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Meet Samantha Ritchie of Ritchie Artwork in South Bay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Ritchie.

Samantha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always had a passion for art. I remember being featured at the Torrance Cultural Art’s Center for a Picasso inspired piece when I was in elementary school and feeling so special that something I created was hung up on a wall for others to see. I doodled a little bit through middle and high school, but I was surrounded by friends who were so talented, I didn’t think I was good enough to continue. So, I went to community college and tried to figure out what direction I should go. My parents told me psychology, my aunts and uncles told me engineering, my friends told me nursing, so I took their advice and enrolled in as many classes as I could. Six year later, I decided to go to business school, because I was “smart” enough to. It only took me one semester to admit to myself that I was depressed living a life that wasn’t true to myself. I couldn’t focus in class and when the semester ended, my notebook was filed with doodles, instead of lecture notes. I still remember calling my parents to tell them I was dropping out of business school to become an artist, a parents’ dream. To say the least, they weren’t happy. But they did want to see me happy, so they supported me and I moved back home; in attempt to figure out who I was as an artist and just who I was as a person without any outside influence. I began creating really dark pieces. I mean, it’s where I was mentally and I couldn’t help but pour my emotions through hundreds and hundreds of dots. Why dots? I don’t even know why I chose dots, other than it wasn’t a choice. It just came out so naturally. The process of stippling was extremely meditative and once a pen was in my hand, I zoned out and wherever I was mentally or emotionally just poured out. It healed me, quite honestly. The more I drew, the happier and healthier I became. My pieces began to shift into more inspiring, colorful pieces. And people saw that. People responded. And now, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of over 40 art shows and have sold over 100 prints and pieces. I am so grateful for the people that told me I have inspired them or helped them through a hard time because of my work. The ability to not only heal myself, but others through my artwork is why I will continue to create and never give it up. It’s my passion, my purpose, and power.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think any artists’ road is a smooth road. The journey of accepting myself as an artist was a struggle in itself. I am self-taught and work by myself, so not doubting myself 24/7 is probably the biggest hurdle. But I have such a strong support system now that whenever I feel discouraged, I reach out to the ones I love and they always pick me back up. I have already accepted within myself that I will always need to create, so the question isn’t if things are selling or am I doing the right thing; it’s all about continuing to keep going. Never giving up and keep moving forward.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ritchie Artwork story. Tell us more about the business.
Ritchie Artwork mainly consists of me selling prints. I have an etsy (@ritchieartwork) where I sell 8”x 8” prints for $10. More recently I have been designing logos and commissioned pieces. While I am known for my dot work, I have been working on calligraphy/typography, color, and pieces designed graphically. As an artist, I enjoy challenging myself by doing something I am unfamiliar with. I put my heart and soul into my pieces, and they are unique, unlike any other pieces I see at art shows. I am available for commissions and can be reached at (ritchie.artwork@gmail.com) or instagram.com/ritchie.artwork.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the future, I plan to create and design a clothing company. I also would love to have a gallery for my art work. In addition, I plan to continue to create logos and custom pieces.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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