By SPECIWOMEN Photography LAUREN DAVIS
"There are certain issues within my life that stem from my role as a woman, and it's something I like to explore and discuss"
Who are you?
My name is Charlotte Miller. I am from Toronto, but currently studying at Parsons School of Design in NYC. I am a second year Communication Design major there, with a focus in Branding and Marketing. I also do some freelance graphic design/art work, and some photography.
How did you first get into art?
It's funny, because I think it was something I got into when I was incredibly little. Art has always existed in my life but in different ways. Whether that be fine arts, theatre, or my current work. A big instigator was in grade 7 when I saved up to buy my first SLR camera. I began teaching myself photoshop and discovered post processing and digital art. A few years later, I started using Illustrator, which is how I create my vector artwork. Now at school, I focus on typography and coding, on top of the vector stuff I still do on the side.
What is the purpose of your work?
It depends on the type of work I'm doing and what mediums I'm working with. I try to create things that stem from personal experiences and observations I have made in my own life. Last year I did a vector series that examined the differentiation of pornography and art. The series was accompanied by a written piece that took quite a philosophical perspective on the topic. In hopes to spark discussion amongst the viewers. I think it’s interesting to create art that is aesthetically pleasing, but also makes you think and search within yourself to determine how it makes you personally feel.
What materials do you use?
Since I work mainly on the computer, when it comes to choosing physical materials I have a variety of options. So on top of the adobe programs and my camera, I like exploring different printing techniques, and certain fine art methods like reverse glass painting, with ink and gouache. I really want to experiment more with the risograph I have access to at school, I’d love to make some sort of zine. I'm also really interested by the coding and programming I've been learning and using recently, and would love to eventually put out an iPhone app or some sort of Chrome extension.
Who inspires you?
Being at a design school, one of the biggest inspirations for me are my peers and the creative minds at my school. The internet is also a magical place for gathering all sorts of inspiration, so all the artists I follow online as well. Instagram is great for that - my screenshot folder has 2000+ photos filled with artwork from Instagram. Tumblr is great, but I have to say that Pinterest is where my heart lies. I was so surprised when I realized it was not just for people planning weddings and dream apartments! I'm addicted to curating boards of different graphic design movements and love how easy it is to find artists through it. There's nothing worse than seeing something you love online and can't find the artist's name!
Where do you prefer to work?
I prefer private space with no interruptions. Normally that just means my bedroom at home or my apartment; anywhere that's quiet, empty, with a large desk works for me!
Who is your work for?
I'm still growing as an artist, and a lot of the work I do is mainly for myself. If I am being commissioned or if I'm collaborating with other artists, it must appeal to a certain aesthetic or image they want to achieve. Regardless it is still something I'm doing for me. I'm a perfectionist and never like to put out work I don't feel is the best it can be. It can sometimes be an issue, since I'm quick to discard and forget about projects I don't think are working. I need to trust myself more. Inspiring others is always a reward. When I get messages from people saying how much I have helped them, that is the greatest reward and that is what makes me feel the happiest.
Has your art ever been displayed?
Aside from exhibits at my university and high school and my parents bathroom, not anywhere physically. I've had a few features online and sometimes make customized prints for people, but I haven't had the opportunity to be in a gallery or anything as of now.
What are your favorite places in your city or all around the world?
I grew up in a family who was fortunate enough to make traveling and experimenting different parts of the world a priority. I think one of my favorite places that I'm dying to return is Tokyo - it's such a culture shock, and from a design perspective… incredibly stimulating. I am obsessed with the packaging and all the different uses of paper, it's all very magical. In New York I love escaping to Prospect Park every once and a while, as well as just walking around and exploring my own neighborhood (East Village/Alphabet City).
Tell me an interesting story.
The other weekend I convinced someone to give me a free meal at a restaurant solely based on the fact that I'm a Canadian.
How has the female role played into your life?
Near the end of high school I did a lot of reading about feminism throughout history, and admired a lot of artists who use that as a central theme behind their work. There are certain issues within my life that stem from my role as a woman, and it's something I like to explore and discuss. There are many things that must change in society right now, but I guess it just pops up a lot in conversations I have and the art I make because it's something that presents itself to me personally on a day to day basis.