How well do you know an artist?

Designer in the making ‘Sfiink’ invites you to take a dive into her life as a growing creator in the big city of London. It’s her first week back in year 2 at London Metropolitan University and she looks eager to explode with answers.. So let me waste no more time..

As I was snooping around your social media, I stumbled across the name ‘Sfiink’ – Should I refer to you as this as I interview you about your work? 

Haha please call me Sam, do refer to me as my name. I go by the name Sfiink more online.

Would you say its more of an online identity rather than your personal name, or would you like to be recognised as Sfiink the artist?

I mean I’m totally fine with people knowing me by my first name, but when you view art work – lets say – in the Tate Modern gallery it’s interesting to come across a one word name that has no character/identity behind it. I feel it creates curiosity for the viewer, I want them to view my work and get a buzz from the flow and expression I explode my work with.. I want to lure their attention all on Sfiink – the name gives little away, I want them to question me as an artist, who is it?

Also… I really don’t fancy my nan searching my nan searching my name, she’ll have a shock to find my weird art…. (We both break out in laughter, “I reckon we all carry that fear, I don’t think I could ever have the courage to show my family my ‘real’ art work…)

How would you describe your personality in your work? I noticed a lot of female focused sketches that touch a lot around their beauty..

I began my journey in the creative world at a young age as I watched a hell of a lot of cartoons such as Pokemon etc, my attention was always drawn to the female characters though, how elegantly designed they appear, their outfits! Ah it’s all so good, I love the connection I felt between the artist and their creation and thought let’s embrace it!

But don’t let the cartoons take all the limelight as my interest grew in my studies as a A level student. I became more observant on new techniques I was learning at the time, my favourite technique to use is traditional oil painting – it is my main technique when I’m in my creative element.

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(Photography: Sam Friend)

Tell me about your perspective on the world, would you say you interpret your surroundings into your work?

I definitely would like to say I live more in a fantasy world, I can thank cartoons for this… So when I was younger (preschool age) I used to imagine cartoon characters casually strolling around the playground, like it was their world. To me that was normal life and it certainly made my childhood creative. Now that I’m older (haha) I’m mostly intrigued by the world and nature. We live in a beautiful world, the real world – I mean plants, forests, landscapes ah I love it, it can be refreshing to work with!

But don’t be fooled by the prettiness of my work as I love adding secrets… if you have the eye to seek deeper into my work, you have the eye to discover my hidden messages. I like adding secrets that appear ‘normal’ at a couple of glances. Take a look at this sketch for instance. (Sam whips out her sketchbook and flicks through the pages) these sketches are for the month of October aka Inktober, ah and here it is! (She allows me a brief glance) Do you see? It’s all dark and gloomy right? But look here, there’s a cute figure right here… (Sam points out this small, adorable little teddy bear centre staged in the page that is discreetly hidden by the darkness of her sketch) now look at this one, (flicking the page to quite an opposite drawing, this time the sketch appears innocuous as a child eats his plate of spaghetti) this one is pure and innocent, do you see it? (I screw my eyes up searching… Oh.. damn! That’s dark) Unexpected isn’t it? Haha I like putting dark messages into my sketches, but don’t get me wrong I like to switch it up and flip the style vice versa.

Let’s move on to your interests in the design world. Who are you hugely inspired by in the industry? Do you carry a desire to follow their footsteps and branch high?

When I seriously think about myself as a designer, I don’t imagine myself all high and mighty in the scene, neither do I want the attention. I like to picture myself as a small business where I create my own path and enjoy the quiet life of designing. I’m not interested in being big as fame is something that certainly scares me, I mean imagine designers such as Tim Burton… Yer he’s living the life of life however I can imagine it to be a huge strain when it comes down to him and his pen. Now I get a job needs status, I get that but if I was to take that amount of status on my shoulders I definitely would collapse under pressure. I want to take pride in my artwork as I explode the page with passion and enjoyment, I don’t want a status to quickly take that away from me.

Thank you for your time Sam!

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