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Sarah Miller Creations

Artist • Writer • Wanderer (USA)

“Very few things are more beautiful to me than our own ugliness.”

sarah miller, stap you in the back, dark art What I find fascinating about your great work is this contrast between often bright colors and a very sinister mood. To me, they rarely seem threatening, rather melancholic and somehow familiar. Surprisingly, many people can quickly agree on what they find ugly. When it comes to describing “beauty,” opinions often differ widely. How would you describe these two poles of perception. Is there beauty in ugliness and vice versa?

Sarah: Absolutely! At least, to me there is. Beauty may be subjective but at its core there is also a universal language, unspoken and deep-rooted, that guides our aesthetic preferences. We are collectively drawn to symmetry, to symbols of health and fertility, to nature, to death even—images that trigger biological and psychological responses so deep within us we often aren’t even aware of them. The same goes for repulsion, motivated instead by fear and the unfamiliar. “Beauty” and “ugliness” are really just measurements of feeling and association. And though they are often at odds, one cannot exist without the other, and they can easily coexist.

For example, I paint a lot of death and horror, and to some, the inherent fear of dying might cause my art to translate as “ugly.” At the same time, however, one might simultaneously feel comfort in openly contemplating their own mortality and impermanence, and therefore find my work beautiful. (I’ve actually had many people tell me my art was “beautiful and terrifying!”)
What we find familiar in the dark and sinister are often just pieces of ourselves we don’t yet know how to name. We can be both horrified and enchanted by the same ideas, by the same unknowns within us, and that’s why I find these subjects so fascinating. In the deepest parts of our existence is a language we all feel but don’t know how to speak.
And what is art if not the unspoken conversation of these concepts and connections.

That’s what much of my original work is about: exploring the bridge between art and psychology, having conversations in pictures what may not be able to be shared in words. I am an autistic artist, after all, and am better versed in speaking feeling through creative outlets.

Is there beauty in ugliness (and vice versa)? I believe there is.
Very few things are more beautiful to me than our own ugliness. In the course of the Corona pandemic, a survey was conducted in Germany on the social relevance of occupations. “The artist” was one of the last to rank. I think that art is the only language that can be understood by everyone. The visible bridge between reality and fantasy. What “function” does art have for you and what relevance could or should art have in a society?

Sarah: It’s a shame the public stance on that is taking so long to evolve. (Though I’m glad you personally agree on the importance and reach art has in society!) The answer to this question bridges quite nicely from the last: if art is a universal language embedded deep within us thanks to evolution and expression, I daresay it’s as important as language itself, if not more so.

Picture a world without art of any kind—painting, graphics, architecture, illustration, film, fashion, music, dance, literature—and what you’re left with is a void of existence unimaginable because of just how essential expression is to living. It doesn’t matter the form it takes; we evolved to need art as a way to communicate, to reach one another beyond the borders of standard language.

Thanks to entertainment and mass media, “art” is often mislabeled as a luxury or privilege. But art should be treated with more widespread reverence. It should be more commonly practiced, shared, and celebrated—accessible regardless of class, grown and nourished regardless of what “value” one’s current skill level offers society. Let art be spoken without need of cause or reward, without comparison of voice. Let it be as natural as our right to speech I read that you can speak Japanese!? Apart from the fact that it’s a very difficult language, what fascinates you about the country where even adults are allowed to find everything cute (keyword “kawaii”)? Are Japanese allowed to be kids longer? Do you have a connection to the anime/manga culture of Japan?

Sarah: Oh yes, I am a huge nerd for anime & manga! I grew up on fantasy, comics, and anime, and also happened to be a big nerd for languages (I considered studying linguistics among my many interests before I decided to be an art student), so studying Japanese was inevitable for me.
I took classes in high school and college and just sort of kept up with my lessons (thanks to language apps). I can’t comment much on the culture itself as an American, but there are definitely differences in lifestyle that have always fascinated me. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to visit Japan one day and learn more about the culture and its people firsthand! If you met the most evil person on this planet, what would you ask that person?

Sarah: I don’t believe a person is inherently good or evil, and don’t even truly believe in evil beyond in concept. People can be born without empathy for other humans, or raised in an environment that does not teach them to value compassion for others, and most people we see as “evil” may well have turned out differently if their life circumstances had been different. Even the most cruel person can be guided toward understanding if given the right amount of time and support.

But, hypothetically, I might ask the most “cruel” or “wicked” person, “What is the most painful thing that has happened to you?”
Or maybe about the last time they felt happy. If we want to see more of your art: Are there any exhibitions, books, prints of yours? Can you be booked for commissioned work?

Sarah: Yes! You can find my work on my website,, and buy your favorite pieces, or sign up for my newsletter to get updates on future projects and exhibitions! You can also check out my upcoming psychological web comic, Crow & Arrow, on my Patreon: (in fact, the piece ‘Crow’ you’ve featured is concept art for an upcoming cover page).
I have other projects in the works as well, including my first Art Book, which I plan to release soon!

As for commissions, I have worked with game companies and individuals on a variety of different pieces, and I always encourage people to reach out with commission opportunities (even if my waitlist status is closed on my FAQ page). Just drop me an email at and I’ll let you know if I can work with you!

But, hypothetically, I might ask the most “cruel” or “wicked” person, “What is the most painful thing that has happened to you?”
Or maybe about the last time they felt happy. Mankind more and more develops into a heap of selfish, daft selfdestructors, both as for globalization and respect for one another.What is left of the beauty of the cosmic creation? Of the creative spark for perfection? Does Mankind still have a chance, or would it be better to flush the whole shit down the toilet of the evolutionary failure to give the future protozoa a shot for life?

Sarah: These are quite possibly the best questions I’ve ever been asked, formally. Hahah
I’m an existential optimist at heart, so I’d like to believe Mankind has not quite doomed itself. Not yet, anyway. Though we’re likely to suffer through many more fumblings of progress while we wrestle with our greed and learn to prioritize the good of all over the good of one.
There is still so much yet for us to learn, to grow from, to see and understand—about ourselves and one another. Better to keep trying to get it right, so long as we’re able to try.