I. Timeline of things I'm proud of
1997 – Born.
1999 – Mural.
My mom covered the wall with newsprint. I covered the newsprint.
2003 – Self-portrait.
A drawing of myself drawing myself. Really a psychedelic piece of work.
2004 – Red notebook.
Filled with drawings of animals, real and imaginary.
2005 – LEGO snake.
Snake that I could wrap around things, complete with an elastic snapping jaw. Made of Bionicle limbs and Bohrok neck hinges.
2006 – Gurkey Turkey.
Poem about a turkey in a turkey farm that won some youth poetry contest.
2009 – Pencil Wars.
Comic strip of pencils fighting each other. Lots of visual puns.
2013 – Mural no. 2.
On the side of a school this time.
2015 – Became starting QB, PHS.
I quit crew in the middle of freshman year (2011) because some part of me fell in love with Football. This was definitely something nobody expected of me.
2017 – Rookie-of-the-Year, Yale Rugby.
2018 – Joined a folk music singing band.
Until then I’d only sang and played guitar to myself. I was so nervous at the audition that I couldn’t play the guitar part.
2019 – Read poetry for Yale Student Poets event.
One of 6 handpicked students. Really trippy because that event in part made me choose Yale.
2020 – Art show in my residential college.
I didn’t tell anyone about it, but Gabi found out and organized an opening.
2020 – Organized supply closet.
My mom was so happy about the result that she called her friends about it and sent them pictures. First inkling that I enjoyed design.
2020 – Great evaluation from a professor I respect (Shifra Sharlin).
“Miles’s passion and talent for writing are obvious. His creativity and talent are worthy of professional writers. His final essay was exceptional and among the best I have received.”
2020 – Great evaluation from a professor I respect (Louise Glück).
"Miles had an amazing period – his poems have a scale and beauty and originality rarely seen."
2020 – Failed to start a start-up.
A conversation platform meant to consolidate the world of conversation podcasts. I taught myself to code using React and a bit of GraphQL. Turns out that Clubhouse had a better model.
II. Designers I've learned from
"Good design is the least design possible."
All design, even the most modern in spirit, needs a lineage. Conventions allow you to sculpt meaning.
If you want to bring people to experience joy, you need a sense of humor. Not necessarily funniness – a light touch.
Visual identity design is closer to business than art. Logos are periods, not sentences.
III. Artists I love
Good things happen both spontaneously and with immense patience – be ready for both. Diebenkorn’s "Notes to myself on beginning a painting" are rules for overcoming life's inertia.
I regularly read “Of Being Numerous”, his poem about New York City. I’ve spent more time with him than any other poet.
Her unforgiving aspect was a great source of clarity. Meeting with her was a kind of sparring. She didn’t shy away from value statements, but the way she criticized was extremely illuminating. Some of her favorites: “You made this up.” “This is not convincing.” Art isn’t about making things; it’s about seeing things.
An essayist at Yale, Shifra was best teacher I’ve worked with. She would draw out insight simply by asking questions and getting you to articulate your models and intuitions. She would pinpoint your level of thinking and beckon you ahead without bewildering you with sage-like advice. During my last semester with her, while she was undergoing chemotherapy, she maintained energy and curiosity.
Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes).
Good things happen when you have confidence that comes from real understanding. Bill lived his life independently and with brilliant vision. At age 6, Calvin and Hobbes taught me imagination and independence.
IV. Books that changed me
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Chogyam Trungpa.
Insight is remembering simple truths, touching goodness.
Engaging the Movement of Life, Bonnie Gintis.
Devotion, not discipline.
Total Freedom, J. Krishnamurti.
All structures and ideas are fragments. To live well, be whole.
Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson.
A testament to what you can do with vision and energy.
Modern Man in Search of a Soul, C.G. Jung.
Restored magic to my thinking.
Human Chain, Seamus Heaney.
First collection of poetry I loved.