Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Maggie Miller. Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Maggie, please provide us a short bio.
I was born and raised in New Orleans. After hurricane Katrina, I transferred to Miami International University of Art and Design to finish college. Currently, I live in Richmond and have worked in small, in-house marketing firms as well as mid-sized and large ad agencies. I’ve been with my current company, GlynnDevins, for five years and am their Senior Art Director. GlynnDevins specializes in senior-marketing and is based out of Kansas City, but our clients are across the US. I’m involved with everything from website design, photo shoots, designing sales centers, marketing brochures, logos and creating brands for communities and health organizations.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
I do volunteer work for Connor’s Heroes, which is a wonderful non-profit that gives support to children in cancer treatment and their families. I help with the Sunday Art Sessions, where the children and their siblings create art that is auctioned off at the annual Art Ball that raises money for the foundation. I’ve also been on the planning committee for the Art Ball and assist with any graphic design work they may need. If you haven’t heard of Connors Heroes check them out at https://www.connorsheroes.org/. There are many ways to volunteer!
What are the things you are most proud of?
While I’ve won national ad awards, I’m most proud of the little accomplishments. I feel proud when the work I’ve done has affected someone in a positive way, such as designing a small business owner’s a logo that officially marks a lifetime goal of starting a business. I create ads and marketing materials for senior living communities; I’m proud when I speak to a resident that tells me how moving to their community positively impacts their family by giving them the relief and support they need. When I was a Creative Director for a home-building company and I met with families who just purchased their home, I’m proud to know that this home will be where they create lifelong memories. My work brings clients brands to the public eye and I like to think – in a small way – it helps them realize their dreams. I feel most fulfilled when I’m working with a company that I truly believe in their mission and can see the work I do come full circle.
Who are your personal role models?
I have several strong female role models. My art teachers growing up, my mom who is a Spanish and French teacher, and my sister who has a very successful career in IT consulting. My role models are strong and independent; I think it’s very empowering as a woman to have a career where you can stand on your own and even better, getting to do what you love every day.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
My parents always told me to love what you do and pushed me into art classes growing up; they knew what I loved and they encouraged me to keep doing it. My high school talented art teacher pushed me to try out for the visual arts program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a school with famous alums such as Harry Connick Jr. and the Marsalis brothers. I knew I had a talent, but I didn’t think I could have a career as an artist. It was this same teacher who encouraged me to be a Graphic Designer and because of these mentors and my family, I am where I am today. Teachers often don’t get enough credit, but we all remember that one teacher who left a mark. Their encouragement is invaluable.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and wear a lot of different hats; it’s the only way you will grow creatively and professionally. Studies show that self-doubt hinders creativity, so when you can’t find inspiration, stop thinking about it, distract yourself and then come back to it. Believe in yourself! Lastly, surround yourself with other creative people who inspire you and don’t have an ego. You can learn a lot from others.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
My Google Playlist consists of Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Sunshine Reggae and Dance-Pop Hits. I also listen to a lot of podcasts while I work; my taste ranges from the educational shows (Stuff You Missed In History Class) to the darker content (Wine and Crime, Up and Vanished).
What’s your favorite restaurant?
This is probably the toughest question! There are so many great restaurants in Richmond and the list keeps growing. For brunch, my favorite spot is Lunch and Supper. For dinner, L’opossum, Stella’s, and The Roosevelt are great. And always 8 ½ or Pupatella for pizza!
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I love to travel, Shark Week is a holiday in my house and I’ve been scuba diving with sharks – no cage. I’m half-Cuban and have an adorable 6 lb. Havanese dog named Millie; this breed’s origins trace back to Cuba – like me! Being from New Orleans, I’m a big Saints and LSU football fan. Let’s geaux!