BY SHALEEN DESTEFANO
A very dear mutual friend (Kerri Cole of Confîa Collective) once told us, “you have to meet Meg Miller, because you will love her.” Well, she wasn’t wrong. In fact, our first meeting over coffee in her Wash Park home, closed with hugs and a new found friend. We know you will feel the same.
You are an incredibly talented Artist, an Environmental/Interior Designer and an Energy Healer. All three of these talents intertwine so beautifully. Can you tell us how you got to this place in life?
Each endeavor developed organically and independently, starting in my mid 30’s, as I pursued my passions for all three disciplines. I never expected them to all come into play together, until they melded years later. They continued to evolve and grow in strength, each in their own ways, and with a variety of clientele. Since I’ve never been formally trained in art or design, I’ve always created from an intuitive place, and by opening up to the process as it evolves and reveals itself. It’s a process of letting go (of “shoulds or shouldn’ts”) staying curious, being playful, exploring the unexpected, being a creative problem-solver and looking beyond the obvious. Whether I’m creating a piece of art, designing a space, or doing energy healing for others, I follow my gut, not the rules. It took me a long time to trust in that, and not expect, or need others to understand it.
Luckily, I’ve had some brave and amazing clients who have let me push some envelopes, work with the energetic field, and explore ideas outside of what’s typically done. They went on an adventure into the unknown with me, and trusted that mine is a fluid and unconventional process. There’s real freedom in NOT knowing what you DON’T know! If I were stuck working in the formal, technical aspects of art and design, my creativity would be completely blocked and inauthentic.
We’ve always appreciated collage art because of the freedom to combine different mediums. We are drawn to your artistic vision, because it is bold and colorful in this the age of black, white and grey minimalism everywhere you look. Can you give us a glimpse into your process? Where do you find inspiration for your work?
It’s weird because I don’t know how to draw and I rarely paint. I make all of my art by collecting or recycling found objects, and bits and pieces of the world around me. I also take photographs of random, decaying elements in cities around the world, that most people pass by every day, but never really see. I guess I’m sort of an “Urban Archaeologist” because I record/photograph hidden meanings in the layers of these cities. To me, a section of weathered wood, or peeling paint on a construction site barrier in NYC is abstract art. The patina of a rusted metal street grate in Barcelona is Pop Art. I love the colorful, graphic nature of peeling posters, stickers, advertisements and old graffiti on the sides of buildings or in alleyways in old cities. I fully embrace the concept of WabiSabi – finding beauty in the imperfect. When I cut, disassemble, re-assemble and collage my photographs with other disparate items, a whole new story emerges. I can open a drawer in my studio and find an image that I’ve saved for 30 years, from a vintage 1940’s magazine, or find a piece of junk mail, or other saved scrap of paper, and suddenly they all fit perfectly together with one of my photographs, as if they’ve belonged together all along. It’s pure synchronicity and bliss when that happens! The more I let go of an attachment to what’s supposed to emerge, the more pure magic shows up.
We have been lucky enough to see your Interior Design work, up close inside of your stunning Wash Park home. It truly is one of our favorites in the neighborhood. From the exterior, to the wallpaper, to the bowl of crystals hidden on a shelf, it perfectly marries modern design and out-of-the-box details at every corner. Yet, it is warm and inviting, making your guests feel instantly at home. Brilliant aesthetic. What is your secret? How do you approach interior design?
My interior design style is ELECTRIC ECLECTIC and is informed by my art and energy sensibilities. It’s like creating a huge mixed media art piece, except in 3D (and beyond, into the energy fields of an environment.) Designing with the right mix of classic and eclectic elements is an art form, and not as easy as it looks. It’s a fluid process as I feel the energy of a space beyond what’s visible. That lets me know what’s needed for flow, grounding or balance. I love to problem-solve from a creative place, and see how far I can push the envelope, be it with unusual lighting, color, wall treatments, room dividers, accessories or furniture. I solve for space planning and function, and then infuse the space with pieces that ooze with personality. Or I fabricate something custom like a wall covering, hanging screen, light fixture, or functional-piece furniture.
Just like in my art, I love to create something unusual out of bits and pieces of disparate items, and breathe new life into found objects left for junk. I’ve made a coffee table out of part of a vintage pinball machine, and tiled a back-lit wall with interlocking, tiny blue dental floss containers for a dental office. I’ve suspended a giant, 250 lb, 8-foot, antique iron birdcage in midair from a 20-foot ceiling in someone’s living room, complete with ceramic birds flying out of it. An antique library card catalogue became an entry hall table with the addition of fabricated, modern steel legs, and provided the client with lots of drawers and a pull-out wiring table. I’ve found one-of-a kind, vintage light fixtures that were just waiting for the right space, and client who didn’t need their kitchen island pendants to be just like everyone else’s. Not everything needs to be a “wow moment,” so most of my design is rooted in classic mid-century modern, art deco, Victorian or urban-industrial aesthetics.
Have you had the opportunity to collaborate with other creatives along your artistic journey?
I’ve worked with some really talented architects who are willing to work with the whole energy thing, and I love working with a few go-to printers, makers, curated stores and warehouses. The folks at MakeWest are friends, clients, and creative fabricators and collaborators who are game for anything. I also work with a brilliant craftsman from Poland who is a master metal fabricator.
We truly believe in the power of energy flow, and blockages. Energy cleansing seems more important than ever when you look at where we are right now, coming out of a pandemic. Can we talk about your work with energy?
“Don’t let your solid presence fool you into defining yourself physically. You are an electromagnetic energy, having a physical experience, in the quantum field.”
I’ve learned that the more I tap into the quantum field of infinite possibilities, the more fun and easy life becomes, and the more I realize my power to co-create anything and everything with the universe. We all have unhealthy patterns and pain within us that keep us from realizing our true potential. Some trauma is worse than others, and I’ve experienced my own. But the path to freedom is the same for everyone, and it’s simple: Raise your consciousness around how you FEEL, and how the triggers and patterns live in you unconsciously. Then be willing to LET THEM GO without judgment, attachment or resistance. Holding and repeating lower vibrational energies, emotions, stories and limiting beliefs in our minds and bodies, block us from creating the life we want. Our homes and offices hold and reflect these energies, too. True and lasting healing comes from releasing those energies at the physical level, not the mental level. I help people clear the energies of pain and suffering from their nervous system and cellular memory to create space for new patterns that are in alignment with what they want. I use different modalities and no one session is the same. I’ve been doing energy clearing, balancing and blessings for people and properties, locally and remotely for over 20 years. It’s always an honor to work with other humans on this level, since we are all connected. When someone is set free, the energy shifts for everyone, whether we realize that or not. The only way to clear the hate, resentment and anger in this world is to raise your own vibration and stay in your own, true light.
Who is/was the most influential person in your life?
Most recently, the documentary film called “The Elephant Six Recording Co.” influenced and affirmed me on every level. It validated fearless, creative expression, helped me embrace my weirdness, and how I’ve experienced the world differently my entire life. Also, Banksy, Andy Warhol and Keith Richards are my heroes. They were/are authentically and unapologetically, themselves.
What is currently spinning on your record player?
Depends on the time of day: The “Garden Blooms and Heirlooms” Mix. I also play a lot of great nightclub Jazz in the background. And of course, 70’s Disco to get things moving
What is the most powerful lesson you’ve learned from your vast experiences?
4 things: The best solutions are always simple; Surrender what doesn’t feel right; There’s MAGIC of the quantum field and we all have access to it; and, “To thine own self be true.”
Words to live by indeed. Thank you for sharing your story, your wisdom and your art with all of us, Meg. To learn more about Meg Miller, visit megmiller.net.