JErika Interviews artist Friends

I’m sitting in the small intimate quirky cool restaurant listening to ‘Clap yo hands” By Naught by Nature as I wait for my next artist pal to interview. He turns up prompt on time casually strolling in with his usual inquisitive expression on his face. I ask him what he’s listening to… Thursday – “Waiting”. “Its just a brilliant raw first record rough around the edges with plenty of disjointed melody.” Forever always wanting to be an artist, he always knew it was what he would be doing with his life, “Its my destiny I guess...”

This is my friend, the committed, sarcastic, playful broody Chris Miller.

I ask him how is life is going right now, he describes it to be a bit like the film.. “Clerks”… "Doing a generic day job sucks, and serving the general public is actually a soul destroying profession, I can strongly relate to!”

I can relate to that as well, but anyway back to this interview so at the moment his ART HUSTLE is exploring digital painting, and felt tips. I wonder if there is a particular style to his work?

“I call my style thunder overlord extreme or in layman’s terms I guess it’s a kinda manga, American influenced comic book style, but it changes all the time depending on how I feel, or what’s currently inspiring me but its focused on figure, form, and expression.”

I learn that his early inspiration comes from a few comic book creators, such as Tony Daniels, Masume Shiro and Michael turner.

“Yeah, There are definitely influences in my art from these guys as I’ve always aspired to be as good as them. In recent years Craig Thompson who wrote and illustrated blankets which blew my mind with its beauty and honesty,as well as David Downton the fashion illustrator who just amazes me with his style and is so commercially successful you can see his work all over the place.”

The restaurant isn’t really packed so we decide to stay and continue the interview there. I order another Earl Grey tea; he takes out his sketchbook showing me some of the sketches he has been working on.

"I have been working on concept paintings for a personnel project called girl/robot, where I’m looking into character design, form, beauty and anatomy, which I want to progress into juxtaposition of humanity and mechanics. This will then form the basis and research to be turned into a graphic novel and lead onto massive studio movie deal… you know down the line."

Chris is a fan of Anime and Manga. It brings him back to another project inspired by his love for it.
“I’ve been working on something. It’s a quiet romantic epic. It has a really cool twist set with an epic ether real back drop, exploring relationships and friendships. It’s an honest and moving romance I struggle to put into words as I really want this piece to be the one which people read and think … fuck , like I did after reading Craig Thompsons “Blankets” .

(Chris's concept designs for new comic Infinity land)

Everyone gets inspired/ influenced by a number of different elements that are revolving around us everyday transforming and expanding our interesting human minds… What influences you creatively?

“Yeah I constantly go to gigs a few each month, music is a massive inspiration to me and can help form ideas and expression with in my paintings, I also went to see a photography exhibition on London street photography dating back to Victorian times which was really interesting, as well as visiting the British museum to look at the roman ruins, and watching Darren brown live was also pretty cool.”

A I finish my tea, I ask the age old Question...WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?

"I love it because it keeps my demons at bay and gives me a sense of purpose in the world. All my hopes and dreams revolve around my drawing and whether I fully succeed in them or not, it is not something that I can, not stop doing.
At times I have wanted to cut my own hands off through frustration of the creative curse but the love comes from progressively seeing your self improve, and constantly learning new things and experimenting."

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