We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Jody L. Miller a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Jody L. , appreciate you joining us today. Can you talk to us about a project that’s meant a lot to you?
I find that my philanthropy work are the most meaningful projects- it’s my opportunity to give back to the Horse Community and to those that work so hard to save neglected and abandoned horses. I donate a portion of the proceeds from these various organizations and try and tell the story of the animal through my images. Each horse has a story of how it ended up at an animal rescue: each horse reflects that story in it’s eyes and through my soulful photography and can relay that feeling to the viewer. In turn, I get to offer these emotional images and give back again financially to those facilities. To date, my most emotional photos of rescues have been from the Circle L Animal Sanctuary.
Jody L. , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My career as a Horse Photographer started in the early 1980’s while living on a boarding ranch in Thermal, California. The connection to horses started when I discovered how healing and comforting it was to be around them. Many people are afraid of horses because of their size but I took to them right away. One in particular that started my journey as a horse photographer was a Bay Arabian Gelding named Zarod. He had a way of seeing into my heart and creating a safe space for me. Since that time, I have always had a special connection with horses- or at least many of them. Many of my collectors find it surprising that I don’t ride horses. I enjoy being on the ground and bring in their presence but find the relationship different when I was trying to ride them- and not all that comfortable :-) I am able to capture the unique personality of horses through my lens and provide stunning creations for their owners or my collectors. I find that my images of horses spark memories for my clients and vulnerabilities resulting in true raw emotion. I’m proud of being able to create that space for my clients as the horse creates that special space to allow me in.
Any thoughts, advice, or strategies you can share for fostering brand loyalty?
I have a mailing list that I have been collecting for many years now. The list originally started as a way to keep in touch with buyers that purchased my art from my brick and mortar gallery location. I quickly learned that it was just as important to expand that list to those that follow my online art gallery presence at jodylmiller.com and my social media platforms. I routine work with my wife Christy to develop website stories and blog posts that are relatable and relevant to my followers. I offer them an insight to my horse art creations, I offer special giveaways, I donate my art to various local and national organizations as well. Through email and social media postings I an able to keep in touch with clients and foster brand loyalty.
What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
I had never thought of myself as being very creative or an artist. I can’t even draw a stick figure but somehow through my Horse Art I am able to create such emotion within myself and the horse that each piece of horse art reflects that emotion and my collectors can not help but be moved by it. I find it so rewarding when people share with me how they find Strength and Encouragement and Support and Love and Generosity in my Horse Art. My clients have shared how a piece of Horse Art has helped them have the courage to battle cancer or the stamina to keep working and pursuing their dreams or careers. I have heard stories of how images remind them of their childhood, special moments with a best friend or a sister or a parent. My collectors are willing to share theses moments and thoughts and feel loved through my Horse Art! It’s an amazing feeling to bring that to people through my art and to comfort myself at the same time.