Name: Cedar Miller
Where do you live? We live in a charming third floor attic apartment in a house on Montclair Ave, amongst the beautiful trees and close enough to the Walnut St. train station to hear the whistles blow.
When did you move there? We moved here a little over two years ago. I landed my dream day job in the film industry and my wife googled “hippy, hipster, NYC commuter towns, good to raise kids in” and Montclair popped up! Before that we’d been living in Los Angeles for a combined 30 years.
Where did you grow up?
I was adopted at birth by a couple of hippies/Ayurvedic healers with itchy feet. For the first 10 years of my life we lived in Northern California just outside of Sacramento. Then we moved to a tiny island in Hawaii called Molokai. At the time there were only 7000 people living there. When I was 14, I was homeschooled and we spent 16 months traveling the world – my parents teaching workshops as I spent my days exploring new cities, flirting with Swedish, Spanish, Moroccan, Canadian teenage girls…and not learning algebra. After the dust settled on our wanderlust, we laid down roots in Sarasota, Florida where I attended a visual and performing arts high school.
How do you make a living? OR What is your everyday passion?
One of my greatest joys in life is to make art, sell art, and support those in need through selling art. Ten percent of all proceeds from sales goes to various local and global non-profits. Most recently I took part in a fundraiser for SOFIA which supports survivors of domestic violence. Having grown up in a violent household, this issue is very near and dear to my heart. To see my work, schedule a studio visit or discuss private commissions you can contact me through my website at cedarmillerart.com.
Coffee, tea or … ?
I have a love/hate relationship with caffeine. I used to drink a lot of coffee but it made me feel totally cracked out so I stopped. But life without caffeine just wasn’t worth living. I’ve settled on one cup of strong Earl Grey tea per day. Okay, two cups. Sometimes three. Sheesh.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend day?
Wake up early – around 6 a.m. Do my morning yoga practice. Spend some time with my two year old son while my wife sleeps in. After breakfast, hit the tennis courts – I’m a former college player and great lover of the sport. Come home and have a soak in the tub. Eat a delicious lunch with the family, then while the baby naps, go down to my art studio and paint/sculpt for a couple hours. The afternoon would be spent at the park on a playdate with friends. Then dinner with the family followed by the sweet bedtime routine. When the baby is down, I’ll either go back into the art studio for another couple hours or collapse on the sofa with my wife and eat cookies while watching The Great British Bake Off.
What’s your favorite local restaurant? Anywhere I can go when Grandma is in town. Seriously. Anywhere.
What’s on your nightstand? On the top, a selenite crystal light and bronze sculpture of Ganesh (items that belonged to my late mother who was half-Sri Lankan), a small clay circle imprinted with my son’s hand. Underneath, neglected books that I’ve picked through but haven’t finished.
What are you listening to? Music: A lot of baby songs, Raffi, Chill Mix on Spotify and The Colour In Anything album by James Blake…on repeat.
Podcasts: There’s a podcast called The Lonely Palette which brings “art history to the masses, one painting at a time.” It’s fantastic. I love This American Life, The Director’s Cut. And I’m also listening to Adoptees On, an incredible podcast hosted by and featuring adoptees, sharing their very personal, honest stories. And if I want to have a laugh, I’ll listen to Smartless.
What are your current indulgences? One word: Butter. I cook with a lot of butter.
What talent you would most like to have? I’d love to be able to play the piano…like really play the piano.
What’s the worst-kept (or best-kept!) secret about Montclair (or your town)? I’ve been working from home and raising a toddler for the last two years. You tell me!
What do you hope they say about you at your funeral?
I hope they say I created a safe, loving, supportive home for my family. That I was a good father, husband, son, friend and fellow human. That I finally learned how to enjoy life and understood what truly mattered. And that I made some beautiful art and was able to help some people along the way.