In 100 words or less, what do you do as an artist?
Eighty-five percent of my work is in oil, the rest pen and ink, and on occasion, sculpting.
What motivates you to create art?
I get such a hoot when I can put my inner vision onto canvas, to create an art piece out of only raw materials.
How has your practice changed over time?
Big-time changes! Like any muscle, art ability grows with usage. My current work makes my older work grim and pale in comparison. I want to break into my customers’ houses and steal stuff I did 10 years ago and replace with better examples.
Do you ever get artist’s block? If so, how do you combat it?
On occasion. If I do, it’s usually midstream, so I set it aside and wait for the log jam of artist’s block to clear to return to work on it.
What do you think your life would be like if, for some reason, you could no longer create art?
Much darker, and a dreary shade of ordinary.
What role does the artist have in society?
Society is groaning under photos and video which only document. Art interprets society.
How do you feel when people ask you to explain the meaning of your art?
I heave a big sigh. When my mom used to serve something “icky,” her take was “Eat it and enjoy it!” That was NOT an option. That’s my work. It’s art, not anything more or less.
Have you ever been banned or censored to any degree as an artist? If so, how did you react? If not, how do you think you would react in that situation?
Fortunately, no. However, if I ever were, it would make me want to push the “offensive” envelope much further.
Does your artistic life ever get lonely? If so, what do you do to counteract it?
Lonely? Nope. I don’t think of my art creation as a spectator sport and resent being interrupted. It’s tough to get back into the moment.
What do you hope to achieve with your art?
To make someone smile for a moment, and hopefully, after I am gone, some future person may smile at my work again.
What are one or two primary areas of fear for you as an artist?
That my clumsy hands can’t do what I see internally. Or, being rejected or dismissed.
What are one or two factors that, when they’re in place, enable you to really flourish artistically?
When I realize that it is all coming together, when I realize I am “getting it” and my vision is accessible.
What jobs have you had other than being an artist?
I spent a couple of happy years of the young guy’s job as bartender. However, my career was as television engineer. Also, camera operator, lighting tech, and stage manager.
What’s your favorite color?
Miller will be one of the artists participating in the Long Beach Open Studio Tour on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13. For more information, visit lbopenstudiotour.com .
To see more of Miller’s work, visit curt-miller-artscapes.com .