The London-based illustrator creates abstract works influenced by photorealism and Western music
Sam Green is an illustrator from London. The Popshot Magazine has recently picked Sam’s image ‘The Aftershock’ from illustrations it has featured in the past two years and turned it into a collectable art print. Sam’s uniqueness lies in his ability to create images that carry astonishing energy. Unleashing the unruly, unconscious urges through the use of primitivism and gripping us to observe in awe the abstract detail reminiscent to the tranquillity of water – the drawings are simultaneously exciting and calming. Sam’s love for experimentation means he is constantly finding original ways to depict his subjects, never failing to amaze and always assuring a fresh perspective.
Dazed Digital: Which five adjectives best describe you?
Sam Green: Good, bad, brilliant, thoughtful, absent.
DD: Tell us about what you do and why you do it?
Sam Green: I make art for commercial and non-commercial purposes. I do it because I'm good at it and it gives me great pleasure.
DD: Your approach is very versatile. Do you have a favourite style?
Sam Green: My favourite ways of working change from time to time, I don't really have a favourite, it all falls under the umbrella of Abstract Realism or just plain old Surrealism if you like. I’ve always been interested in making images not creating a style.
DD: Where do you get your ideas and how do you develop them?
Sam Green: My ideas come from many different sources. I draw lots of rough ideas down on A4 sheets of paper and keep the most interesting drawings in folders for later use. I often just doodle a stream of consciousness and ideas grow in fairly abstract and organic ways. I use photography as a springboard for a lot of work and then add to it by improvising or combining random elements together to make something completely new. Ideas can come from anywhere. I do give great value to idleness and practising the art of visualisation, you have to rely on your own imagination and instincts a lot.
DD: Cure for a creative block?
Sam Green: Getting out of your workspace often helps and discussing your ideas with others.
DD: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work and why?
Sam Green: I should think growing up fairly isolated in the countryside with an art teacher for a father had a considerable influence. The history of Western music and art has been a huge influence, mainly the artistic endeavours throughout the 20th Century. That sounds vague, but without it there would be no desire to what I'm doing now, there is just too much stuff to pick out. I guess I’ve always been drawn to the Avant-Garde, whether it's pop music or fine art, I like work that is strange, uncompromising and emotive.
DD: How is your personal work different from your commercial work?
Sam Green: Usually my commercial work is not as rewarding as my personal work. My personal work is far more experimental and probably a lot less palatable. My commercial work is very varied at the moment, using different drawing styles, ranging from character illustration to very detailed photorealism. Each project is different and I end up producing work that I would have never made without the clients involvement.
DD: Do you have plans to exhibit your art at a gallery any time soon?
Sam Green: No not soon, I would love to but I'm looking for a gap in my commercial activities so I can create some new work with an exhibition in mind. Watch this space...
DD: What artists do you like at the moment?
Sam Green: Daniel Sparkes, Killian Eng, Albín Brunovský, Luke Rudolf, Harry Clarke.
DD: Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Sam Green: God, who else?