Artist Spotlight Series: Sam Sidney
I am so excited to introduce you to the vivacious work of this unique felt artist.
Enjoy getting to know this amazing creative whom I have already added to my personal collection.
Charleston, South Carolina
What is your training?
I grew up always wanting to be an artist. I love color, style, and design. My dream jobs were always to be a book illustrator or a window designer. When I was 8 or 9 I took an adult painting class. I made a painting offer family dog, Pickles. I was so proud of that painting. It currently hangs in our baby’s room above his crib. I studied Art at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. After college, I worked as an art teacher while I got my Masters in Art Education at NYU.
What inspires you and your designs?
I am inspired by my family and our home. We live a colorful and creative life. I am inspired by clean lines, good design, bright colors, and thoughtful details. Good design is all around us, from household items, to children’s, toys; it is easy to be inspired. Theres always an opportunity to be creative, I hope that is something that my kids remember. I
am also super inspired by the beauty in Wes Anderson films. They perfectly capture my aesthetic, colorful, clean and simple.
What is my favorite piece?
Hands down, my favorite piece has been Carmen Miranda. I usually work off a list of orders. Which honestly, makes this pretty simple. I go in order, and the randomness is fun and exciting. Most of the pieces I made are 12×12. I just had this idea to make something BIG and wild. I couldn’t get the idea of Carmen Miranda out of my head. The headdress with the fruit, leaves and flowers was so exciting. She was so much fun to make; I loved the details of the grapes, bananas and strawberries. She measures 20×28. I was definitely sad to see her go.
How has your area influenced your work?
Charleston is such a creative city. This town is filled with so much talent; whether its artists, jewelers, writers, designers, or chefs. It is easy to be inspired by the colorful homes, the beautiful landscape, the clothing, and the southern cooking.
What is your favorite restaurant in the city?
Its hard to chose just one restaurant,. The Ordinary is my pick for amazing seafood and cocktails. We love to sit at the bar, their oyster sliders are the best.
Xiao Bao Biscuit, is my other fave. Amazing, Vietnamese inspired food, the Okonomiyaki like nothing else in the world. Get it fully loaded, the pork candy is beyond!
What is your favorite cocktail?
My favorite cocktail is a tequila and soda, with a lime. Although I do love a spicy Bloody Mary at brunch (back when we used to go out to brunch).
How do you balance personal life and work?
Being home the past few months with four kids, there isn’t much separation between family time and work. Although I dont really think of this as work, its more FUN! Having a big family, means someone is always around me at all times, which is fun, but can also be challenging. I don’t often have large amount of time to get work done, so I try to get up early while the house is still quiet. Luckily they all sleep in, even the baby!
Sometimes they make things out of felt too. My daughter sometimes helps with the frames, and packaging.
Even though we live at the beach in Charleston, I think my favorite trip to go on would be to Montauk. I grew up going there in the summer with my family, and we have taken our kids there the past few summers. I love the vibe: lobster rolls, the beach, the town, the ice cream, the lighthouse, the cool summer nights. If I could go on a dream trip right now, it would be to Montauk.
I think a dream commission would be the cast of Royal Tenebaums. I think their iconic style, use of pattern and color would lend itself perfectly to felt.
Your favorite hostess gift to give?
My favorite host / hostess gift is usually a nice bottle of alcohol, with some glasses. Its both practical and delicious.
Who is your style icon?
I don’t think I have a style icon, but I would say my style is totally eclectic; a little boho, a little preppy. love a good mix. I love wearing high and low. Maybe some Golden Goose high tops, with a dress from H and M. Maybe some vintage Chanel heels, with some jeans from Old Navy. If I like it, Ill wear it. I have always been a lover of vintage clothing. When I was in high school, we used to go down to Canal Jeans in SOHO looking for used clothing, we would fill the whole bag for $20. I was super into used Bowling Shirts, back then. Even now, I like to throw in something vintage when I can.
What is your most treasured possession?
I think my most treasured possession is a letter I have from Keith Haring.
When I was little, I used to write him letters, and send him drawings. In response, he would write me back and often included a doodle. He also sent me some awesome signed posters which currently hang in my children’s rooms.
What are you listening to?
When I am on a walk or in the car without kids (which is rare these days) I like to listen to podcasts. Some of my favorites, are Mom Brain, Literally with Rob Lowe, and Armchair Expert with Dax Sheppard.
What are your favorite blogs and publications?
I do love some lifestyle and home blogs. Some of my favorites are Seersuckers and Saddles, with Beth Chappo, as well as the folks over at Pencil and Paper. Their contact is light and colorful, and always link some fun things to buy.
Enjoy a look at some of the incredible pieces Sam has created.
Be sure to follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration.
She is represented in Charlotte at Shain Gallery where the pieces sell as quickly as they get them.
Here is the incredible Iris Apfel I commissioned for my office!
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