Scottsdale Photographer Bucky Miller: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 69. Bucky Miller.

Bucky Miller will happily take your questions.

The Scottsdale-based photographer captures unassuming scenes from everyday life. A gate, a tree, a tennis court. At first glance, it might seem like a random assortment. But there's a method to any perceived madness. And, should you need further explanation, the artist tells us he has fun discussing his art-making.

See also: Phoenix Artist Noelle Martinez: 100 Creatives

For instance, he happily detailed his current pursuits.

"I'm in the middle of a long-term project in which I'm trying to turn photography into literature without compromising its photo-ness," Miller says. "I think the best way I've found so far is to look for the place where history and science fiction meet."

Which is to say, Miller's working on a book that features the failed Oklahoma Spaceport, a place he's visited, but not photographed. "Instead of making pictures of the debris, which were nothing but your average piles of industrial junk, I've been making pictures around the country that allude to the condition of the place and what all that might represent on a larger scale."

Keep an eye out.

I came to Phoenix with nothing. I was born here, but I leave a lot. Yesterday I returned from Baltimore with a grocery bag full of books and a Manny Machado bobblehead doll.

I make art because I know so little. Whenever I feel smart art can step in and remind me how much is outside of knowledge, that I'm more or less a bozo. It's a useful thing!

I'm most productive when left absolutely alone for hours after periods of good conversation. I need to get better at unplugging my router and throwing my phone off a bridge. Sleep and breakfast are useful, as are cookie breaks.

My inspiration wall is full of. . . I have a moon map, and pinned to the moon map is an 8.5"x11" print of a still from the Patterson Bigfoot film. Below that, on my desk, is a Gorbachev squeaky toy and a framed photograph by Christian Widmer. Also the bobbleheads. Behind me is one of my own photographs, to remind me that I make photographs.

I've learned most from paying attention.

Good work should always lead people to something they don't already know. We should walk away from art stirred, maybe perplexed as to what has stirred us, and open to the world.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more: -bookstores specializing in art publications -conversations with artists in other places -conversations between the museums, colleges, and communities -cookie shops -places like the Tempe Museum of Contemporary Art -criticism and receptiveness to criticism -humor -authenticity -community workspaces -art photography collectives that exhibit in the living rooms of modernist condominiums

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez

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