We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what is the most important factor behind your success?
This question is a tough one because I think it’s all about how you measure success. Everybody’s idea of success is different from one person to the next. For me, being successful is only justified by whether or not I’m happy with the work that I am putting out. And me being an artist, like most other artists, we are our own worst critics. So I don’t think there’s ever going to be a point where I think “OK this is good enough, we can stop here and relax a little bit…” for me it’s about looking at the last tattoo/drawing/painting I did and thinking “OK how do we go up from here?”And the only way around it is by having a great work ethic in my opinion. If I’m not actively tattooing, I’m drawing, painting, studying tattoos, Reading tattoo literature, watching tattoo documentaries, literally anything that I can to not only inspire me but to push me to the next level. I think as an artist complacency is your biggest enemy. The minute you think your work is good enough is the minute you start to deteriorate. Always try to be better than the day before. A lot of people get caught up with comparing themselves to others, but the only thing that really matters is comparing one piece of work that I did today to a piece of work that I did yesterday. And if I can find improvements, then I know I’m doing something right. And if not, it’s back to the drawing board.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art style in tattooing comes from the inspiration of classic American traditional and traditional Japanese tattooing. As much as I can I try to blend the two styles together, or incorporate that style in someway for each of my clients. I’d have to say I am most proud of where my career and tattooing has gone within the last year. In my opinion I didn’t really start learning how to tattoo until almost a year after my apprenticeship and I decided to make a conscious decision to go back to the basics of American traditional tattooing which then led me on this path To me developing my own style. The thing that sets me apart from other people is my work ethic. I do my very best to work as hard as possible and not only give my clients a tattoo that they are happy with, but also to do a tattoo that I’m happy with and I’m proud to share. I think the most important thing that I’ve learned to be successful as a tattoo artist is to never stop trying to grow. Always continue your education and continue to work and you can’t fail. I think as far as my brand goes, I would want people to know that when they come and get tattooed by me I pour 150% into that piece of work every time. I am happy to give my clients some thing that meets their needs yet also some thing that is completely different from other pieces of work that they have ever seen.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s actually pretty tough question for me because I don’t really go out much. However I do spend a lot of time in Delray Beach and downtown Delray because of where I work. So if someone were to come down and visit that hasn’t been here before, I would probably take them down to Delray because there’s a little bit of everything. There’s extensive nightlife, great brunch spots and restaurants in general and of course the beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are quite a few people who inspired me early on. As far as my work ethic goes, I can attribute learning those traits from both my father and mother. Definitely Amy Kyryliw, my mentor when I started tattooing, Walter Lopez a great friend who pretty much introduced me to and inspired me to get into tattooing, Richard Wood and Dana Hauser, for keeping me in check and always being brutally honest. And my Megan for being my biggest supporter and number one fan.
Other: Email: Mikemillertattoos@gmail.com Shop: Vatican tattoo studio (Delray Beach)