Previously a Catering Manager, Death Grants Advisor, Cinema Usherette and Fire Extinguisher Sales Person, Sam was determined to carve out a niche as an artist.
Fifteen years and a whole lot of hard work later, Sam's work is published internationally as posters, greetings cards, calendars and Limited Edition prints and has been sold through outlets such as John Lewis, Paperchase, Next and IKEA. She has had two successful solo shows in Cork Street, and continues to sell original work through a small number of selected venues.
Perhaps Sam's appeal as an artist has something to do with her ability to capture a sense of hope, optimism and good old fashioned British eccentricity. Her characters inhabit a world which is both otherworldly and instantly recognisable. The faded ice cream colours of the British seaside give a feeling of pathos and nostalgia: the wind is often blowing, the weather is often wet, love is often unrequited and there is always sand in the sandwiches.
"I have always considered myself to be someone who draws rather than paints. I rarely use sketchbooks now. I prefer to just start drawing on a piece of board with soft pencils, adding colour with oil pastels, and layering with washes of coloured inks. I listen to radio 4 as I work and often get ideas from half listening to some interview or other. Often I will come up with an idea whilst walking the dogs. Or perhaps take inspiration from a line in a favourite tune. I decide on the colours as I go, scraping back some areas, scratching into others, adding words, lines or splatters from a toothbrush if things get desperate... My goal is to achieve something in a finished piece that looks spontaneous, fresh, unselfconscious. It's harder than it looks. The best ideas take the least work, and it's so easy to spoil a piece with overworking. It's like, one of the hardest looks to achieve is the 'no makeup, just got out of bed ' look... It just takes ages to look that 'underdone'... And as we all know, there's a fine line between effortlessly gorgeous and a bit of a mess! I guess if I have a skill as an artist, it's knowing when to stop."
Her internationally acclaimed characters, the Mustards, lend themselves well to a more detailed narrative and Sam has self published a small book entitled 'Stories from Along the Prom'. Not one to rest on her laurels, she has made a small collection of rod puppets and automata, and is currently writing a short novel.
"There's more to life than nice art and good cake, but it's a fine place to start."