It is in no way an exaggeration when I say that Jackie might be the sweetest person I know. She is one of those rare souls that inspires self betterment in every interaction. She radiates gentleness and love even in the little things. When Justice and I arrived at Jackie's house to style and photograph her in her element, she was so effortlessly hospitable and incredibly generous. Jackie's pure and lovely inner beauty really does radiate and further highlight her natural beauty. I would say she's the poster child for being beautiful "inside and out."
Along with being one of the most amiable people I've met, Jackie is also one of the most charming. Her adorably quirky and colorful style is something that her meek and quiet persona often conceals. It's also something about her that I was most excited to celebrate and share with you. You would really have to know Jackie to know that she has such a playfully whimsical air about her (and an affinity for horses!).
Jackie's personal space is completely mesmerizing. It is the most brilliant compilation of amazing antique found items that perfectly compliment the gorgeous art pieces hanging on the walls. Every item has a story and a sentiment that further highlights all the best things about Jackie. I feel honored to have gotten to be as nosey and inquisitive as I was. I feel like I know the heart behind the gorgeous art pieces and artist so much more. I hope that our interview gives you the same kind of feeling.
S&H: Introduce yourself and tell the story of your middle name.
JM: My name is Jackie Miller, I’m 28 and live in Norman. I don’t have a story for my middle name (Renee), but my first name came from my dad’s best friend who passed away before I was born.
S&H: How long have you been creating?
JM: Since before I can remember!
S&H: Who did your ten year old self look up to? Who does your current self look up to?
JM: Well, ten year old me looked up to my mom and sister, and wanted to be Michelle Kwan and Velvet Brown (from National Velvet). I don’t think anything has really changed! My answer is still my mom, dad, sisters and brother. I look up to brave, resourceful and imaginative people who see potential and beauty in things, and who love those around them.
S&H: Did you have access to art education in your childhood? If yes, what do you think you would be like without it?
JM: My parents are both creative, so it was naturally encouraged. We learned from our mom and PBS, and were always coloring and making things. I was home schooled, but I had the opportunity to have lessons from a cool lady when I was 11 and 12, then from my grandmama, and then from another cool lady at the Firehouse in Norman during high school. I learned very valuable technical skills and felt encouraged to imagine more. Without those opportunities I’m not sure that I would have had the confidence to go to art school, which is where I really grew as an artist and also met some of my very best friends.
S&H: If you could travel anywhere with making art as your only task,
where would you go?
JM:Ireland or the Swiss Alps.
S&H: How do you handle criticism?
JM: I often fight a defensive tendency in myself, but I want to improve and understand more, so I welcome criticism, or at least give it consideration. There will always be those who don’t really like what you do or don’t understand, but you could still take something away from it even if that’s to just keep doing what you do.
S&H: Do you have a mantra or verse that keeps you going on hard days?
JM: You don’t have to have the answers… Just keep going… And recently, Isaiah 40:28-31 has been an encouragement, particularly verse 31.
S&H: What advice would you give to someone who sucks at using a wood
burner and has burned their fingers (ME!)
JM: Take care! Find the tips you like to use, wear them in and just keep going! Your tools are your friends. You don’t have to follow any tutorials. I chose not to find any tutorials when I got started, and I’m glad I didn’t. It took me a couple of years of practice to get comfortable with the burner and to pin down my style and method, but I feel like that’s true with anything you do – or maybe that’s just me?
S&H: What do you do if at first you don't succeed?
JM: Brew a lot of coffee, adjust and keep trying. Sometimes take a break, and then keep trying.
S&H: What would "leaving the world better than you found it" look like for you?
JM: Leaving a legacy of love and care like Jesus’ for people.
Jackie really is the loveliest. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share the wonder she is with the world. If you are an Oklahoman or just passing through for whatever reason, there are a few different places you can stop to check out Jackie's amazing artwork: Collected Thread, Cuppies & Joe, and very soon Bison Shop will be open in the plaza. I will be adding a few pieces to Stone + Harper as well! Her art is so very gift-able, but let's be honest, you will definitely want to keep one of her art pieces for yourself.
Jackie, thank you so very much for your relentless kindness and transparency. It is a privilege to know you and to put your truly amazing art on display!