world as a good human and.

**** – (): 32:48.17

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 32:54.47

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Interpersonal relationships. You know all those things come into play and and then make you reflect on yourself as and you ask yourself? um am I actually doing the things that I am telling my students to do So it’s It’s a good ah check in on myself.

**** – (): 33:04.83

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You? Um, yeah yeah yeah I love thank you so much Ali it was so nice speaking to you and before I let you go.

**** – (): 33:13.62

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): For sure. Thank you share.

**** – (): 33:20.62

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): What are you working on right now. Is there a project that you want to share with us. Um, something that’s coming up.

**** – (): 33:28.53

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Well um, I’m developing a new body of work so you’ll probably see sneak peeks of those on on Instagram still based on I’m like behind on my I have so many paintings planned from all my travels that I have so many to catch up on.

**** – (): 33:42.21

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah schedule.

**** – (): 33:46.49

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Ah, so so you’ll be seeing a lot of those and there I’m kind of taking these photographs and recreating the memory like so that it either reflects what I was feeling in that moment or what I’m feeling now that I reflect on that moment.

**** – (): 34:03.56

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Like now.

**** – (): 34:05.96

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Um, and a lot of that is through color and through the gesture of the figure. So There’s um, yeah, there’s a couple in your works. Um coming along I try not to post them until like the the show at the full image until the show is coming Up. Um. And just ah yeah, I’ve got a whole slew of new panels that I just had built and I I’m ready to to do it.

**** – (): 34:31.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I on to them. Okay, for anyone who’s listening back. Can they follow you support. You look at your work. Yeah.

**** – (): 34:42.25

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Oh yes, um, well my Instagram is Allie a l I miller and my l l e r studios with an s um and so ah is my website but that hasn’t been updated in a few years because I’m going to redo the whole thing. But that’s Allie Millerstudios Dot Com so yeah I would love to.

**** – (): 35:01.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): For I will add everything in the show notes for everyone who’s joined us for this episode and who wants to you know, read more about Allie’s work look at her work. Make sure you head on to the website at ww.dotrotsproject.com and you look at the article you’ll find everything there in detail with all the links mentioned and again. Thank you so much Ali and thank you. Everyone who joined us for this conversation today. Thank you 1 sec. Yeah I’m just.

**** – (): 35:28.67

**** – (): Ali Miller

**** – (): Thank you so much. This was super fun. Thank you.

About The Guest(s): Ali Miller is an artist and art teacher known for her vibrant and dreamy paintings. She has a passion for color and pattern, which is evident in her work. Ali draws inspiration from her travels and surroundings, creating scenes that are both fantastical and grounded in reality.

Summary: Ali Miller, an artist and art teacher, discusses her love for color and how it influences her work. She shares her journey as an artist, from her childhood fascination with color to her current process of creating vibrant and detailed paintings. Ali also talks about the importance of managing expectations and dealing with self-disappointment as an artist. She emphasizes the role of teaching in her life and how it has influenced her own art practice.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ali’s love for color and pattern has been a constant throughout her life, influencing her art and surroundings.
  • She finds inspiration in her travels and collects images and objects that spark her creativity.
  • Ali’s work has evolved from mental collaging to abstraction and now incorporates elements of photography and digital art.
  • Managing expectations and dealing with self-disappointment are ongoing challenges for Ali as an artist.
  • Teaching art has been a passion for Ali and has provided stability and inspiration in her own art practice.

Quotes:

  • “Color is the most exciting aspect of the studio process and creating.” – Ali Miller
  • “I have this draw to India. There’s something about the colors, the beads, the textures.” – Ali Miller
  • “I want to create environments that are places I wish I could go to and be a part of.” – Ali Miller
  • “Speed has always been my enemy because I have this high expectation of what I want the painting to be.” – Ali Miller
  • “I want to know that I tried everything in my capacity to make it successful.” – Ali Miller

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

About the Guest

Ali Miller is a New York City-based artist from Long Island, NY, working in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Miller constructs fantastical nonlinear narratives, addressing themes of expectation, using extreme and surreal scenarios. Miller received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting in 2012 and her BFA from Alfred University in 2008.

She has attended residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Golden Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Chateau Orqueveaux, and Chautauqua Institution.

In 2012, Miller received the Best in Show Prize at the Bethesda Painting Awards. Miller’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and her work can be found in both public and private collections. She is currently represented by High Noon Gallery.

Selected Work of Ali Miller

Want to know more about Ali Miller? Visit the link below

In today’s podcast, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Ali Miller, an incredibly gifted artist whose work takes us on a journey into fantastical, dreamy realms. We dove deep into where her unique style comes from, her passion for color and texture, and the challenges she faces in her artistic journey. It became abundantly clear throughout our conversation that Ali’s art goes beyond just creating visually stunning pieces – it’s also about exploring the intersection of art, psychology, and personal growth.

Ali’s fascination with color and patterns started when she was just a little girl. Her love for vibrant shades and her tendency to experiment with mismatched outfits foreshadowed the driving force behind her art.

She said, “I think all children fantasize, but maybe I just never totally left it. Color is the most exciting aspect of the studio process for me.”

Her paintings are a testament to this love for color and fantasy, depicting exaggerated yet familiar scenes from everyday life.

Inspiration for her work comes from all over the world. From the vibrant colors and intricate textiles of Bali, Morocco, and India, Ali has found a shared aesthetic that resonates deeply with her.

She said, “There’s something about India that I have this draw to. I buy a lot of clothes from India, and I think it’s the colors, the beads, the textures – everything.”

Over the years, Ali’s artistic process has evolved significantly. In the early days, she would create mental collages, collecting images and objects that inspired her. But as she progressed, she found herself experimenting with abstraction and incorporating digital technology. This allowed her to plan her paintings more carefully, using photographs as a starting point and then manipulating them digitally to experiment with different color palettes and compositions.

But like any artist, Ali faces her fair share of challenges. One of these is managing her own expectations and dealing with self-disappointment. She admits that she often strives for perfection in her paintings, and this has sometimes slowed down her process. To cope with this, Ali has learned to plan her paintings more carefully, using digital tools to create a roadmap for her work. This not only reduces the risk of mistakes but also allows her to enjoy the process without feeling overwhelmed.

Ali’s career as an artist has been influenced by her experiences as both a professor and an art teacher. Though she initially aspired to be a painting professor, she soon realized the instability and pressure that came with the role. This led her to explore other avenues, such as teaching younger students. While it comes with its own challenges, Ali finds it more fulfilling and stable.

Ali’s work goes beyond creating beautiful paintings; it explores the complexities of human emotions and the struggle to find balance in life. Her paintings capture the tension between fantasy and reality, perfection and imperfection, and the desire for control in an unpredictable world. Through her use of color, composition, and narrative, Ali invites viewers to reflect on their own expectations and perceptions.

Looking ahead, Ali plans to develop a new body of work that reflects her experiences and memories from her travels. She aims to create paintings that capture the essence of each moment, whether it be the emotions she felt at the time or the reflections she has now. With her unique approach to color and composition, I have no doubt that Ali’s work will continue to captivate and inspire viewers for years to come.

For those interested in learning more about Ali Miller and her captivating artwork, please visit her Instagram page @AliMillerStudios and her website at www.alimillerstudios.com.


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