Splish, Splash: Dive into the Artsy World of Sarah Samways
Meet the Visual Artist who Discusses Her Introduction to the Art World
By Bridney C.
Sarah Samways is a visual artist from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, whose art pieces are colorful and represent positivity, all while featuring cats and celebrities. Born to a Cambodian father and a Caucasian mother, she grew up an only child and spent most of her time drawing in her room and being introspective.
"There was no one to guide me through that experience," says Samways, 30. The artist says she is just beginning to scratch the surface of what her "voice" is.
Her mother has always been supportive of her art and would find things for Samways to create with, such as the backs of old grocery store posters, acrylic paints at yard sales, and old newspapers.
"Creating art, in any form, is all I have ever wanted to do. I probably had that epiphany at like 3-years-old with crayons," says Samways, 30.
Other people, including family members and friends, took notice of her artistic talent and agreed that she should pursue art as a career. She enjoyed her studies as a child but said she felt different and did not fit in.
As a result, she dropped out of high school during her senior year but obtained her GED soon after. After, she studied fine arts at an art school in Chicago for two years.
After completing art school for two years, she returned home to Rhode Island and started to build herself as a visual artist. "Because of this, I think I fit somewhere between the trained and outsider art spectrum," says Samways.
She enjoys incorporating animals into her artworks, as they help illustrate abstract concepts in a relatable way. She also loves cats, her favorite number is nine, and considers herself to be a cat represented by certain qualities - "mysterious, independent, and feminine."
Pop culture is another way for Samways to illustrate abstract concepts featuring celebrities as her subjects. By using celebrities as her subjects depicted wearing masks in her painting, she says this will send a message to people to wear masks to decrease the spread of COVID-19.
"I have a bunch of digital drawings of celebrities wearing masks, not only because it’s fun but also to advocate for the usage of masks."
Samways considers her art style to be "varied" and says even though she experiments with different mediums, her preferred mediums to use in her work are drawings and paintings. A finished piece takes between a day and a few months for Samways to complete.
"Even if something is “finished,” it’s never really finished. I have work that I like one month but then the next I just have to get rid of it or paint over it completely, no matter how long it originally took to make it."
She uses old canvases to paint on for her paintings and says she is never satisfied with the final version. Right now, she is working on digital illustrations due to the closing of the majority of in-person galleries.
Her essentials she uses while creating digital illustrations are a tablet, pencil, and Adobe's Creative Cloud. Her top three favorite artworks include Floral Body Paint, a collaboration between her, model, Adlin Cruz Vega, and Calo Photography.
Her other two favorite artworks are Self Portrait As Fire Burning, Water Rising and On to the Next One.
"Art heals me because it reminds me of my purpose in life, and this is how I can help people."