Inspiration

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The Grounded Realism of Samantha Edwards

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Meditation, curiosity, empathy – these the key ingredients that make the life of freelance illustrator Samantha Edwards so varied, interesting and inspiring.

Sam's career really started in fashion design, but you can tell she would much rather chase her dreams and aspirations to become a painter and illustrator instead. It certainly takes some Acquired Attitude to be able to pull that off, but we can safely say Sam has been faring pretty well thus far.

For this Member Spotlight, we are getting to know an illustrator with a fascinating style and a captivating instinct to think outside of the box.

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How did you get into the industry?

My background is predominantly in the fashion industry where I studied womenswear fashion design at DeMontford University. I then moved to London to study a Master's in menswear design at the London College of Fashion. I found shape design wonderful but missed hand painting and drawing artworks, so I took the leap to grow my print and graphic design skills. Furthermore I am continuing to develop my personal illustration and artistic ability as I love to learn and grow.

I am now London-based and I am currently working on freelance projects. I am always looking to collaborate and meet new people.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

This is a tough one. I would have loved to have been a human rights lawyer.

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Can you explain your creative process?

My creative process depends on what discipline I am working on. For print and graphics I tend to start by researching and seeing where that takes me, as I am drawn to vintage clothing and wallpapers. For my personal artwork it is more instinctual, as I will either see the image I want to develop in my mind or, if I hear or read a phrase, the image can come from that too.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

I like to be informed in different subject areas outside of art and design – living in London, I am lucky as the streets are abundant with inspiration, from the people to the street art.

How do you recharge away from the office?

At the beginning of this year I started to meditate at the London Buddhist Centre, I now make sure I practise meditating daily.

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What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Always keep an open mind and be willing to learn – take advantage of being in lockdown and if there is something you have wanted to do but haven’t found the time, now is the time. Even if it is just for an hour a day.

What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?

For print and graphics in the fashion industry there needs to be a combined effort and agreement with manufacturers, retailers and design houses to reduce the industries' environmental impact. We need to work towards a circular fashion industry with a more sustainable way of working.

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