By Judi Lapsley Miller, Guest Blogger - What’s it like to be an Artist with a capital “A”? An artist not only creating art but actively putting it out into the world? Come and spend the day with photo-artist Judi Lapsley Miller in Wellington, New Zealand.

5:40 AM Wake; check email. See request from John Math for a "Day in the Life of an Artist". Resolve to jump out of bed and show that I do hours of creative work before breakfast! Realize reality is more helpful…

5:41 AM Linger in bed and read more of Neil Gaiman’s new book "Art matters". Love the quote “the world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before”. Resolve to create something today…

6:15 AM Over breakfast, respond to people who have taken the time to comment on my recent social media posts. Then give feedback to participants in my Art of Birding photography challenge. Next, review my Google calendar for the coming day, week, and month and consider what I can do today to reduce stress later on – decide to ship pictures early to a gallery in Akaroa for their October exhibition.

6:45 AM  To ease into creativity, I work on my passion project: “TinyArt”. I’m collaborating with framer Chris to upcycle our offcuts into tiny pieces of fine art. I make product labels and edit the website landing page.

7:30 AM Process photos from yesterday's photoshoot at Zealandia EcoSanctuary. While Lightroom churns on an HDR landscape, I get distracted by clickbait on Facebook.

8:15 AM Do the art! The new Doctor Who series is inspiring me, and I have an idea for a picture featuring a gorgeous cheeky k?k? who is undoubtedly also a Time Lord. Load Photoshop and get into it… Eventually, I get distracted by Facebook and email, but for a couple of hours, I was in the zone.

11:15 AM Prepare print files for a recent image and enter details into my inventory database. File and catalog the digital assets and load it into my online shop.

12:00 PM Lunch, surf social media and news sites. Realize I have a social media addiction but am conflicted by the need to run a small business in the modern world, so I can’t unplug. Plus I enjoy it! Resolve to strive for a better balance. Check Instagram.

1:00 PM Photoshoot in my garden with a local politician about Bee Awareness month. Do a quick edit and schedule Facebook post. Will do full edit tomorrow.

2:00 PM Emails and messages to collaborators. With my Zealandia EcoSanctuary volunteer hat on, check on plans for hanging our . Touch base with Dec artist who is exhibiting at Zealandia.

2:30 PM Move into administration mode: review orders, issue invoices, schedule next printing session, update my clunky hand-built Access database with recent sales. Package up orders and exhibition pictures for delivery.

3:30 PM Notice nice light on tulips so time for an impromptu photo shoot. Tomorrow I’ll edit and post on Instagram, but for now, I’ve got the shot.

4:00 PM Check MailChimp analytics from Friday’s newsletter; check Google Analytics and Search Console for issues and make tweaks to my website. Check on the local server that file backups are up-to-date; check cloud backup has completed - a digital artist lives and dies by their digital assets.

4:30 PM Plan out some posts for social media this coming week; schedule a couple of posts using Planoly, Buffer, and Later (I’m too cheap to pay for scheduling so use the free tier across multiple services). Jot down some thoughts for a new blog.

5:00 PM Start on accounts - GST tax return is due soon.

5:30 PM Husband sees I’m still at it so he makes dinner. Feel guilty.

6:00 PM Dinner.

7:00 PM Check in on Messenger with accountability partner Hannah on what we've been doing today and brainstorm some new ideas. Email with photographer mentor Kim, trading photography wisdom for help with MailChimp. All while watching funny parrot videos on YouTube.

8:00 PM Sign off for the evening.

9:00 PM Sneak back online to check Twitter. Resolve to deal with social media addiction. Check Facebook.

10:00 PM Bed. Brain churning with ideas for another project. Eventually, sleep.

Spending all day in the studio? Not so much. The reality is that the day in the life of an Artist is only a little bit about doing art and a lot about being a small business owner, responsible for everything: creating art, promoting, shipping, marketing, exhibiting, building networks and community, accounting and administration. Fortunately, I love every aspect – except doing the taxes!

Judi Lapsley Miller is a photo-artist, scientist, and wildlife conservation volunteer from Wellington, New Zealand. Through her art, she advocates for rare and endangered species and spaces and encourages others to do the same through a weekly photography challenge that has advocacy at its heart. Since taking the plunge to be a professional artist just over two years ago, she has had two solo exhibitions and participated in multiple group exhibitions in New Zealand, and in 2017 was awarded a Solo exhibition with the online Light-Space-Time Gallery. Her archival fine art prints are available through her website.


Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is very pleased to announce that Judi Lapsley Miller has been selected as one of the four artists of the gallery’s seventh “Solo Art Series” Art Competition.  Judi will now have a month long solo art exhibition and she will be featured on the gallery’s front page, in the Gallery’s YouTube Channel, as well as in the “Solo Art Series” archive.

Judi Lapsley Miller is a photo artist who is inspired by the wildlife and land of Aotearoa-New Zealand.  Judi will be promoted by the gallery with an extensive public relations campaign, provided by They will promote and circulate her winning press release to over 1000+ News Outlets, Premium FOX, CBS, NBC, CW Affiliated Sites, 500 TV & Radio Sites, 250 Regional & Industry Site through and through LST gallery’s broad social media network.

In addition, as part of her award package, she will now be featured as an Light Space & Time promoted artist.   The LST page will feature 4 pieces of the artist’s art, a small artist statement and their website URL’s as part of the gallery’s overall prize package. averages 2 million visitors a month and 46% of Artsy users who have purchased art via Artsy started out as art enthusiasts rather than preexisting collectors.

The solo art exhibition will also be promoted on Artweek produces 800,000 page impressions per month, 280,000 website visitors per month and has 30,000 newsletter subscribers.

Judi will also be featured on the gallery’s YouTube Channel and with an event postcard.

The “Solo Art Series” is a series of monthly solo art exhibitions for established artists who have a body of work to present to the public.  Artist participants were asked to submit the following 3 components for the “Solo Art Series” competition; 1.  Their art.  2.  Their artist biography.  3.  Their artist statement.  These elements were evaluated and judged, which resulted in the selection of the artists who will be featured in individual month long solo art exhibitions.  This is the seventh “Solo Art Series” Art Competition the gallery has conducted.

Below is Judi’s Artist Biography, her Artist Statement, along with 15 pieces of her photo art.  We hope that you will take the time to read Judi’s information and to take a look at her incredible beloved and endangered kākā parrots.

Artist Biography:

Judi Lapsley Miller’s art is inspired by the wildlife and land of Aotearoa-New Zealand, the awesome forces that went into making them (and continue to make them), and the tensions between the pre-human and modern world. She strives through her art to advocate for endangered species and spaces by exploring themes like the tenacity of life in the face of environmental destruction, what it means to be endangered, and the post-human world. Many of her images are inspired from her experiences with volunteering in wildlife conservation projects, especially with her beloved endangered kākā parrots.

Photography is just the first step in Judi’s creative process – she digitally blends and masks layers of photographs, graphics, scanned ephemera and textures, lighting and colour adjustments, and digital brushstrokes to form an image that is more painting than photograph. Photo artistry and digital compositing gives her the freedom to expand her viewpoint and delve deep into her imagination. She came to photo artistry by chance, having become frustrated with the limits and rigid rules of wildlife photography that precluded her from telling the intimate stories she could see unfolding around her. After attending a compositing workshop by Shona Jaray, she stumbled upon Sebastian Michael’s online photo-artistic training courses, and completed the year-long professional photo artistry training course “AWAKE” in 2016. She is currently in Michael’s advanced “KAIZEN” group, is an active member of the Artists Down Under – Australia & New Zealand group, and is a member artist of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. She is inspired by (and has done many online courses with) the imaginative and surrealist photo artists Julieanne Kost and Brooke Shaden.

In her images, Judi exposes her interpretation of the inner world of others – their thoughts and feelings, their hopes and desires – in a form tangible to the human viewer that she hopes engenders empathy and understanding with other living creatures.

Judi and her photo artistic work has appeared in the Australian Photography magazine, the Independent Herald newspaper, Living the Photo Artistic Life magazine (multiple issues), and Artists Down Under magazine (multiple issues). Over the last year, she has exhibited in seven group exhibitions and one solo exhibition in New Zealand. In the international arena, she has twice placed 2nd in the photography and digital media category and 4th and 5th in the overall category in Light Space & Time online gallery exhibitions. Her straight photography work is used widely for advocacy and education purposes, including for Zealandia Eco Sanctuary, Forest & Bird, NZ Birds Online, Wellington City Council, the Ornithological Society of NZ, and other wildlife and conservation organizations. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Artist Statement:

Imagine a verdant valley overflowing with native birds and plants because they're protected from introduced predators; an oasis in a modern city; a chance to reconnect with what we've lost - and you get a glimpse of the Zealandia Vision – a community effort to restore a valley to a pre-human ecosystem. In Judi's recent works, she explores the Zealandia vision in three, related series.

  • "Birds of a feather" where the striking and subtle colours of the rare and endangered birds that live at Zealandia are celebrated in a series of painterly portraits, where each bird is already a work of art.
  • "Visions of Zealandia" where she illustrates the struggle of wild birds adapting to living in a modern biophilic city and the vision of taking 500 years to restore the pre-human ecosystem.
  • "Flights of fancy" where imagination takes over and roles are reversed - what would the curious and intelligent kākā parrots do in a post-human world?

For many years Judi has advocated for New Zealand's birds and other wildlife through writing and photography, and now art, and she is currently the volunteer convener for the "Storyteller" and ex-convener of the "Kākā nest box monitoring" teams at Zealandia. Eleven images from the above series were recently exhibited in Judi’s first solo exhibition, fittingly held in the gallery at Zealandia Ecosanctuary, where sales directly supported Zealandia’s conservation work.

Judi’s motivations for taking wildlife photography to the extreme, somewhat surprisingly stems from her training as a professional scientist. From her background in experimental psychology and her volunteer conservation work, Judi reacts strongly to the long history of treating animals as soulless automata – an approach that has hindered our understanding of consciousness and cognition, and has led to wide scale animal cruelty over millennia. She considers careful application of anthropomorphizing to be vital to our understanding of animals as thinking, feeling, creatures. Animals may not think or emote exactly like humans, but anyone who has spent any time with an animal knows that they are conscious beings, worthy of our respect and understanding. Recent studies into animal cognition are showing no bounds in the depth of animal intelligence and awareness – the limitations of our understanding coming more from our own failings in connecting with an intelligence unlike our own.

In her images, Judi exposes her interpretation of the inner world of others – their thoughts and feelings, their hopes and desires – in a form tangible to the human viewer that she hopes engenders empathy and understanding with other living creatures. 

Judi’s Website:

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