Matthew Miller is an artist in Tallahassee, FL who likes to paint natural beauty and human activity from life. Creating live paintings at sports events, music venues, and more, he paints with an energy that can be seen in the final product.
Matthew started painting seriously three years ago because it makes him feel at peace and confident. “I started self-medicating with art therapy,” he says, “and ended up getting addicted.” Matthew is currently finishing a PhD in Philosophy at Florida State University, where he is writing a dissertation about the role of flow states in a good human life. In his free time, he can be seen playing outside, usually without shoes.
In this episode, Matthew discusses:
-Moving to Tallahassee to finish the PhD program that he had started a few years ago.
-How jumping into art full-time jeopardized how special art was to him and it became a stressor.
-How he was letting other aspects of his life go to the wayside when he started pursuing art as a full-time career.
-His experience working on athlete’s art at sporting events and the stark contrast of working alone in the studio.
-Dealing with personal struggles and the need for art to be therapy
-Pursuing plein air painting and how, since it is a new pursuit, he is able to think less about where the painting is going to end up and more just about pursuing excellence.
-How live painting is similar to a triathalon because it forces him to find a zone and to also not get preoccupied on mistakes.
-His decision to honor the sacredness of the creative process by not defiling it with excessive process pictures and Instagram stories.
-The power of flow states and the challenges of our environment in this technological age.
-Wanting to start a podcast.
-His increased interest and experimentation with cold exposure (and how it sets a base line for what is actually “hard” to do).
-Determining the ways that he wants to express himself with his upcoming ideas.
-The way that he has been communicating with his friends.
“Going full-time in art and putting myself in that position jeopardized how special art was to me because I was taking it too seriously.”
“Art will always go better if I have my other ducks in a row.”
“I don’t want to contribute to people vicariously living the artist life through me, I’d rather people just do it themselves.”
“I think today in order to live a fully good human life, we need to develop new types of virtues that enable us to manage all these new technological forces and preserve, protect and be stewards of our own brains and attention span.”