In anticipation this week's print release, we sat down with the artist - Sam Rodriguez - to learn a bit more about him in an interview. Take a look below:
Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in San Jose, California and that is where I live now.
What are your earliest artistic memories?
My earliest artistic memories were attempts at drawing my favorite cartoon characters at my Grandparents house.
How has your style evolved from graffiti over the years?
I think Graffiti served two purposes for me in life, my first real obsession with an art form, and a way to rage as a young kid. I think anything we experience as youths affects what we do today, whether we are embracing those past actions or regretting them. One of the key takeaways from then, related to my art now, is a pressure to be original. Still trying to do this today!
Could you tell us a bit about your release with us, "Crazy Eyes?"
Yes! This piece was made when I was trying to learn how to use the Procreate App. It is based on a photo of my wife. She was trying on glasses in Osaka, Japan and looks like such a damn character when she sports eyewear. She and my daughter are always making funny poses with various eyewear and crazy outfits. The photo of her is different than that print, but the sentiment is here...haha! I like to bring an illustration to a place that a photo can't, otherwise I would just be a photographer. I love photography.
What's a normal day like in the studio for you?
Before Quarantine, but not much different!!...I would get in there around 7:45 am after dropping off my daughter at school (high school). First thing I do is turn on the Espresso machine! Then I start in on checking emails, calendars, etc. If I have an illustration or painting going, I'll start in around 8:30-9 am. Otherwise, I continue on whatever non-art tasks need to be done such as promotions, publishing, and administrative. I tidy up the studio Monday's and Friday's which makes cleaning easy since constant cleaning doesn't allow for messes to build up. I usually work through the day, taking small breaks to move around. I usually finish at 4 pm and then exercise.
What's the hardest part of creating?
When I was a younger artist, the hardest part was finding my voice and thinking of concepts. Now, the hardest part is making time, or money to pursue the development of new works.
And the easiest?
The easiest and funnest part is, sharing work with everyone after it's done. I enjoy and appreciate having an audience that wants to see my illustrations.
When you're not creating, what are you up to?
I like to run and exercise. I also like playing video games, lately I've been on Nintendo Switch, but I limit my time on it, or maybe my family does...haha! I also love watching movies, and series, sometimes reruns of my favorites. Pre-quarantine, I liked driving to the coast with my family, or hitting a public spot like a museum. Also we have close friends and family with kids, so I'm lucky to be able to hang out with them often. I especially like that they have different work backgrounds, because I get to learn about different perspectives.
Any quarantine tips?
Keep the mind occupied, drink lots of water and exercise!