When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives.
When Nina Miller was really young, her dad was in the Air Force so she moved around, but after that, she says she did most of my growing up in Maple Grove, Minnesota. She also says she is now from Phoenix: "I have been around Arizona long enough that shows I did in college are getting revived."
Miller is an improvisor and instructor at The Torch Theatre in central Phoenix. She worked as a designer for Fulton Engineering at ASU for the last year or so, but is about to start a new position with The Center for Science and the Imagination. "IMAGINATION! SCIENCE! So excited," she says.
I came to Phoenix with ... a navy unitard and a dream. Oh! And really nice bath towels that are still great! Totally worth the extra cost as it turns out. I perform because ... it helps me better understand the world. Acting got me out of my own head when I was a shy, anxious girl. As a bonus, all the words were vetted by a professional, so I knew they must be the right ones. Improv gave me confidence in my own words and actions. Best gift ever.
I design because ... I like problem finding and solving. I really like typography. And I love love love making a living from being creative. I feel super lucky and grateful.
I make art because ... it is messy and ruins the carpet. I just hate carpet!
I'm most productive when ... I am excited about something, even the littlest thing. Like a new color palette or learning a some fancy code. I need to break projects down into the smallest chunks or I will totally freak out. If there is anxiety about a project I completely shut down, nothing gets done. I have ADHD, which I didn't really do anything about until a couple of years ago. Yay irony! It was a pretty huge shift for me, but I am still fighting thoughts that trigger the fear virus from years of "not living up to my potential" or "not paying any attention" or "being lazy and selfish."
My inspiration wall is full of ... fabric, patterns, buttons, post its, scribbles, quotes. Horse-themed T-shirts.
I've learned the most from ... my former husband. Quantitatively, he completely wins. Qualitatively, the two most formative lessons came from my mom and dad: love and learn as much as you can handle. Something I think to myself almost every day comes from a thoughtful design professor: "Don't be so nervous." I could list one hundred more people. People are great and smart.
Good work should always ... make you laugh or cry. Work that makes you think is fine, but emotion is how we decide and change. The Phoenix creative scene could use ... more support. Love. Hugs. Funding. Butts in seats. An improvisor can't lift herself up to fly on stage, but a whole troupe can.
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The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)
100:Lara Plecas 99. Isaac Caruso 98. Brandon Gore 97. Kelsey Dake 96. Hector Ruiz 95. Caroline Battle 94: Jennifer Campbell 93. Jeff Chabot 92. Tiffiney Yazzie 91. Daniel Germani 90. Irma Sanchez 89. Daniel m. Davis 88. Kirstin Van Cleef 87. Emmett Potter 86. Sarah Hurwitz 85. Christine Cassano 84. Fred Tieken 83. Lindsay Kinkade 82. Ruben Galicia 81. Robert Uribe 80. Heidi Abrahamson 79. Josephine Davis 78. Travis Ladue 77. Taz Loomans 76. Mikey Jackson 75. Alex Empty 74. Joe Ray 73. Carol Roque 72. Daniel Funkhouser 71. Carla Chavarria 70. Hugo Medina 69. Cavin Costello 68. Claire Carter 67. Lindsay Tingstrom 66. Catherine Ruane 65. Christopher Crosby 64. Aaron Johnson 63. Brenda Eden 62. Colton Brock 61. Ernesto Moncada 60. Benjamin Phillips 59. Brad Armstrong 58. Angela Hardison 57. Tyler Quinn 56. Andrew James Benson 55. Charles Anthony Darr 54: Tiffe Fermaint 53. Eric Cox 52. Victor Vasquez 51. John Randall Nelson 50. Lauren Lee 49. Kyle Jordre 48. Julie C. Kent 47. Sean Deckert 46. Niba DelCastillo 45. Joseph Benesh 44. Ashley Harder 43. Dan Vermillion 42. Daniel Shepherd 41. James B. Hunt 40. Lori Fenn 39. Seth Gideon Fainkujen 38. Wayne Rainey 37. Christian Filardo 36. Melissa Cody 35. Jason Rudolph Peña 34. Cindy Iverson 33. Ryan Gentry 32. Sebastien Millon 31. Andrea Beesley 30. Chris Pruitt 29. Robert Diehl 28. Rachel Malloy 27. Jonathan Simon 26. Ann Morton 25. Kim Moody 24. Kevin Flanagan 23. Such and Champ Styles 22. Julia Fournier 21. Rebecca Green 20. Jules Demetrius 19. Averian Chee 18. Sara Cochran 17. Daniel Mills