Madison Miller:

D I S T A N C E
 
 
Madison Miller
Studio Art major, Art History minor
 
I like to create art that people can relate to which has a touch of fantasy or humor to it. By combining disparate elements, I can engage with ideas in ways which are compelling to me and, hopefully, to others. I have never fit comfortably into any social group. Since early in my childhood until now, socialization has always been a bit awkward. I believe many people can relate to this experience and it is one which I explore in my Merlegs series. But it isn’t just about feeling awkward. It’s about enjoying life and embracing those parts of yourself that give you a unique perspective and help you form tight bonds with those few and remarkable people who understand and can relate to you.
 
I also enjoy making work that acts as an escape and engages the viewer’s imagination so that they can escape to a place that, while not perfect, is simple, magical, and other worldly.
 
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Merlegs: Fish Out of Water
the First Ever Glimpse into the World of Merlegs
watercolor, gouache, ink, and graphite on paper
 
painted illustration of red fish creature with yellow lips, white fin arms, and yellow legs riding a beluga whale in the water
 
The world of the Merlegs is not so different from our own. As the unyielding light of dawn rushes over the horizon, it illuminates and delineates a breed of creatures that, in my ways, lives as we do. Suspended by a pair of human legs, the only thing that clearly distinguishes their figures from our more familiar homo sapien form is the fishy blob bobbing about where their heads should be. Gills, soft underbellies and all: their upper half retains all the hallmark features of a large and bulbous fish.
 
Merlegs can be recognized by their vacant expressions. And with their tender skin and the slippery fins they sport in place of arms, they are vulnerable to attack. As they awake to a day fraught with danger and possibility, Merlegs, in spite of their feeble forms and unguarded nature, brazenly confront every obstacle thrown their way. Though not always with dignity.
 
It is my express intent and hope to document this world and share it with you so that you may find some comfort in knowing that as strange and awkward as you may feel, you are anything but alone. As big as the world seems and as little and meek as you may sometimes find yourself, I hope you can draw inspiration from these proud and silly creatures to find the source of your own strength and be unapologetically you.
 
watercolor illustration of 3 creatures in front of outdoor vending machines: a kneeling pink jellyfish with human legs, a standing pufferfish with human legs, and a carp-like fish sitting on the ground with a bottle
 
watercolor illustration of a blue starscape with moon at upper right and a small red fish creature sitting on a pier at bottom right
 
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