It seems that Samantha Wedelich of dwell deep is a jack of all artistic trades. With her inspired hand, she has made all blank pages into illustrative, artistic, literary, and, most recently, musical curiosities. Today she has offered her thoughts and inspirations. Settle in with a nice cup of tea and read on--especially if you're the dreamer-type.
(AW) How did you get started as an artist?
(SW) I've drawn compulsively since I was a child, but in an environment where art was generally considered a "nice hobby." In college, I staged a coup against worrying-what-anyone-would-think-of-me and dropped out of my pre-med program to attend art school. I've had various creative jobs since then, always trying to figure out how to actually "be an artist." Last fall, I took the biggest leap of faith so far when I quit my job to try and focus on art full-time. It's been a bumpy ride, what with the economy doing a few back-flips, but I'm the happiest I've ever been...I think that says something.
(AW) I love the stories on your blog that go along with your prints. Where does the inspiration for these come from?
(SW) I think I am in love with making up characters, thinking of their personalities and eccentricities. They are mostly various extensions of myself, as I tend to be really autobiographical in my work...my hope is that by publicly sorting through my inner life (whether crazy or silly or sad at any moment), others will feel inspired and/or welcome to do the same. That's where the "dwell deep" came from...wanting to create a safe place for setting down roots and being honest. Everyone's story is so fascinating. I love stories. I also love people-watching. Sometimes I see someone so fantastic that they must immediately become a character.
(AW) Can you talk a bit about your being an artist, illustrator, and writer? Do you think of yourself as being one of these more than the others?
(SW) Hmm...that's actually a good question. I think some schools of thought would have me choose a focus, but at this point, I feel more like it's a rock, paper, scissors scenario...ideas come down the hatch and I wrangle them a bit until I figure out what form they belong in. Occasionally I get it wrong and have both an illustration and painting of the same thing. I just started playing accordion, too, so now I've added music to the mix. Ha! Maybe I have some form of artistic A.D.D. Lately, though, I am trying to focus more on my illustrations because I'm hoping to build a bit of a career with drawing, but in my personal life, I let each impulse choose its own creative path.
(AW) How would you describe your aesthetic?
(SW) Whimsical? Modern Gypsy? I don't know...I love mid-century illustration, I am obsessed with lines. Nostalgic...maybe that's a good term, but I don't know if it counts as an aesthetic.
(AW) I like "Modern Gypsy!" And "nostalgic"--for me, The Tangle, in particular, as my hair is considered by some to be a cosmetic anomaly...What do you imagine is artistic success?
(SW) I think artistic success is probably something like learning a language that no one's ever studied before. It's your language, the language of your very own unique soul. The journey of experimenting and making things without being debilitatingly self-critical seems like the path to being able to speak that language freely and fluently. I think it requires a great deal of bravery to try and speak your soul. That's what resonates in my favorite "successful" artists...it's not about the financial success (although that's probably nice) or recognition (also nice)...but when I see an artist's work that seems to be a full, realized expression of his/her inner language, I feel like I'm seeing true artistic success.
(AW) Thanks so much, Sam. It's been wonderful hearing your thoughts.
Sam's gocco print, "Henri Found Love," is available in the Master Bedroom wall on Art Wall. Her Etsy shop is brimming with modern-day marvels like prints, cards, and t-shirts. She also keeps a blog and tweets.