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Whether you’re looking for cheerful wall art to brighten up your home, or a clever clothing patch to add to your favorite jean jacket, artist Sam Buttrick (@sambuttrickart) has a design for you! Sam is a Portland-based illustrator who creates eye-catching art that evokes a sense of joy, harmony, and inclusivity. She sells her unique illustrations as prints, patches, and stickers, and has something for everyone.
Sam started creating art when she was a child, but never imagined she could become a full-time artist. “I’ve always been drawing, I’ve always kept a sketchbook,” she tells In The Know. “But when I was in college getting my bachelor’s degree, all of the art I saw around me felt a lot more formal than the work that I like to create. A lot of people were painting and sculpting, but I didn’t understand how I could be an artist full time or have a creative career path.”
Eventually, Sam realized she didn’t need to be a painter or sculptor to become a professional artist. She began sharing her art on social media, where she quickly gained a loyal following. Now, she sells her art online and also brings it to in-person art events, where she loves connecting with new fans.
“I’m pretty active on Instagram and I have a website that has a lot of my products on it,” she explains. “I do some tabling events, so I have all my products on a table for people to peruse through. Meeting people in person like that is definitely my favorite way to sell my stuff.”
Sam’s art is colorful, cheerful, and frequently witty. One of her favorite stickers portrays a smiling head of lettuce, with text that reads “Lettuce Be Friends.” But Sam also strives to make art that people will truly connect with. “I like very colorful things, and things that kind of just cheer people up,” she tells In The Know.
When creating her art, Sam draws inspiration from the classic cartoons and animations of her childhood. “I’ve always been really attracted to colorful things and characters,” she explains. “I watched a lot of cartoons and animations growing up. I just loved seeing different worlds when I was younger.”
Once inspiration strikes, Sam begins by creating a sketch, then polishing it digitally. “Most of my stuff starts out in my sketchbook and then I kind of refine it digitally, and from there I’m able to export the file in any type of format that I want, depending on what the client needs,” she explains.
These days, Sam is focused on launching exciting new projects, including a YouTube channel. She hopes sharing her work on YouTube will not only help her find more customers, but will enable her to meaningfully connect with her fans.
“A project that I’m working on right now is just starting a YouTube channel where I’m kind of like, recording clips of me working or painting or doing shop stuff,” she explains. “I’ve definitely been inspired by a lot of the artists that I love to just start interacting more with an audience and have a presence where people feel like they know me and, therefore, they’re interested in my stuff because we have a connection.”