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Meet Leah Samuels

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Samuels.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My mother is an art teacher, and both of my parents have been very supportive of me doing art and music for my entire life. I moved to Vancouver, BC to go to school at Emily Carr University for a BFA in Illustration and while I was there was lucky enough to learn how to tattoo! Now I live in Los Angeles and work out of a studio that me and two others very talented tattooers just opened called “Baby.” I’m also working on a graphic novel with Ryan Kattner as well as smaller, personal zines.

Please tell us about your art.
Art has always been about storytelling for me, in one way or another. Discovering that I could go to school for Illustration was one of the most exciting things ever! When I was a teenager, I realized I could make art about anything, and it could look however I wanted. So, like a lot of other 14-year-old, I made weird, kind of abstract art about my feelings, which developed into less abstract comics. In my zines, I like to explore disjointed memories, thoughts and “happenings.” In the future, I plan to write more about trauma, PTSD and mental illness in my projects. Telling other people’s stories is also fun and exciting for me, which is why I’m working on a graphic novel that is written by somebody else and why I enjoy tattooing! It’s an honor that other people would trust me with something personal, precious or mark their skin forever.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I think life for artists is changing in a big way because of social media (particularly Instagram). There’s a lot of pressure online to be better, as good as everybody else and to have a bunch of followers. These shouldn’t be things you think of when you are going to be creative. I think it causes a lot of people to change what they are making to be more marketable, in a way. “Will, my followers like this? Will they want to buy it? Will I lose followers?”

On the other side of that, Instagram is a blessing to artists as well. Almost all of my clients find me through Instagram. I’ve discovered so many artists who are incredible inspirations to me through Instagram, as well as a few friends! It’s an excellent way to have your portfolio easily accessible and allows you to easily interact with people who are interested in your art. I think LA is a great place to be an artist because there’s a lot of support for artist-made goods and there are also a lot of great galleries! I think more people are interested in being a part of an art scene (for better or for worse) and it’s exciting to watch happen.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Most of my art can be seen online or on people’s skin! You can support me by following along with my comics or by getting a tattoo by me!

Contact Info:

Image Credit: and @negaleah

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1 Comment

  1. Cecile Shore

    December 5, 2018 at 03:51

    Very interesting ! Good article !

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