My name is Shawna L. Miller. The "L" represents my middle name of which has no consequence to my life aside from the legacy that is left by the bearer of that name prior. I grew up in a very matriarchal family setting - with the opposite gender thrown into the mix every now and then. We moved from city to city/state to state - always avoiding the realities of the life that was left behind. The highway cities that were to become our homes were clueless as to the repercussions housing a family like ours would bring. Although my growing to be a fine "roughien", my early childhood life was filled with ice-cream trucks, anthills and pinecones. My sister and I grew up hard and fast in the swamps of the South, but there was always someone I could count on. A stick - properly named "Stickey" - as my friend and mentor. Stickey allowed me to roam the world free from fear and worry. I could always count on that stick - until his untimely demise in the summer of '89 when Stickey would be used one last time to defend me against mass hordes of grasshoppers that had invaded our homeland in the groves of Florida. I have his memorial mentally tattooed on my left bicep.
Since those days with Stickey in the greasy scrapyards of the Deep South, life has been full of growing pains of the physiological and of the conceptual. I suppose all life has endured days filled with old bread and new songs though. So, no Southern song to be praised here - just life as noted.
College life has come upon me in later years, allowing for young adult-hood to be consumed with travel, melodramatic drama (is that redundant), watching the Maury Povich show go downhill, and the occasional smell of patchouli wafting from the neighborhood front doors and windows. The arts (are)(is) the path I have chosen for myself - and yes, I do consider Graphic Design to be a form of art. This path has it challenges - competition, persuasive work, exhausting terminology as well as that same hint of patchouli that wafts through the hallways and galleries. This paths rewards are worth every ounce of effort. For me, the rewards are self-accomplishment of a project being completed in an orderly fashion, that hint of pride in that background texture as well as the slight glimmer of hope that you may have actually solved a problem. These rewards push my day forward in a blissful manner - or maybe it's the patchouli.
So, when all of my degrees are completed, my portfolio is set and the wafts change from patchouli to Old Spice - I hope to work for a company that is in the business of helping others enhance their lives. On this, I shall not sway - for my loans will not have the better of me. Until then, the cloaks will still be worn, the flip-flops will still be falling apart and I will still be sitting behind a piece of art wishing I had not worn those ridiculous earrings that day.