Midtown artist fashions world through electric-lemon glasses

Electric+lemon%3A+Matthew+Miller+squeezes+art+out+of+all+his+endeavors%2C+including+as+an+advocate+for+other+young+artists.
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Midtown artist fashions world through electric-lemon glasses

Electric lemon: Matthew Miller squeezes art out of all his endeavors, including as an advocate for other young artists.

Electric lemon: Matthew Miller squeezes art out of all his endeavors, including as an advocate for other young artists.

Electric lemon: Matthew Miller squeezes art out of all his endeavors, including as an advocate for other young artists.

Electric lemon: Matthew Miller squeezes art out of all his endeavors, including as an advocate for other young artists.

The Southerner

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Electric lemon: Miller infuses all aspects of his life with colorful art, including his advocacy work for other young artists.

BY AVANTI LEMONS

The morning light shines through a small hidden studio apartment in Midtown. The sounds of trains grinding into railroads and the quiet rustling of a body between the sheets caress the ears of its inhabitant. He feels around his nightstand for his electric-lemon colored glasses because he’s blind like a newborn puppy in the dark without them, hyperbolically speaking. The curtains open as he looks longingly out of his window at metropolitan cityscape he calls home, pondering the day ahead of him.

Another morning has begun for Matthew Miller.

Miller is an aspiring freelance illustrator. He describes himself as a debonair, yet colorful and enthusiastic business man with a full head of curly hair. At 23-years-young he has made a name for himself in the fashion illustration world, having been commissioned by for portraits and other wor

“I see myself overseas within the next five years, most likely running an illustration business, shipping works of art all around the world,” he said. “I want to own several homes all around the world, teaching, creating, living my life, and married to my amazing girlfriend.”

It’s not as though Miller doesn’t have experience to do so.

He imagines that from within the womb his untamed hands were attempting a sort of crude image-making. Like many artists, Miller cannot remember a time when he wasn’t drawing, and can’t imagine not doing it now.

 Miller wasn’t always the fun-loving mind that he comes across as today. He said as a child, between the ages of 5th and 10th grade he very destructive in his ways.

“I went from being angry, and destructive to generally optimistic and joyful, he said. “I attribute a bit of that to changes I deliberately made in my attitude and observing people who were angry, the rest is simply a change I cannot explain.”

Miller’s changing thoughts about life indirectly led him to a place he never would have imagined. Originally he was going to own his own donut shop.

He is also a co-director of a nonprofit organization called One Love Generation that empowers youth to inspire positive social change through art, service, and awareness. One Love found Miller through a friend of a boss. He checked it out and never left.

“I’m a servant to teenagers,” he said.  “I like to share my creativity and knowledge with my generation and the one after to help them find their place in the world, whether it is in the arts or in astrophysics.”

Jennifer Lester, 31, is the founder and executive director of One Love Generation.

“What I really love about Matt is that I can trust him,” she said. “He can take care of the actual teaching and mentoring when I can’t. This also gives me more time to focus on more marketing stuff so that I can help One Love grow.”

In the time that Miller mentoring the teen artists of One Love Generation he has positively impacted their lives through art and other regular teenage problems.

Kira Carter, 17, has been studying with Miller since he joined the porgam. She is a junior at Henry W. Grady High School, and has big hopes for making a career out of tattoo design.

“When I first met Matt I thought he was the un-cool weird, but as I got to know him he became a bigger and bigger part of my life,” said Carter “He’s very accepting, supportive, and encouraging.”

Sabrina Alvarez, 17 is a student at Robert S Alexander High School in Douglassville, GA. She is another teen artist with One Love Generation. She plans on becoming an elementary school art teacher when she finishes school.

“I really respect what Matt does because, you don’t really see a lot of straight males that work in fashion, and he’s really passionate about his job which you also don’t see a lot,” said Alvarez.  “He has really huge dreams and I can’t wait to see them come true.”

Miller is passionate about creating beautiful things. However, as an artist, he continues to try to debunk the myth that he creates beautiful things when he paints.

“Putting a brush to paper is just one of my many modes of creating. Without my hands or my eyes I would still hope to create beautiful things, to set passions on the hearts of young people. I want to challenge people to think critically and see all things as beautiful.”

 

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