Natalee Miller

Published on June 5th, 2020

Natalee Miller

You there! That’s right, you! Do you find yourself petrified by the imminent threats of a virally toxic outside world? Do you feel you are just barely gripping onto the brinks of reality and need a change of pace? Are you spiraling into the warm embrace of insanity while feeling the unbearably nagging desire to venture into uncharted lands? If this is you, the art of Natalee Miller is here to help! 

If there is an alternate universe just barely caddy-corner to this one, Miller surely owns real estate. In her Separate Selves collection, she has created a multimedia experience for enthusiasts, taking them into a world that encapsulates very specific pockets of this one, but one that is certainly on its outer banks. In an interview with PureHoney, she says her work is “hovering in this kind of space that is definitely in the past, but in an unclear way.” She appropriately relates the overarching mood of her work to “introduction videos for some weird meditation cult.” 

Drawing inspiration from the aesthetic creativity of art deco, Memphis style and pop modernism, Miller melds an art form that is uniquely her own. She is a graphic story teller, as well as a message conveyor, whose art is best digested as an integrative experience. She takes magnificent care in curating daunting and beautiful Spotify playlists, with a highlight on


world music, making her art an all-sensory experience. Miller notes, “I can’t even draw without a soundtrack; I have to make a playlist for everything I do.” She enthusiastically continues, “I’ve been listening to a lot of Turkish love songs from the ’70s, they’re so dramatic, and you just picture ladies with, like, cigarette holders, with this huge hair and crazy eye makeup, and I’m like, ‘That’s the mood I want!’ ” 

By her style you’d never know she wasn’t from a long line of Miamians. Everything from the colors to the mood to the subject brings the consumer back to a mystifying late-1970s Versace-esque, “Scarface” South Beach setting. “I creep on the Wynwood Walls,” she says, “just like” — a longing dramatic sigh follows, and then a “someday …” trailing off. Though she grew up in New Hampshire, she notes, “Nothing about [New Hampshire] really ever resonated with me aesthetically.”  

Amenti Oracle by Jennifer Sodini. Illustrated by Natalee Miller

Miller holds a fondness for collaboration. Her most recent project,Amenti Oracle Feather Heart Deck and Guidebook is a series for Tarot-style cards, created alongside author Jennifer Sodini, and was recently covered by Cosmopolitan Magazine and VICE. Luckily for fans of her art, the quarantine has allotted her the freedom to create by her own standards. She says, I’m just really not interested in the present, as far as aesthetics go, so I’m just always trying to find people who want to work with, like, the best of what’s already happened.”

She has another collaboration in the early stages and, without giving too much away, she describes it as an expression of two values she holds dear: “I really like to create a world, and a mood is very important to me.” (We hope it includes a killer soundtrack.) 

Recent Mural

Raised by a new-age hairdresser mother, with horror-obsessed older brothers, there’s no shortage of inspiration for whatever Miller is working on to be drawn from her childhood. The Separate Selves collection magnifies the darkness in the light, as well as the reverse, and gives both room to breathe. She notes the bizarre content and overall mood of early ’80s children’s programs like “3-2-1 Contact” and “David the Gnome:” “I see kids programming now, and it’s so bubbly and bright and crazy, and there’s something really weird and, like, mysterious about the ’80s stuff that I was watching.” She continues, “There’s this weird overlap between what’s supposed to be relaxing and healing and what’s also supposed to scare you, and that apex is where I want to be.”

Miller’s work is both eerie and comforting, and couldn’t be more well-suited for the times we’re collectively living through. Her art reminds us that in this uncertain, sometimes claustrophobic landscape, the best place we can seek refuge is within the creativity of our own minds.  |  Separate Selves Shop  |  Separate Selves Playlist  |  Amenti Oracle  ~ Freddie Zandt

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