Scottsdale Photographer Bucky Miller: 100 Creatives

Categories: 100 Creatives

Karen Isaac
Meet Bucky Miller.
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

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Bucky Miller
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

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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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