Brendan Miller is a junior at Valpo pursuing a communication major and photography minor. As the photo editor of The Torch, many of Miller’s photos are printed in the weekly issues.
He said that he’s always enjoyed art classes and artistic experimentation throughout high school; although he’s focused on photography over the past few years, he’s lately been experimenting with watercolor painting.
“Photography’s my thing, but I didn’t really do it before my senior year of high school. I’ve always been a creative person, but never stuck to one thing.”
Miller started experimenting with photography the summer before his senior year of high school. After sustaining too many concussions to continue playing hockey, his mom gave him a camera to mess around with on vacation.
“I came back and started to do a lot of sports photos, plus that’s how it started.”
For Miller, the joy of photography helps to continue his passion for sports and fill the hole left by having to give up hockey. Taking photographs of various athletics gets him back on the sidelines. “I’m close up, I’m in the action with the players again,” he said.
When asked who his favorite artist is, Miller couldn’t pick one individual. Instead, he named several of his peers, citing their insight as inspiration.
“It’s kind of hard. As a photographer, you see photographs everywhere and of everyone… you can draw influence from everyone.”
In particular, Miller enjoys being inspired by artists around him who practice different media.
“It’s always fun to talk with [different artists] because I don’t know a ton about… their creative process. They can help you talk through a project in your medium, even though they’re skilled in something else,” he said.
After college, Miller plans to continue with his art by pursuing a career in photography and videography.
“Even if I don’t… photography’s been that mainstay for the last four or five years now, so I think it’ll always be around. I don’t know, I just see myself doing it every day, forever.”
Miller also reflected on the academic path that brought him to where he is today. When he first started at Valpo, he was an engineering major. However, after a year he realized that math and engineering weren’t his areas of interest, prompting him to take the jump to communications.
“I had one group of people who were like, ‘You’re making the wrong choice, you’re going to make no money, what are you going to do with that?’ And the other group were like, ‘That’s a good choice, that’s who you are, you’re good at photos, you want to do PR.’” Ultimately, Miller came to realize that he made the right decision.
When asked what he had to say to other artists, Miller said, “Don’t be afraid to prove people wrong while also proving others right. Surround yourself with the right people that can push you.”
More of Miller’s art can be found on Instagram @thebmill or on his website 325photo.com.
If you would like to nominate someone for an artist spotlight feature in The Torch, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.