|"Recognise this guy?"|
I have always felt a quiet modesty in their creative abilities, is a vital trait of any true artist. This doesn’t mean they lack the confidence to openly proclaim their work, as opposed to possess a strong enough sense of themselves; as both artist and human being - to simply feel little need to. Much like the silent 2nd Dan, or the incognito single-mother, there is no greater dignity than that which arrives, without fanfare.
The reason I explain this, comes from my desire to promote a long-term friend, who is one of these exact types of people; therefore unlikely to sell his skills in any literal sense. His name is Leigh Miller; a 34 year-old English male who specialises in graphite pencil art, which - if you glance at the image on the right hand side, provides just a small example of the work he regularly produces, in such a humble yet dedicated fashion...
I first met Leigh when we were teenagers; in the baggy shirted, flock of seagulls haircut era of mid-1990’s London. He had moved to the capital from the town of Aylesbury, and due to similar depth in personality, became secondary school best friends with my elder brother - making him a regular visitor to our home. Miller was one of those characters you instantly took a liking to. He was funny, positive, and always ready with an interesting story to lighten the day; my favourite being the time his wide-eyed musician father, Mick, frantically paced around his house holding his guitar like a baseball bat, during a television viewing of the WWF's Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event. As a group of heel wrestlers handed fan favourite The Undertaker a sneaky gang beating, then placed him in a dark casket, according to Leigh, his dad kept shouting "If I was in that crowd, I'd jump right over with this guitar..."
As happens in life, Leigh drifted from my family, and vice versa, and for many years, his whereabouts - much like post casket attack Undertaker, were unknown. However, with the magic of Facebook, in 2011 he reappeared; a little older, a little wiser, but still the same laugh-a-minute upbeat fella he ever was. Only this time, Leigh - through a personal Facebook page (link at the bottom), had exposed a side of himself very few people knew existed; he could draw... he could really draw!
|"Photo of Miller"|
For those unaware, graphite pencil art is the act of creating drawings which can - when executed with precision, appear close to the level of a pure photograph; with the added beauty of the deft touch of each artist’s hand - via their unique viewpoint. Much like crafting figures from matchsticks, or sculpting ice, the skill requires a tremendous level of patience, desire, determination, and a flair for razor sharp detail. Miller is a highly skilled craftsmen, and many of his displayed works, mostly based around popular culture; Tom Hardy's Bane, Angelina Jolie, and The Rock as examples, show a talent with plenty of reason to remain positive and excited. I still hope one day he decides to draw his dad; minus the guitar, that is.
He is still very young as an artist, with many years to evolve. And like anyone bold enough to chase their dreams - as well as understand the work necessary to do so, deserves credit for his current emerging position and consistently growing popularity. He is an honest and helpful, old school dude, so reward yourself by checking out his art, liking his page, sending him a message of support, or even requesting any ideas for future works; artists love ideas.
Whoever you are, whatever you do, and whatever form of reality you are born into, we are all artists; who carry within us the potential to express our own unique selves, in our own unique manner. What makes Leigh such an interesting talent - beyond his works, is how he truly is a regular, down to earth fella. And in a form of expression which often lays victim to the perception of pretension, he represents - in my view, a very modern form of artist. I wish him all the best; he certainly deserves it...
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