“I was this soft, hard to be around artist,” Miller said. “Just very emotional, very vulnerable and wore my heart on my sleeve from a very young age. And that causes problems as a teenager.”
However, he was able to channel this emotion and expressed it through his artwork.
Miller says his disorders inherently provided some benefit for his inspirational process.
“I used all of those problems as a superpower. I never lacked anything to say. It's like, ‘I don't know which one of these ideas I'm going to do. I’m self-isolating in a way that I'm expressing this through writing pages at a time about pieces of art I wanted to make.”
Through all of his problems and addictions, Joey’s drive and passion for photography never wavered.
He lived in a converted maintenance closet, but would wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and edit photos for four and a half hours,
“I would make $150 a day just shooting the most boring stuff I could,” Miller said. “And then in between I'd be grinding out concepts, writing stuff down, going to the Art Institute and trying to learn from people who were better than I am and accepting that there are better artists than me. If I ever believe that I'm the best artist I know, I need to really re-evaluate my ego and see where I'm going.”
Joey Miller says his creative and healing process is similar to military training. “I got no sleep for four or five days at a time, not eating, and it's not because I am trying to torture myself, but I've found that I am able to work out my problems in life in a healthy way by doing similar to what they do in military training. I would break myself down into this vulnerable mass of a person. And that person to me was going to scream what I wanted to say with art.”