SAM SHEPARDSON interview in DESTIG Magazine


Tell us about yourself and background.
My name is Samantha Shepardson and I am 22 years old. I recently graduated from Colorado State University in May 2018 with a degree in graphic design. I grew up in Tustin, California and moved out to Colorado for school. I loved the state so much that I decided to live here after college. Art has always been a huge part of my life- from the day I could hold a pencil I was drawing. I specialize in digital painting and illustration.

Tell us about your work.
I find the connection between the audio and visual interesting. I started to make portraits of my favourite artists as a way to express how I felt after listening to a song/album by them. I believe that when you create something it comes directly from your soul. So after listening to their work, I reinterpret the essence of their music into how I see them.

What makes your work and approach unique?
My work is a direct reflection of what I feel. Creating helps me process my emotions. When I create things, it is produced directly from my soul. Certain colors invoke certain moods, and I work directly with that. Especially when I work while listening to music, I can translate the audio into the visual with the certain colors and compositions. When you look at my art you are looking at how my brain processes things, and I think it’s pretty amazing that I can show people that.

Why is your work a good investment?
As I said before, I believe art comes directly from the soul. When I create something, I put all of my heart into it. Each one of my pieces reveals something about myself in some way. When I create art for other people, I take into account what message/feeling they are trying to convey and work directly with that.

Tell us about some of your achievements.
My major art related accomplishment would be graduating with a degree in Graphic Design from Colorado State University. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to gain a degree in the thing I am most passionate about in my life, and I am looking forward to utilizing the skills I learned there for the rest of my life.

What are your sources of inspiration?
The main source of inspiration behind my work are the musical artists themselves. When a song or an album speaks to me, I use my art as a vessel for how the music reaches me. In a way, creating portraits of music artists helps me connect to them beyond just listening to their work.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about hip-hop, design, and mental health. I find it interesting how much mental health affects the creative process, and how creativity can help process emotions. I always encourage the creative process in all forms, as I believe it’s healthy to produce art. Creating art helps clear my head and lets me process emotions that I can’t express in any other way.

Tell us the back-story of some of your projects.
Around a year ago when I made one of my pieces, “Yeezy’s Last Supper”, I posted a sketch to a Facebook fan group I’m in that is dedicated to Kanye, called Kanye Kanyeposting™. I asked the group to help me choose Kanye’s disciples. It was a really cool way to get me involved in the music community on Facebook and get a lot of people to work on the same project. I gained a lot of connections this way and it was super fun to interact with so many people to create a piece like this.

Share with us your upcoming projects.
I’m starting a series where I reinterpret the covers of my favorite albums based on my reactions to them and how I relate to them. Along with making an alternative album cover, I would write a little review to accompany the piece that explains how I felt about the music, the artist, and why I made the cover.
​I am hoping this series will help me learn how to be more intent and articulate with my ideas.

Tell us about where you are based.
​I am based in Fort Collins, Colorado. I moved out here to attend college, and I fell in love with the town and continued to live here. This town is special to me because even though it’s fairly large, it feels like a small town because of how friendly people are to each other here. This town thrives off of the community, and as such embraces the arts. The downtown area is covered in murals and installations from local artists. Live music is a huge part of the Fort Collins culture, and as such local bands are given room to grow with opportunity. Living here has made me come out of my shell and become a much more confident and independent person, and as such has made me more bold and confident in my art.

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