Hartley Miller — Pinterest
Hartley is a design lead who enjoys making complex problems simple. She’s from Florida and that’s really all you need …
As a kid who danced around every word, art quickly became my outlet of expression. Tinkering with all crafty things, it helped me mentally escape from the bully, the self-hatred and social anxiety. It was a source of hope and joy in the world. A way to celebrate and show gratitude to others. But as the story goes, I never thought it could become a career.
Throughout high school, the art room was my safe space. My home. And on most lunch breaks, I would turn up the music and draw/paint my heart away. I felt so free and time would just fly past me. From this, I knew art was a gift from the universe. It was the friend/sibling I wanted but never had. And so, seemingly, second to psychology, I choose to study visual communications at UTS. Besides loving to create, I was always curious about people – the way they think, act and behave. I could sit in public spaces and stare at people for hours, wondering, "Why do they do what they do? What’s their story? and Who are they really?”
In reflection, my interest in people and the psychology of design led me to what I do today. And will forever continue to do so.
Mornings are sacred to me. And so, my day usually starts at around 6am. I will do a mix of meditation, journaling, yoga, reading and obviously, all with a cup of coffee. Some days, I work from home, others I go into the office. It really just depends on how I feel and what the weather is like! But either way, I absolutely love my job. Knowing that I have a career in design always feels like a pinch me moment – something I would never take for granted. Especially when working with an ethical company like Clue whose mission is more important now than ever before.
After work, I would often whine down with drawing. That's the work you see on my social media platforms. A ritual that helps me reflect and process my learnings for the day. It's so much fun and honestly, I need to be conscious of the time because very often I would draw into the late mornings without realizing. It can be a bit dangerous!
A lot of the times, my inspiration comes from travelling and listening to people's stories. It invites new energy and injects a rush of confidence and motivation. The many resilient stories I’ve gathered, acts as a testimony to fear nothing and be courageous with our choices. It brings new perspectives and conversations that books cannot offer.
To tune in with my inner state, I turn to nature. The calmness and joy nature radiates always grounds me – unlocking my most creative self. And if nature is not accessible, I would leave my house and just walk with no end destinations. This always helps loosen up my mind. But honestly, I feel inspiration comes very randomly and in the most obscure ways!
It's hard to choose a recent one, because there are so many great work being shared today. And so, I'd pick Legos. Not only is it such a nostalgic and timeless product, but the fact that it's simplicity can be used in so many context and exercise both our hard and soft skills always blows my mind. Its something all demographics of all ages can play, learn and imagine.
So hard to say, because I feel each project I’ve worked on represents a period of my life. Especially the work you see online because usually they are all personal projects and thus, holds significance and value. But if I had to choose, it would be Cuppa and the CBT posters. The project Cuppa, changed my life. A bold statement, but a true one. It took me to places I never thought I would go. It introduced me to people I never thought I'd meet. And gave me a boost of confidence and curiosity that pushed me to leave home, Australia.
The CBT posters & mental health kit were created from a state of pain and loneliness. The pandemic, the living abroad and fighting to stay aboard, all whilst trying to figure myself out. Looking back, it’s so amazing to see how the design process was a healing mechanism for me and when I shared it online it became a source of reminder for others! It all comes full circle!
I feel so fortunate to be working at Clue. Not only because I'm passionate about the product's mission, but the company’s work ethics and work culture exceeded my expectations. Every employee, I’ve worked with, carries the same eagerness and ambition to build a product that meets the people’s needs and pain points.
This I feel is so rare in a company. And hence, one of the biggest design challenges is managing different stakeholder expectations. A problem I'm happy to tackle, especially when it comes from the goodness of others. It also means that designs often need to be adaptive.
You do you. You be you. Don't tie your self-worth to your career and enjoy the journey, as difficult as it may be! There is something super special about being a beginner – you can fail as much as you like!
You can find me on social media as @leapwithme or on Behance – I have some exciting projects coming soon and maybe even a website launch, so stay tuned! And if there is anything you all want to ask, please do reach out.
Always happy to chat :)