You are loved
Hi Samo! You’re an artist, LGBTQ rights activist. Do these different pursuits blend together into one practice or do you feel like they’re separate parts of your life?
Samo: While the different pursuits of artist & activists have their own identities and actions, they can certainly come together! I try to live as authentically as I can in each moment so what you’ll get with me is truth- how this looks with regards to blending aspects of my life is dependent on the current moment. They are certainly not pursuits exclusive of each other and it’s a lot of fun to bring them together for projects I am passionate about.
You say your focus is interpreting the human condition and expressing perspective to connect with others. Could you expand a little bit on that?
Samo: People are fascinating; psychologically, physically, energetically and I reflect aspects of my own personal journey in my artwork alongside taking inspiration from others shared experiences. Regardless of whether a person resonates with that or feels provoked, it is a joy to share a perspective and evoke a reaction. Regardless of the reaction there is a connection and given that we are all a part of a collective consciousness this is simply a form of communication with my fellow humans.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Samo: If I had to broadly describe my current work I would say it’s an abstract interpretation of self as a transmasculine human. Stylistically I’m working with line marking and frequency coding to create contemporary, modern work from a place of authenticity.
Subject-wise I am always influenced by real-life in real-time. I tune into a person’s experience and resonate a frequency through my art for others to tune into. I create what I know, so subjects with a heartbeat and lived experience within the trans community are natural for me.
I alternate between canvases, sketchpads, and large-scale murals with visibility, inspiration, and education as key drivers. I use a variety of spray paint, oils, and markers for depth & texture.
How do you keep your ideas fresh?
Samo: Meditation and self-reflection alongside conversations and energetic exchanges within my queer community. Engagement is key for gaining insight into how to honor experiences and the inspiration flows naturally from there.
What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?
Samo: Processing and interpreting others emotions into art and doing justice to their lived experiences. It’s a huge responsibility to accurately translate and requires emotional engagement from a minority perspective.
What can we expect from a global book project called “I exist”? Tell me more about that.
Samo: Visibility! The book will be an empowering source for self-worth and identity for a community that hasn’t necessarily received the acknowledgment and acceptance all humans are deserving of. It’s a project that hasn’t been done before and will disrupt an art world that appears to predominantly suppress or avoid representing the trans community.
How has your style changed or evolved over the years?
Samo: My confidence increases daily and unapologetically, evolving my work from delicate flowers drawn with caution and precision at the beginning into embodying pure honest creativity. True inspiration dissolves boundaries of past conceptualization and expectation. Service and compassion, rather than past resistance, drives me.
Who are a few artists/people that really inspire you right now, and why?
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on?
Samo: The last illustration I did for the book was on the subject of Charlie Craggs. It was a complete joy and honor to translate such a powerful perspective and character into a piece of art that will inspire so many.
What are you working on right now, and what is next for Samo?
Samo: My primary focus is completing the ‘I Exist’ book project and the exhibition to support the launch of the book. All I can say at this point is that travel and scale will be involved and it will be a hell of a lot of fun…!