In the latter months of 1977, in a small bed, in a small room, in a small town, in the 13th smallest state, in the 230th smallest country, on the 4th smallest planet in our little solar system, Ryan Peter Miller was conceived and destined for greatness. In this occasion greatness is measured by the act being born. He was raised by wolves; well, wolves in sheep’s clothing; actually they were Midwestern humans in wool sweaters. It was a big family if you include his parents, younger brother, dog, cat, turtles, fish, frogs, stuffed animals, and Star Wars figurines. Miller does. Miller was a sensitive boy. He loved animals and loved to draw. He made friends with children who didn’t speak English (English was, and remains, Miller’s only language). At age 5 he was prescribed his first pair of corrective lenses. He was known to weep openly with disregard for public standards of decency. In short, Miller was a nerd. At age 8 he moved. Well, he had been moving since birth, sometimes his legs, sometimes his arms, and always his mouth. However, with this particular move, he moved all of his family and belongings with him. He fled Indiana to Snellville, Georgia. In the Deep South Miller grew to be a man, or to be mannish: he ate his vegetables, cleaned his room, and bathed daily. He renounced his face and grew a beard, gave up normal and accepted weird, and traded in his “No Fear” bumper sticker for one that read “Ain’t Skeerd.” He attended college at the University of Georgia to study paint. He got good and good got better. In the years following college, Miller had what some refer to as his “punk phase.” He managed a small restaurant in Athens Georgia, but like punk, this phase was short and fast and at 27, Miller relocated to Tempe, Arizona. He moved here with the aspirations to receive his Masters of Fine Arts at Arizona State University, marry his beautiful wife Julie, and become a college art instructor. His aspirations are now a reality, and he lives his dream daily. Abrupt addendum: He now lives in Chicago.
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