Born and raised in Spokane Washington, Daniel Miller is a Graphic Design Major, who also minors in Film and Visual Narrative, Mass Communications, and English. His primary focus is using both static and moving images to tell stories which bring viewers closer together.
I’ve always thought that art should be a tool used to bring people together, and the main way I strive to do that in my work is to create pieces that tell stories. The idea of narratives and storytelling is a reoccurring theme throughout my work as a whole. The two works seen here are both created in Adobe Illustrator, which is what I primarily work with. They are meant to be lighthearted and are inspired by something you might see in a children’s book. Each tells a similar story despite the gap in time in their creation, reflecting on how some things continue to ring true despite how much time has passed. I like to think of them as reminders to not take life too seriously, and that it’s ok to take care of yourself.
As mentioned previously, the ideas of narratives and storytelling are reoccurring themes throughout my work. The two works seen here were both created in Adobe Illustrator and then transferred into Photoshop where they were animated frame by frame and exported as GIFs. These uplifting animations represent some of my first explorations into the use of movement, unconventional portrayals of depth, and pixel art. Ultimately, I view each as simple reminders that it’s important to try to accept things as they are and have fun in the moment.
The narratives told in the works seen here both relate to more subversive and specific themes in comparison to the lighthearted work seen previously. “Stay Woke” is meant to speak out about those who possess privilege without even realizing it, thus making them unaware or unwoke. Conversely, others may not share those same privileges, having to be aware of their situation at all times, and forcing them to stay woke. “Just Peachy” is meant to reflect the response and smile that we are expected to give when asked how we’re doing. Even if the answer is in fact very different, everyone expects you to be just peachy.
These works both tell stories related to struggles with mental health, and how those struggles can feel for individuals living with anxiety or depression. “Mr. Blue” is meant to reflect how depression can make an individual feel like a ghost of themselves. It also shows the effects of untreated mental illness over time, with the figure becoming more and more overwhelmed by depression. “Anxiety” is meant to illustrate what it’s like inside the mind of someone who lives with anxiety. Specifically, the constant internal conflict of making the right decision, when ultimately it feels like there is no true solution to the problem being faced.