Friday, April 26

Montage Feature Artist - Samantha Hughes Designs

My name is Samantha Hughes of Samantha Hughes Designs. I make art, illustrations and lovely handmade things in a tiny studio at the top of a turrety-house that looks out over the treetops. 

My work has appeared in exhibitions as well as on posters, trading cards and even on shoes. I love to create cute and quirky designs that make people smile. I love zombies and monsters and they often feature in my work. I like to create in the deep velvet time around midnight, when cake eating monsters and other strange beings come out to play. 
This is my very first time being a feature artist with Montage – and I am very excited to be a part of it!

What else do you do with your life? 
I am also a librarian. I have a deep love for children’s books and promoting reading and literacy.
I have always loved making things. When I was little we had a box full of craft supplies that I loved to rummage in, then create something fabulous. My art and craft cupboards are the grown-up version of that box - full to bursting with possibilities. I like the puzzle-solving elements of making – from brainstorming ideas to creating a finished product. Sewing and painting also involve a lovely, intense kind of focus almost like meditation that makes me feel better when I am having a bad day.

How do you come up with ideas? 
I have more trouble stopping ideas than I do coming up with them! I have a stack of notebooks filled with doodles and sketches. I get inspired by fairy tales and folk tales. Cartoons and the things I loved in my childhood all feed my idea factory.

Tip for balancing time 
Set aside time just for you every week in your diary. It might be five minutes or a whole day where you switch your business brain off.  It’s far too easy to get caught up in the exciting whirlwind of making lovely things. You need to look after yourself too.

What are your plans for 2013?
In 2013 I want to work on new illustrations and making sweet little objects that make people smile. I would really love to build the commissions side of my business – making art especially for people is so rewarding.

Tell us about a piece you created that has made you happy
I recently did this painting of a librarian moose wearing a rainbow jumper for someone who was leaving work. It was such a perfectly ridiculous combination of things that it made me giggle as I drew it. And I got to put glitter on it! It was one of the most fun commissions I have done in ages. 

What sets your work apart?
I like to think I have a very individual style to my work. Intense colours and quirky characters unite to make cute and vibrant art.

What do you wish you could do better
Manage my time and my ideas! I have too many ideas and too little time.
What has surprised you about your biz? When people recognize me at markets and say how much they love my work. It’s completely thrilling but also always very surprising!

How do you select gifts/ jewelry / clothing for yourself or to give to others (what is your personal style?)
When I am choosing jewellery or clothes I look for something that makes me smile. A bold pattern, luscious colour or unique design will always make me pause when I am out shopping. I love handmade jewellery because I know that there will be nobody else on the planet who has the exact same piece as me.