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:

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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.”

SamSketches: A 2016 Calendar

For the third year running, there will be a SamSketches calendar.

It is my hope for this third year that it will be gracing even more homes than its predecessors. The pieces selected, for the most part (not going to lie and say every single one), were done so with a special meaning behind each month assignment.

For instance:

  • July includes an illustration of Gader because it his birth month — his birthday will also be noted on each calendar as well, you’re welcome.
  • August’s image and words refer to music, a reference selected for the birth month of the man responsible for my eclectic taste in and knowledge of music.
  • October’s words come from the artist I share a birthday with in that month — Picasso.

And the rest — have fun trying to figure out and guess … or don’t and just enjoy the imagery. :)

I am currently awaiting my draft copy of the calendar to make sure it all comes out exactly as I would like it to. After I have held it and am okay with it, it will formally go on sale — $15 (w/ free shipping to your home).

For now, I am keeping a list of those interested in securing a copy from my first shipment of calendars, which has been impressively growing each day. (thanks!)

If you have not yet contacted me about making a calendar yours please do so to be part of the first shipment to go out!  — simply email, text, FB comment/message, tweet, stop me in person

calendarspreadAD

From Quick Sketch to Gallery Wall

I am the owner of many, many scraps of paper: whether they be stuck into a sketchbook, on my dining room table, my purse, my back pack, my messenger bag, my other purse (yes, it has been mentioned to me I have quite a few bags), my closet, my night stand, my dresser, and finally my desk – the only place they are actually supposed to be. On these scraps are sketches, doodles, thoughts, and emotions jotted quickly down in order to get them healthily out of my system. A lot of the time these scraps are placed down, snapped for the sake of an Instagram post, and then not so much forgotten, as they are just left where they are as I have to get up and go about the rest of my day. From this, you can imagine, many of these sketches do not get to become the complete illustrations I would like them to be. Unfortunately, I have not yet discovered a way for there to be enough hours in the day for me to accomplish that task. But I am working on it.

Elastic Sketch      Cross My <3 Sketch

It was with this idea in mind, of looking back through these scraps, that I pulled the above two sketches and decided to make them something more. The sketch on the right is minimum three years old, and the finished piece created from its beginnings was not completed until two months ago. Both these “scraps” have been sitting around with potential, and I am glad I was finally able to make them something more.

It makes me even happier that they were both completed in time to be accepted into the Huntington Arts Council’s Juried Art Show, “Artie Techie.”

Both works have been printed, framed, and will be on display in their Main Street Gallery from July 2nd to 18th.

Elastic      Cross My <3

SamSketches: A 2015 Calendar

Now Available

It was last year around this time, that I came up with a Christmas gift idea for my older sister, Sylvia.  After a fun filled evening (as usual) with her in which we joked about how horrible she is with remembering dates, I decided to create for her a personalized calendar to supply her with many of the important dates she would need to remember.  I also filled each month with my art, which she has always been a supporter (and perhaps slightly bias fan) of.

It wasn’t until I started showing a few people the gift, that I realized there were others who would appreciate the opportunity to have a calendar as well.  I had a few more printed and debuted the 2014 calendar at some of the fairs and festivals I was glad to be a part of earlier this year.

I was not prepared for it to be one of the items I sold out of so quickly.

This time I decided I would be better prepared :)

And I am happy to say that 2014 has continued to be a year full of surprises, as the 2015 calendar is not yet off the presses and my preorders have already piled up.

I look forward to the first shipment arriving and sending off these little beauties to their new homes!

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With all that said anyone interested in a calendar it is available in my store, you may click the appropriate above link or visit here — also feel free to email me info@samsketches.com, text me if you have the number, Facebook me, or stop me in person when you see me.

Tis the season to be jolly

Tis the season to be jolly

Fa la la la la.  la la.  la.  la.  

(I sang it in my head a few times, the la’s should be accurate)

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For the past few years, I have sent a SamSketches holiday card to family and friends.  I started this because I remember watching for the mail when I was younger around this time of year to see what cards the mailman would bring to my home and the excitement I felt.  After my mother opened an envelope of sometimes red, sometimes green, sometimes extra large, and I got to see them, (my favorites were the ones with glitter) they would then be hung around our living room.  Above them would be a string of lights, that made each piece of rectangular art glow.  As I’ve grown older, and consequently had much of my holiday spirit beaten out of me as a result of working retail for 10+ holiday seasons, I find that I miss the excitement of this time of year.  It was with the hope of bringing to people I cared about this small bit of joy — going to the mailbox: bill, bill, bill, political mail article, credit card ad, bill, oh what’s this?! — that I first began my holiday card.

Three holiday seasons ago, 2012 marking the beginning, I ordered a mere 20 cards to send out to people.  If I check my closet today, I could probably find some left over, because I did not have many people to send them to.  I am glad to say that this year I have had to order 100 holiday cards.  Not only that, but they will be going all over the country, and some to lands beyond.  And not just to family, but to the people who have been following my progress, shared kind words of encouragement, and/or showed up to the events I have had the privilege of showcasing my work at throughout this year.

Over the entirety of 2014, I have been overwhelmed in the best way possible by the support so many have given me.  It is the least I can do in return to give those with interest in it, a holiday card: covered in my art, filled with my words, signed with my name, sealed with warm thoughts of gratitude, and sent on its journey to their mailbox with a smile.  From my heart to yours, happy holidays.

P.S. If you’re a person who falls into any of the categories of what I described above and you don’t think I have your address, you should supply me with it. I would love to send you a card, it’s just I also don’t love to come off as a stalker. I mean, I will if I have to, but I would prefer not to.

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: bookrevue.com

Featured Artist of the Month

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

info@bookrevue.com

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: samsketches.com

 

 

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.

 

Court Square Flea Marketing

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Last weekend, I took a stroll with a couple of friends into Long Island City.  The destination we were aiming for was located on Jackson Avenue, in the heart of the Court Square district and opposite MoMA PS1.  As we got closer and were right outside the gate to where we intended to be, a man walked up to me. He offered me a postcard. Hand extended in my direction, he told me it was my “ticket” to get into the flea market beyond the gate.  I smiled and graciously accepted the card in his hand.  I continued smiling as I looked down at  the design I had weeks before viewed on my computer screen while creating it in Photoshop.

 

 

FullSizeRenderBefore passing thru the gate, I stopped to stare as well as snap a picture of the banner that hung on it.

Now this, this was much larger than I expected it to be. Tweaking colors, shapes and text on my screen for it, it appeared so small — limited to my laptop’s 17″ viewing display.  And while I was of course aware of the dimensions I was working in while creating the document, somehow in my mind it was not going to be quite so large.  It looked perfect.

————

Freelance graphic design is just another step I have taken in my endeavor to apply my skills as an artist into a means of putting food in my belly.  While my designs have been used for companies across the good ‘ol U.S. of A and even been taken over the ocean into Japan, there is a detachment that comes from setting up a file and emailing it off.  It goes out over all those little invisible electrical transmissions by which I can not even begin to fathom to understand how, and it is not quite real.

Being able to walk down a street in New York City, to a location not far off from where I usually reside, and unknowingly be handed my own design is not only a new feeling of happiness, but one I look forward to encountering more often.

It should also be noted that the Court Square Flea itself was a delight, and people in my small group did not leave empty handed. In fact, the knit wear purchased should be keeping those hands and arms quite warm and toasty.