illustrating & blogging from indiana, USA with andy j miller

i’ll say it. andy j miller is amazing. even though i’ve only discovered him in recent months, he’s become a huge inspiration to me. i absolutely love his illustration to pieces, and his blog is an amazing resource and full of posts that will get you thinking, smiling, and feeling. i am so strongly for people that spread colour, happiness, thoughtfulness and positivity to the world and andy is for sure doing that.
if you’re an illustrator or creative yourself his blog is a MUST. i deem in necessary for you to read. but read this interview first :) oh, and you can buy the above print here.
hey andy! could you please give us a little intro to your work and your blog?
My work is like if Alexander Girard was super super into Fraggle Rock.

My blog is like if illustration was church, my blog posts would be my sermons. Think theory and philosophy behind being a creative, rather than practical tutorial.

do you have a favourite piece that you’ve made?
That’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say the dream journal for Chronicle Books, Strange Dreams. It’s actually got 10 art spreads that are my favorite work to date, in a lot of ways.

Really what I love is that more than any other work that I’ve made, the journal captures the essence of the type of spooky, dreamy vibe I’m trying to shoot for.

what’s been your career highlight so far?
I’d have to say working on TV indents for Nickelodeon. It’s weird to say this, because it’s a corporation, but Nickelodeon is really dear to my heart. It was definitely a big part of my childhood, so being involved in this way just means a lot to me.

Skip Hursh is a buddy of mine who works as a designer for Nick, and although I love working with the whole in house team, Skip and I have really similar tastes, but different skills, and that is always really exciting.

do you have anything you’d like to achieve in the future?
I probably think about this too much.

I’m starting this web comic, “NOD: Poncho’s Story”, that is a really big deal to me. I’m a little afraid to venture into this, because I don’t come from a comics background, but it just seems like the right medium to tell this story. This story is something I’m extremely passionate about, and I’d love for it to eventually be more than a web comic, like maybe a graphic novel or something animated.

if you have one, what is your all time favourite illustration or artwork? why? what does it mean to you?
I don’t know if I have one…but I can say that the biggest inspiration to me is Fraggle Rock.

That may seem like a joke…it’s not.

That show is just this amazing diamond in the rough. It tackles feelings of loss, purposelessness, individualism and being an outsider. All the while maintaining a commentary on class, and also how we coexist with other ecosystems.

The icing on the cake is how unique the atmosphere of that show is. Like melancholy, exuberant absurdity and eerie mystery.

To me, it’s really like an American version of Moomins or Totoro.

…and it’s funny!

how do you juggle creating and blogging?
That’s a tough one. I guess I don’t make a distinction between them. My distinction is more between client paid work and personal projects. Blogging to me has become part of my creative work, I always create editorial style images for my posts and sometimes I just make visual content for my blog.

I sort of just go with the flow. Sometimes my client work is so piled up I can’t post very much on my blog, but when it’s quiet I post more.

Trusting these ebbs and flows is sort of spiritual and cosmic for me, like having faith that if I keep creating while things are slow, things will pick up again when they’re supposed to. The key is to just keep going. It works!

do you have any favourite arty blogs you like to read?
It’s Nice That does a great job of feeling like a real legitimate publication. They’re always posting new exciting and insightful stuff.

where are your favourite places for art? to see, buy, whatever’s on your mind.
Absolutely 100%: independent bookshops. I love coming across an obscure, well printed comic, kids book or magazine that inspires me. Almost nothing is as exciting to me as that.

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