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Check out Bailey Miller’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bailey Miller.

Bailey, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Loving what you do for a living is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in life. I love my job, all of my jobs! …Painter, adventurer, photographer, editor, web designer, studio slob, packaging aficionado, marketing newbie, saleswoman, and on the side – A Property and Evidence Technician for my local police department. I had a lot of ideas of what my “dream job” was growing up, but at the end of the day, my goal was to find what made me happy. (Life goal = pure happiness) Yes, I really am just that cheesy.

From the eight square feet of my college dorm room to the floor of the living room in my first studio apartment, to my garage turned art studio… I fell in love with painting eight years ago during my freshman year of college. I began dabbling in painting after needing some art supplies for a class I was taking. Up until that point, I had been tirelessly working towards the dream of being a professional tennis player. With every ounce of my teen self, I worked towards this big and beautiful dream with bountiful hope and endless hours of hard work. However, the universe had other plans in store for me. After a career-ending injury, I set off for college hundreds of miles away from home to a school without a tennis team. I was running from heartbreak but little did I know, I was running towards what would soon become the love of my life.

It took the completion of one painting to realize the deep love I had for the craft. The walls of my dorm room were filled with paintings of the places I explored. The discipline and drive from the years of playing tennis poured out of me effortlessly, and with each new painting, I was learning something new. What started as a hobby and an escape, soon blossomed into the idea that I could pursue a career in art. A little over a year away from graduation I decided to transfer schools and get my degree in art. Of the belief that a career in fine art was about as unrealistic as it gets, I chose a technology based art program but soon found that it was not for me.

In 2015, I began the home stretch of my college career as a Fine Arts major at CSUF. It was in this last year that I discovered how little I cared that being a successful fine artist was unrealistic. Through the chaotic years of college, the one constant was always painting. I had discovered a love deeper than anything I had ever known, a joy that flowed out of me effortlessly, and the most authentic passion that made working hard and making sacrifices the easiest choice.

I hit the ground running in 2016 after receiving my diploma, and simultaneously began my art and law enforcement careers. I am truly a believer in taking the financial stress out of the equation when it comes to pursuing a career in the fine arts industry. In terms of painting, I am driven by passion rather than money and love rather than responsibility. I have been actively participating in art festivals and gallery exhibitions for the last few years and recently became a resident artist in a gallery in Laguna Beach.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Many works of art are created to reach large groups, be understood by the masses; however, I take a slightly different approach. With my paintings, I aim to capture a moment for you, a personal memento that embodies your own special place in time.

To many, I am a landscape painter… but if you ask me, I am an adventure painter. As a California native, I have always had nature right at my back door. Whether it’s snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of Laguna Beach, driving up Highway 1 as it hugs the rugged California coastline, or climbing Mount Whitney, nature has continually had my heart. I was born with a soul for adventure, eager to see the sublime, untouched beauty of God’s creation.

My love of nature and adventure go hand in hand with my passion for painting. With every hike and outdoor exploration, my desire to paint grows. I love how a painting has the ability to bring to life the memories of an adventure even after it is over. When out on a hike, or camping, or traveling, I want the adventure to be about just that – enjoying the adventure! It is in nature we find a sense of freedom and independence, we overcome challenges, and we recharge.

I truly thrive on the joy derived from the unexpected discoveries, the once in a lifetime views and the unforgettable triumphs. Working mainly in oil and watercolor, I am a studio based artist who works off of a collection of photographs and memories. I strive to capture nature’s essence, but more importantly, I hope to create a painting that transports you back in time… back to the jubilant moment of your first summit, the comfort of your home away from home view… a painting that takes you back to YOUR adventure. Or mine!

I hope that no matter how small your adventures may seem that you always remember to collect those moments, whether in a photo album, a jar, or a painting. Collect them and hold them close, for they are the beams of light that remind us of how good life is, how bright and beautiful this world is… the seashell from the quiet walk through the fog on Marina State Beach, the family photos on the houseboat at Lake McClure, a scoop of gravel from the summit of your highest hiked peak, the painting of the alpine glow lighting up the sky as you finish your final day of backpacking through the Sierra Nevada.

I am a painter for adventurous souls who make wayfaring a way of life and celebrate their remarkable moments in remarkable places.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
New to the art world within the last few years, I can’t exactly speculate as to whether or not conditions have improved for artists in recent years. I do however believe that we live in a time that is encouraging and supportive of individuality, entrepreneurialism, and creativity. I don’t believe that succeeding in the art world will ever be an easy task, but I feel that it is more widely accepted and supported than it ever has been before. We will always come across those looks of disapproval, those who believe that what we do is merely a hobby, but we as young artists are paving a new road for ourselves. We are utilizing all of the marketing opportunities through social media, collaborating and networking more than ever and taking advantage of any opportunity to share and show our work. With hard work, sacrifice, a savvy business sense and a bit of talent to boot, these childhood dreams of ours might just be within reach after all.

As cities, I think it is important to continue creating opportunities for artists of all levels to get out and show their work. As a fine artist, the initial fear is, “how will anyone ever see my paintings?!”. Through local craft fairs, fine art festivals, food and wine festivals, and vendor fairs incorporating local businesses, an artist will find many opportunities to show their work.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
There are many ways to view my artwork! Most conveniently, viewers are welcome to visit my website to see my portfolio as well as shop for both giclée prints and a limited collection of original paintings. I also have a permanent collection of paintings on display at The Artist Eye Gallery in Laguna Beach. The gallery is open daily, and on the first Thursday of every month, the gallery participates in the citywide art walk from 6-9pm. This is a great opportunity to meet and chat one on one with the artists. During the summer, I also participate in a 9-week art festival in Laguna Beach, the Laguna Art-A-Fair. It is open daily from June 28th – September 1st. During the year I display my work in numerous gallery exhibitions and art fairs throughout California. I encourage anyone who is interested to follow along on my social media accounts as I keep followers updated on all of my upcoming events.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Two Photos by: Katherine Schwingel – Katherine Schwingel Photography

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