I’ve always been passionate about art. When I was little, writing already appealed to me and when I grew older, photography was the natural continuation of my words and stories. I like the fact you can play with different types of art, creating links between them which give birth to a « mutant » piece of art – something quite unique, making you remember how much each human being is different and how much their unique experiences of life can communicate a powerful message about this world.
I met Miles Peckover in the most ordinary way. I was researching some artists for my university project when I found his blog « Surviveika ». The title attracted me and it is the first thing you will see and remember. On the blog, I found something quite unique. Some photographs of drawings, some notebooks,some pens on a old wood table and a poster with two young characters in a On The Road style. The caption told me that it was set in a post-nuclear America. In this picture, the characters have deep human features. They both seem alive, even though the young woman is asleep. She seems to move while the young man is driving – his eyes are tired, concerned and hypnotized by the road. He doesn’t want to have an accident. Miles’s drawings fed my imagination. What’s going to happen? What are they doing? Who are they? And why do I seem to know them already ? It feels like I was on the road with him and I was talking to him : « Please, be careful on the road. You’re too tired. Where are we going? Do you think we will survive? »At the same time, Miles plays with each element which surrounds you :« Surviveika » is not only a graphic novel. It is something I would qualify as a« musical novel » as music underpins every adventure of these characters. I was more and more intrigued by the fact that everything still seemed mysterious.
Miles didn’t give a lot of details on the blog. On the contrary, the sense of mystery gives such an incredible consistency to this new concept that it made me even more curious to talk about it with the author. I contacted Miles through Facebook. I introduced myself hoping to know more about his project and his artistic method. Miles answered with enthusiasm and we decided to meet each other on Skype for an interview. It is always quite interesting to meet an author. I’m always curious about how they would look, how they would interact. I remember that Patrick Modiano, for instance, is quite shy for someone who can express so much through his writing. I discovered through the webcam that Miles was a young man around my age. I could read on his face that the years had built in him a deep personality. It was easy to talk with him as he is as passionate about art as I am. His words made sense to me, and above all, I’m pretty sure his ideas cristallized slowly after years of thinking about art. I would say Miles is a « real » artist – you can’t imagine him being someone else than a person who feels the strong and captivating essence of art deep inside of him. It’s a quite different quality from fake intellectuals who enjoy talking for hours about theories they learnt through critics. It’s way more than that. He is an artist who is concerned with how culture can challenge in justice and unite each human being, to show that we should love.
Because« Love » is the word that he pronounced the most. An artist loves deeply – not only her/his muse, but people in general. And this is what you can already feel about « Surviveika ». In a political context where humanity is split up, where differences are underlined while they should be considered as a gift, Miles is still hopeful to show that art is the key to meet each other. Miles explained in detail how he works and that he wants to dismantle the common stereotype about artists : that they are lazy. For him, artists work in anascetic way. It looks a bit like what James Joyce describes in his Ulysses – artists are inspired by this figure as his quest always leads him to something new which challenges his perspectives. And this is exactly what Miles wants to reach: he questions the way the artist interacts with the world around her/him in both a political and symbolic way. The artist is an observer who uses her/his magical glasses to see a world in 4D. Her/his perception is uniquely over-stimulated by all what she/he feels and sees. Also, there is an auto-reflexive sense of thinking in Miles’s work. What are the limits of art? What is my limit as an artist? The more I was talking to Miles, more I understood that he doesn’t want to confine himself in this way – he just wants to do what « he likes ». He enjoys illustration so why not draw characters and a whole universe ? He enjoys making music so why not create songs to express the experiences of his characters? Miles defies the « rules » and the « norms » our society has produced. His thoughts make me think of Jean Cocteau’s famous line where he explains that artists have no rules. Above all, I was touched by the fact I could interact with Miles not only as an artist, but also as as a young man full of dreams who made me travel through his incredible imagination. After all, imagination is a way to create, but as well a way to share. And this idea of sharing and giving is what I want to remember from this interview. When you create a piece of art, you have a nice conversation with a reader, a public. A « mirror-conversation ». A deep echo that you find in yourself and that show you that you have a lot of things to learn and to enjoy in life. And even if « Surviveika » is inspired by events which cross our generation – and those are not always sweet, it still remains an adventure you would like to take part in. Take a seat, open your eyes and yoursoul. Let the music begin.
If you want to know more and to follow Miles’ project, you can follow him :