Artist Feature: Samantha Stokes

Samantha Stokes’ work has often graced the pages of Massive Magazine. The talented artist sat down to chat with Nikki Papatsoumas for our last Artist Feature for 2017.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I often introduce myself as an adventurer who moonlights as a designer and artist. (I think my intro on dribbble is pretty much that). I love the experience of creating, and I get inspired and fill up my bank of creative energy by being outdoors and going on adventures. I enjoy lots of different creative outlets, which is great, because when I’m feeling stuck with water colour illustration, I can switch to digital illustration, or to photography or designing ’things’ with my art and design pieces. That’s something I’m excited about right now – making pieces of art that are more then just artwork on paper. I’ve got some screen printing ideas floating around in my head right now for tote bags and tea towels – useful things.

What inspires you?

Putting on great music is often my starting point for creating and working. Then, if I get to a point where I’m not sure how to progress, sometimes getting away or getting outside is the best thing I can do to keep feeling fresh on that project. And often I find initial seeds for work in little daily moments. I like creating work that is fun or funny, and that feels human.

How did you become an artist?

As long as I can remember I’ve always loved creating. My parents have a great collection of my artworks from since I could smear paint on paper. It feels strange whenever I don’t have something on the go – I enjoy that feeling of industry and possibility when I am working on something!

Where would you like to see a career in art and design take you?

Freelancing full time for the last year has been an enjoyable learning curve. I’ve worked on some awesome projects, I recently had full creative control from start to finish on a quirky, unique eighty–something page employee handbook You Build A Better Us for a construction company in New Orleans, which was full of fun illustrations and pages of lettering and type. In future years getting to live somewhere where I can ride the snow multiple times a week, skip out for powder days, rock climb in the sunshine and get out on other adventures in-between working as a freelancer on wonderful projects would be living the dream. Currently though I’m looking for the perfect fitting in-house or studio position to take up for a time. I’d love to have the experience and learning that would come from working somewhere inspiring and challenging.

Who are five people you would invite to dinner, dead or alive?

Definitely Wendy McNaughton, her work as a designer and illustrator is so inspiring. And probably Michael Bierut as well, because he does amazing work and I’ve heard that he’s cool. And I might invite GR Martin, because he’s got to be an interesting guy. I think I’d also invite Tim Minchin, for some light humour and I think I’d also invite Jamie Oliver over–early, to help with the said dinner.

What three words would you use to describe your art?

Intricate. Beautiful. Quirky (I enjoy making people smile).

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