Bridging the “Gap”

Checking my “On This Day” on my personal Facebook account has become somewhat of a habit. And by that I mean, when I’m laying in bed, unable to sleep, I look at the clock, see it is after midnight, and think, “oh, at least, I can check my ‘On This Day’ now.” I regularly have difficulty falling asleep, hence the use of the word “habit.”

This past Friday, I was a bit behind in checking it. However, I did make time in my day to post a new business card I designed. It is a joke card I designed about my dog, who I have decided needs to stop whining in my ear, getting hair on my carpet, demanding food, and instead get out there and make a bigger contribution to society. There is also a resume I created for him, which you can see here. After I posted this image of the business card, which includes a portrait of the pooch, Facebook reminded me to check my “On This Day.” As it turns out, five years ago, I also posted a portrait of Renegade. It was created much in the same way the one on his business card was — I drew out a quick sketch, transferred the hand drawing to my computer, then outlined it and colored it using a couple of Adobe’s programs. The process being the same, the end result is certainly not:


What adds to this coincidence is that on a different year from either of these dog portraits, I ALSO posted  on this day, the embedded video below. It is two minutes of audio of Ira Glass speaking about what he calls, “the gap.” (It also has some beautifully animated typography by David Shiyang Liu)

For a very long time, and sometimes still, I get an idea in my head, get very (quietly) excited about it like a dork, research if I need to, sketch it out, possibly sketch it out a second time, transfer it over to whatever media I will be creating a finish in, complete it, and along the way have arguments and make compromises with myself over how this is not looking the way I intended it to. As a result of this, many of my canvases have multiple paintings within the layers of paint as I try to get it right. Even if you go through my files of digital work, most of those pieces have more than one version of a finish.

This happenstance, of both these portraits being shown to me at the same time, along with this video, is an inspiring and much-needed reminder of how far I’ve come. Not necessarily in a monetary way, or worldwide renowned way, or even being settled into life way, but a deeply personal, building-myself-into-the-artist-I-want-to-be way. I do not feel like I have yet to completely bridge the gap Glass describes, but I think my bridge is coming along very nicely.

For anyone who is undergoing any type of creative endeavor, or even just trying to get through life and developing their ideas of who they are as a person, this video applies to you.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.”

“It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”


In the midst of my ongoing search to find places to feature my work, I came across an awesome opportunity from a current member of the Artspace @ Patchogue. If you are not familiar with it, Artspace, is an organization that sets up buildings and provides affordable living and work spaces for artists. They have made it possible for many artists to form and take part in a community of their peers at 35 different locations across the country.

One of their members, Rich Belsky, is graciously using his association with the space to showcase a variety of Long Island artists’ work for the UGLY show. The purpose of the show in his words is, “to explore ‘UGLY’ as a dynamic force, integral to any creative process, and the role it has played from the past to the present as well as it may play in the future. Artwork for ‘UGLY’, as it relates to either the individual or to society, in part or in whole.”

Beginning on August 1st, my piece #BLEAH,  pictured below, will be hanging alongside many other artists’ work from around the area. The show will run for two weeks, ending on the 15th.

the UGLY Reception will be held:

Saturday, August 1st from 5 – 8 pm

20 Terry Street Patchogue, New York

Gallery Hours – Thursdays & Fridays 5:30-8:30pm Saturdays & Sundays 1-4pm


Book Revue’s Current Featured Artist (aka me!)

For the month of November, eight of my paintings will be on display at Huntington's Book Revue. They will be displayed on their Featured Artist wall located in their Fiction corner (left most wall of the store upon entering) Advice of the day: go visit them, also there's a cafe, which means food.
the following is also available to be viewed on their website:

Featured Artist of the Month

For book or art purchases, call Book Revue at (631) 271-1442 or e-mail requests to

Samantha Hernandez

Samantha is a freelance artist, illustrator, author, and Long Island native. After obtaining her degree in illustration from the Fashion Institute in Manhattan, she has worked with a number of clients across the United States seeking to visually promote their businesses. Samantha has also self published a number of books both digitally (ebooks) and in paperback form. Two of her works,Illustrated & Alliterated: An Alphabet Book and #SamSketches: A Coloring Book are available in the children’s department of Book Revue.

The paintings currently being shown are a conglomeration of her interests: design, nature, and her SamSketches brand and character. Over the years, she has been privately commissioned to create portraits, abstracts, or images that have been brought to her. This year marks her return to creating paintings of her own choosing, as well as it is her first year presenting such material to the public.


To learn more about Samantha and view her work you are welcome to visit:



Every month at Book Revue, we feature a local artist who we feel will interest or intrigue our customers.

Please visit the artist’s work prominently featured in the Fiction corner of the store.

All of the artwork on display is available for purchase.


#SamSketches – 2013 in review, things to come in 2014

2013 has brought a year of great growth built off of previous years’ quiet planning, a number of seemingly small moves finally adding up and just an overall mindset of — “every little bit counts.”

A movement forward, no matter how tiny, is still a step in the right direction;

the accumulation of these steps placing you ever closer to your goal.

… the game “red light, green light, 1, 2, 3” comes to mind.

The year began with a continuance of the surge in my portrait commissions which had begun during 2012’s holiday season.

As the year moved forward, so did SamSketches’ exposure:

  • An album cover created for a music compilation released by SCCADV (Suffolk County Coalition Against Domestic Violence) which can be acquired through donating to this cause  unless
  • A giant sized (seriously it’s huge) graphic design print hung in an independent restaurant located in the South Shore of Long Island.
  • An unexpected turn was taken as work started being commissioned from outside the bounds of not only Long Island, but New York state as a whole. My graphic design work is now home to companies located in Colorado, California and has even been featured on products distributed in Japan.

In addition to artwork created to enhance the endeavors of others, I continued producing work of my own. This can be seen by any one of the 150+ posts to my tumblr – or on my instagram – (amidst selfies, pics of food, and Renegade. Oh and bees!)


While most of my art that is posted is very much in the “sketch stage”, hence the #samsketches, there are projects of mine that I have managed to find time to finish. To date my first self-published eBook, has achieved 2700 downloads, with the number growing everyday. It is available at the iBookstore and Secondly, its follow up eBook, On Being Smee: Chapter #2 a Dream Sequence has now been made available via the same channels, with the addition of for its Nook.

blogimage3For the holiday season, I created my annual limited edition SamSketches holiday card, this print is mostly only available to loved ones with whom I wished to spread warmth to during this cold season (but also to anyone who asks really, really nicely and I deem worthy). I also realized I finally had enough pieces in my repertoire to create a calendar and did so for a very limited few.

paintingsHaving grown to miss the feel of an actual paintbrush, canvas, and that mushy acrylic painty feeling, I started and am wrapping up a series of paintings featuring all original designed damask patterns. Each has some hidden imagery within it relating to my life. This way when I’m dead and gone people can sit and debate about what it is I was trying to represent with this shape or that. It’ll be a blast.


As 2013 comes to a close I am finishing up the illustrations and putting the final touches on my first full 32 page children’s book. It’s a funny look at how I feel my life is at times. And I believe many others will relate to it. A second full length book will soon be following, the book dummy for it has already been finished, and it is entering the final illustration phase alongside the previously mentioned. This book is being created without any text, allowing for the reader to create their own tale and denote their own message from the images provided.

Both of these books will not only be available as an eBook download, but will also be available in PRINT (that’s right, you can hold it in the palm of your very own hands and flip the pages and everything) it will be made available thru both Amazon and for you to purchase.

Be excited! I really really am. :)