Hayley Lyn Miller

:: LOCATION

England, UK

:: MEDIUM

Pen, ink, acrylics, and textiles

:: IDENTIFIES AS

Intersectional Feminist

As a womxn, why do you think it is important to create?

The world has built up this idea of what it is to be female and male, it’s something art is able to break through. It’s important that people are able to express themselves and their experience. A world where you only ever see things from one point of view is not only dull but builds a false image. I don’t want to miss the messy imperfect truth.    

What has been your proudest moment as an artist/creative?

I used to think it would be a good grade in my course work or one of my illustrations being used (though I’m still very over excited about those things) it’s actually the feedback I’ve got online. I know it’s a small thing but it feels amazing to have a positive impact on someones day like that.

How do you define love?

Love is that undefinable level of emotion that seems like being over tired and the most awake you’ve ever been at the same time. It’s being able to ugly laugh or cry without fear of ridicule.

Describe the space that you like to create in?

At the moment I work in a very small room. I would love to be more organised so I could work on larger pieces and knock fewer things over… less bruises would be nice.

What do you like to listen to while you create?

Like most people I have varied taste but always come back to alternative bands or bluesy female singers. I’ve had an obsession with the guitar since I was a child and my mum took the drumsticks away, for the safety of my older sister. Though I also like to listen to Ted talks or futurelearn videos. There’s something calming about someone discussing a subject they’re an expert in. When I’m drawing I like to be in a relaxed head space, things seem to turn out a little better that way.

How do you make time to create?

Creating is something that I seem to find myself doing like it’s my default setting.

How does your mental health affect your work?

I have used art throughout my life to deal with chronic illness as well as anxiety and depression. Sometimes I just feel as though I don’t have the energy to create anything very good but I know that even if it’s just one small doodle, something that I won’t necessarily show anyone, drawing helps me to feel a little constructive. It helps me to think things through and find my way again.

What is your earliest memory of making art?

I remember a certain smell red children’s paint had and those plastic aprons that always fit a little too close to your neck. Drawing was something fun that me and my sisters did together without getting into too much trouble. I think it was a drawing of a red train that got put on the fridge but it could have been a fire-engine because I was really into firemen Sam at the time.

Do you have any words of advice for young womxn/artist/creators out there?

Whatever you’re creating, whatever you’re drawing, painting or writing is worth your time and effort. If it’s something you love to do, if it’s what you want then it’s worth it. We all fall into comparing ourselves with other people and feeling inadequate because we tend to only see the faults in ourselves but those are what make us who we are, they’re what we grow and learn from. Every voice is valid in art, it’s one of the main reasons I love it so much.

What social issues do you care about most?

I think it’s important to put images into the world that work against unhealthy concepts. I live with health issues and an eye deformity so I tend to focus on face equality, disability and body positivity but I’m really interested in social movements like black lives matter and humanitarian issues that are happening all around us.

What could you not live without?

That’s a tough one. There are too many things that it could be… but I’ll say my favourite tv shows. I love watching old X-file episodes and This Is Us keeps trying to break my heart every week, so I couldn’t live without them. And my two sisters of course, but I tend to watch shows with them so really it was all about them anyway.

Who are your influences/inspirations?

I love feminist artists, illustrators and Youtubers. Studying art history opened my eyes to a lot of different people but I’m really drawn to Instagram accounts like @Joannathangiah, @jessica_merle_art, @loukoumh. Also the IG body positive community has been a huge influence on my art, people like the amazing @n0pales, @ira_januario and @omgkenzieee who are prepared to stand up for what they believe in are an incredible inspiration. I love social media for the ability to find all these incredible voices.

What message do you want to spread with your art?

Acceptance.