I Sam's work

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

(Mermaid Jemima takes Harry for a walk)



Whenever there's a new illustration posted, in either her charming blog, Matou en Peluche, or her exceedingly popular etsy shop (1000+Sales!) I have a small fantasy conversation with her which generally consists of me trying to worm key personal information on what inspired and drove her to create the newest beauty. So having shared that, you can probably imagine the thrill when she recently agreed to a short interview and I was finally given with the opportunity to live out the dream... (Below: Sam at her first public exhibit)

Samantha Battersby (or Sam as friends most lovingly refer to her) lives in Sydney Australia. She has a sharp-eye for beauty, teaches English by day, has a cat muse named Harry and is an extraordinary artist:

G: Hello Sam, thank you so much for agreeing to the interview! I wanted to start off by asking you how and when you first knew you wanted to be an artist? Do you have a memory of such a time or is it something you’ve always carried with you?

S: I can't remember ever saying to myself "I want to be an artist" but I never remember a time when I haven't not wanted to express myself that way and show people!

G: You have a great way of creating personas and scenarios in your illustrations. Do you begin your illustrations with a situation or emotion in mind or does it sort of form itself as you draw?

S: The character or scenario sort of forms itself as I draw. Part of the reason why I love drawing is because it's such an adventure! I have a vague idea about what I'd like to draw but often the drawing ends up with a life of it's own and I'm usually pretty surprised at what the finished result looks like!!

G: Borrowing from one of my favorite interviewers, Diana of Our.City.Lights, could you share your favorite illustration with us and why?

S: I don't really have a favourite! Perhaps 'Underwater Mermaid Boudoir' (Shown Left) or 'Mermaid Jemima takes Harry for a walk' (Top Post Photo). I like them because they are pretty girls who are a bit different and the subject of the drawings themselves are a bit silly! Taking an octopus for a walk is a bit whimsical as is two mermaids surrounded by water having their daily ablutions! So prettiness + a bit of humour.

G: Along with admiring your art work I’m also a huge admirer of your drive Sam, do you ever fall into uncreative slumps? And if so, what do you do to get yourself out of them?

S: The drive, yes I am a self confessed drawing machine, comes from my never ending quest to draw the best drawing in the world! Well, obviously not the world but to draw something that really makes people stop and say "Wow! Look at that!" I don't feel I've ever done that and so the quest continues!!

I don't really have an uncreative slump as such - I've always got a lot of ideas floating about in my head for drawings but from time to time I do have an "off" day drawing wise. An "off" day is when I draw several drawings and start several but am totally unhappy with all the results. I usually just admit defeat and come back later that day or another day and something OK pops out with any luck!

(Photo: Some of Sam's tools)

G: Lastly you have a very distinct style, is this a style you’ve developed through the years or does it just sort of come naturally to you? Do you have any tips for beginning artists out there who are looking to develop a distinct style of their own?

S: I've been into creating things, like a lot of folks, since I was pretty little: painting, sewing, embroidery, knitting, decoupage, etc you name it I've had a go at it! However, I've always come back to drawing and I think this is my true love. I do have a distinctive style but it's just what pops out really - sometimes I feel I'm chanelling something or someone else! I don't know why they turn out as a homogenous set!

For beginning artists, I think just stay true to yourself and what you feel is OK in your eyes and a distinctive style will emerge naturally.

(Thank you again Sam... you're amazing!)



Along with agreeing to be interviewed Sam has also agreed to sponsor a very generous GIVEAWAY of two of her prints: an 8x12 print of 'Mermaid Jemima takes Harry for a walk' (Top illustration, one of her favorites and mine!) and any 4x6 print of your choice from her shop. To enter, you simply have to visit her shop *HERE* and in the comments section of this post, tell us which is your favorite Matou en Peluche print (Please note: If you fail to state a favorite your entry will be discarded). One entry per person please, and be sure to leave an email address or a way of contacting you. International contestants welcome. Winner will be chosen via random.org at 11:00 a.m. (California time) on Tuesday, September 15, 2009.

49 comments:

Hanako66 said...

great interview!!! such amazing work:)

Hanako66 said...

I forgot to mention that my favorite work has got to be russian ballerina!

Diana said...

Wow! Check out Sam as a kid!! I love it!

This is a great interview, I can never get tired of seeing her work!

My favorite is Mitzy, because she would make a great tattoo someday!

down and out chic said...

oh my goodness. first of all, very thoughtful questions, good job gabbi!
secondly, sam is absolutely an inspiration. as an artist and someone who has a degree in painting, i can tell you that i've always struggled with drive and getting into slumps. sam will be successful because she continues to create and she's prolific. i have two of her small prints in my bathroom and every morning they bring a huge smile to my face.

Leah said...

Very interesting interview... she's really a great artist. I love "the sisters", it reminds me of my sister and me.

Winnie said...

That last illustration is so pretty! I can see some of these as great inspirations for tattoos too.

Kelley Anne said...

Great interview Gabbi!

If you want a guide to the braiding, I actually took my cues from an article in the most recent issue of Lucky Magazine with Kristen Bell on the cover. I've tried that look before, but it wasn't very successful. The article helped.

drollgirl said...

oh, sam is so fab and her art is just delightful.

two of my favorite works are little pandora and cardinal in rouge.

and her prices are so reasonable! yay for that! :)

drollgirlmail@gmail.com

Sam said...

Thank you so much sweet Gabbi for this lovely and totally (as always) elegant post about my work!! Aww Shucks - I've come over all bashful like with your kind words!!!!

I'll post a link to your post here this evening when I get home (I'm still at work = boooo!) Have a joyous week you wonderful blogger you!! XX

Keith said...

These are fantastic. Great interview. Thanks for doing it. I quite enjoyed it. Sam sounds so amazing. I really love the Art Deco Darling in a green dress.

Clorivak said...

I love love love this stuff...great deauture. oooo...giveraway??? i would adore to have this gorg beauty on my wall.

Amelia said...

I love her work, too! That picture of her at her first exhibition is so sweet. My favorite from her shop is "Russian Ballerina."

P R I M O E Z A said...

i love sam's style. it's so nice to see someone doing their own thing.

ana b. said...

Awwww! Sam is definitely one of my favourite bloggers around. I definitely know what you mean about how she has a definite and instantly recognisable style. Her etsy shop is always such a pleasure to look through.

My favourite print: Elizabeth in Pink - http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28220514

Hey Harriet said...

I ♥ Sam's work too! It's so hard to pick only one fave. I've already purchased a few of my faves. I'm really liking the 'Flying Kitten' one right now! Thanks for sharing Sam's amazing artwork and it was a fun interview :)

Señor Werty said...

La ilustración de la sirena me recuerda a los antiguos tatuajes de los marinos.

sau2

Mondo said...

I know the name Etsy - but don't know what it is. Love Sam's work and recognise it from you blog Gabbi.

Any plans for a Q and A with your cousin's band?

Maddie said...

this is an awesome interview, and her work is amazing! i want to get my own place soon and may need to fill it with artwork.. hmm... :) i'm going to check out her blog right now!

Couture Carrie said...

Darling, what a fabulous interview! I love Sam's work so ~ there's one on her site that's just the profile of a lady in a green hat that I adore. Her women are so spectacular! Thanks for a fab post and giveaway!

xoxox,
CC

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Love this interview...I dare say both of you are my fave thoughtful,creative & talented ladies in the blogsphere!
LUV you guys! sincerely, BIG xo*

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

Wonderful interview; I adore her pieces. The mermaids especially perhaps...

LiLu said...

Oh, LOVE. My favorite is definitely the November Wallflowers!

Clorivak said...

I Love Matching Coat and Accessories. It was a VERY hard decision though.

miriam said...

what a great interview Gabbi, so cool to find more about her this way even though we're buddies too : )

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

I just love her stuff...we've got her bookmarked on Etsy :)

Emmy said...

WOW. her artwork is absolutely beautiful. i'll definitely need to check out her etsy store :-)

muchlove said...

Great and inspiring interview!

My favourite is probably Cinta. I fell in love with it from the first time Sam showed it.

Elizabeth Marie said...

I love her!! Super talented and soooo sweet!!!!!

My favorite is The Sisters...I just saw it on her blog yesterday and it reminds me of Gabby and I :)

And you, darling Gabbi...I hope you are having a great week! XO

Laia N said...

Glad you liked Florence and aww these are such gorgeous illustrations!

My fav is "Art Deco Millie", it's been such a difficult decision, all those Art Deco portraits are gorgeous (I love the 20s, can't you tell?)

que por cierto, eres española??? me ha gustado tu blog ;)

S.Elisabeth said...

lovely interview. her illustrations are so beautiful!

Pen Pen said...

OMG! My friend had a pic of one of her paintings as a background on her computer a few weeks back!!!! I totally recognized the style and her name! GORGEOUS! I need to go get in the contest-Maybe I'll be a great friend and give her it if I win. That would be nice of me...but...hmmmm. :)

I like her drive to create the perfect picture too-I have a similar drive as a writer to write something that really "means" something to everyone. Something that changes people. I do have bouts of writer's block, but I DO continuously come up with ideas-just not the "meat" of the story I guess. I write down all the ideas tho-and it helps.

I've never really talked to a painter-only other writers, so it's seriously wild to me to hear that they can start painting a person but have no idea exactly where it might go-That's similar to writing. I honestly thought that painters MUST know where they're going ahead of time-I dunno why...

I also love that the Octopus has the name of her cat-Harry-So adorable!

Leigh said...

These are so precious!! I love the last one and the mermaids so great with me being a gemini :)

Crystal Ball said...

The mermaids have to be my favorite.
Her work is amazing! I love the water color effect of them all.

Certain Creatures said...

Dear Gabbi! this is simply an extraordinary post! I love learning more about Sam. I also really admire her work and unique style and this interview is great!
thanks Gabbi. Coming here to visit you is always so much fun!
Francesca
x

Certain Creatures said...

ps: my favourite *Sam*artwork* is...
this isn't easy btw... there are lots that i like - like the "A little love" and the "Little Round Robbin" but I especially like "Art Deco Georgina"
fingers crossed

:)
*°*°*°*°
Francesca

Rebecca said...

Awesome interview! I agree that Sam is inspiring with her work. :) Choosing a favorite print is so hard, but right now I love "Two Victorian Ladies have tea."

Laia N said...

you should def go to Topshop! it is a bit expensive but usually worth it :)

Sang said...

i cannot agree more with her "drawing is an adventure" comment. well, all these illustrations are drawing my attention, but i'm especially delighted by the photo of her art tools... very lovely.

Nubiasnonsense said...

Great interview, I love the illustrations

Valeriesoh said...

wow... that work looks great!!!! would make a great tattoo:)))

michellehendra said...

great interview :) loving it so much

xx

Diana said...

Love Pandora in red!!

emmabelle said...

What an excellent interview. Sam's art is absolutely beautiful. It is terribly difficult to choose a favorite, but I would have to say that I luv Art Deco Darling in a Green Dress. The look on her face is both coy and alluring which is beautiful combination.

Marilyn said...

I love matouenpeluche! I love the art deco series, especially sally.Friday night pink stockings is lovely, too.

jmarilynevans at gmail dot com

natalie said...

She's an amazing artist! I love All American girl next door!

kelly said...

Oh, love her work! One my favorites is definitely the Mitsy print!

Sadie said...

loved it!! she's such a great artist!! it was hard to pick up a favorite! But it sure was "Elizabeth in Pink"

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Ok I have way too many favorites to list. A few:

21st century dandy (I want this entire outfit)
Blue boy (I'm a sucker for elephants)
A little love (just... awww!)

Yay!

Gerar said...

I'm in time? My favorite is Nancy.

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