Name: Dr. Faye Q. Miller
Where do you live:
I’m from the picturesque Riverina region in New South Wales Australia, but I can also be found hanging out with lovely progressive people in the San Francisco Bay area, USA. I’m a universal dweller.
Crossing boundaries, times and spaces, real and imagined. I’m wherever I’m not supposed to be – or maybe I’m supposed to be there, who knows? Wherever I go, I like to build new bridges to help others get across to where they’re travelling.
Currently working on:
I’m producing/writing a short documentary film about imaginative storytelling experiences, which I hope over the next few years will grow into a series of interviews featuring some of my favourite storytellers of all time and how their stories were experienced by their various audiences. The first episode is being filmed next summer in London’s Epping Forest beside a calming magical waterlily lake that lived in my childhood imagination but actually exists (long story)! The film aims to encourage discussion around past and future of the performing art of audio-visual storytelling and its potential benefits to fostering children and adults’ imaginations.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
A lot of ideas were born during my time as a PhD student a couple of years ago, and I think the storytelling experience idea was one of them. Doing a PhD is actually a very creative experience (if you procrastinate/look away from your actual thesis writing every once in a while). I also wanted to revisit my halcyon days of screenwriting class and actually make films that people might watch and get inspired by.
How would you describe your creativity?
My creative style is absurdist, surrealist, ironic, logical yet methodologically mixed up! These elements and more can be found throughout most of my creations – articles, stories, songs, scripts, artwork and live performances. I also think creativity, ultimately is about being humane.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Since I started writing, illustrating and performing this style of narrative at 4 years old (I actually started parodying songs at 2 years old but didn’t realise I was doing that until I heard a recording of myself many years later – does that count?). Thankfully, as an adult I never lost this and throughout my life I deliberately grew more rampant in this way.
What do you do at the moment?
I am currently a qualitative researcher and university educator in the intriguing area of human information experience. I research how people interact with various forms of knowledge and information – both the visible and invisible! – towards designing more effective environments and systems for people in many different contexts and worlds, such as education, communication, science and health to name a few. A couple of years ago, I also founded a new magazine-journal called XD: Experience Design Magazine which publishes articles from research and practice around the interdisciplinary concept of Experience Design – designing for people to have great and memorable experiences.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Constantly surround yourself with the most imaginative, ethical and fun people you can find, who encourage you to act and think divergently and you’ll do very well.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
It’s a space that reflects my own creative mental state – so it has to be flexible enough to change accordingly.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
All of my biggest critics – now that’d be fun! Also, anyone who needs a good uplifting chat over a nice meal.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
The lovely, simple compliments that come from my partner in life, Raj, who is my biggest creative inspiration. Then I see my work reflected in what he is building and vice versa.
What do you fear most?
Mediocrity. But I have no idea what that is, so I guess I’m lucky.
What is your favorite film?
I enjoy watching many film genres, but I am very influenced by classic suspense films and the master of that was of course Alfred Hitchcock so I’ll choose Rear Window.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
By travelling to and exploring a new and inspiring place.
What is luxury for you?
Having ample space to dream and just be me.
What is a happy life to you?
Being content with what I have, counting my blessings, being free to explore and learn new things and loving myself, my family, friends (and friends I haven’t met yet).
What does a regular day look like for you?
There isn’t such a thing as a “regular” day for me – it depends on the nature of the particular projects I am working on as sometimes they require me to travel or I can work remotely on the go or from my home office. Most days I am happily collaborating either face to face or virtually with kindred spirits on projects either academic or artistic and every day I spend at least half an hour playing, dreaming or free range writing – I find it helps me to be more productive.
Tell us about your dream project.
I am very lucky to be currently living my dream projects! In the future, I hope to write a couple of books and also write and record a couple of quirky alternative music albums and maybe be courageous enough to perform some originals live.
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
What inspires you?
I am inspired by anyone who has bravely overcome adversity or opposition to help make the world a better place.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
To be honest I haven’t read a complete book for about 10 years as I think I have become very absorbed in my own ideas (and analysing bits of data into something new) ever since I began my research student years (as the experience requires). So I guess the answer to that question is my own PhD thesis on knowledge ecosystems and learning in higher education, as the experience of producing it did change me and my life tremendously.