Samantha Chiusolo is a Canadian artist, illustrator and surface pattern designer who recently moved cities while raising her 17 month-old daughter with her husband, Philibert.
Samantha, thank you so very much for these gorgeous pieces of art. Could you please introduce yourself to our SLC community.
You’re most welcome and thank you for having me.
I have been working as a designer and artist for over 10 years now, though recently have been focusing more on editorial illustration. I’ve always wanted to pursue this area of illustration and I finally feel like I’m in the right mindset to achieve it.
Could you tell us a little bit about your approach and work?
My work is all about colour and movement in everyday life. It’s not only about it looking aesthetically pleasing (although I do believe that is important) but also really digging into what each line stroke and colour is communicating. Everything is on purpose yet it is also very intuitive. Working in greyscale first is something I have to constantly remind myself to do, it takes most of the guesswork out when building your colour palette allowing more freedom to play around later on. Thanks to my amiga @mcmillo for constantly reminding me of this. In terms of material, I am using Procreate for my thumbnails and greyscale work and then I change to traditional media using pastel paper with mixed media. These drawings are done mainly with neopastels, coloured pencil and a little gouache. In other pieces I’ll use more gouache and watercolour. I definitely like to mix it up.
What about these particular pieces? How do you want people to feel when they observe them?
I want them to feel warm and fuzzy all over, like a great pair of pjs. They should make you feel like grabbing a cup of tea, or saying to yourself, “oh man, I need to go have a bonfire with my friends.” Hopefully they can act as a reminder to take a minute for yourself to reconnect, whether that is through nature, family or simply putting the kettle on and having a biscuit.
Our intention this month is around rest and the importance of intentionally resting. Could you please give us some insight into your feelings around rest?
Rest to me is all about being present and really about letting go. A window into my current world is shown in the third illustration where you see two figures resting in a play tent. There are hints around the room of a mess, yet it still feels cozy and inviting. Rest isn’t perfect. Take it how you can get it. As a mother I’ve realized sometimes you have to leave the dishes, leave the laundry and sit and be present with your child. Also asking for help in order to get the rest you need. No one is a super human, no matter what their instagram profile looks like. Everyone needs help sometimes.
Also a yoga teacher once said to us, “get out of your head and into your body,” and it’s always stuck with me in times when I needed to decompress.Yoga’s not in my repertoire right now, though I will pull myself out of the house, slap on our boots and take my toddler for a walk to go look at the moon or pick dandelions.
We’re always curious about what people are listening to. Any music recommendations for December?
Ooooh… my song list has become quite intentional since my little one has been around. There are many moods and feelings of the day and my husband and I have it down to a science.
Cooking in the kitchen and dancing: Super Freak by Rick James, The Weeknd and The Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack
Taking Sophie for a stroller nap: Jamie Drake
Bath and chill time: Bill Withers
Drawing session: Mac Demarco (an old fav is Tribe Called Quest).
Christmas vibes: Dean Martin and a new favourite Pentatonix specifically Mr. Grinch and 12 Days of Xmas. The editing on these videos are amazing too.
For a laugh we are into Sesame Streer Celeb mashups. Particularly Elmo featuring Romeo, Adam Sandler, Ricky Gervais and Janelle Monae.
Bed time songs: It’s a Big World by Renee and Jeremy, Clair de lune and Liona Boyd’s classics.
…and when shit hits the fan the fail-proof James Taylor. Shout out to you JT.
Thank you so much Samantha!
SLC: Please go ahead and download these beautiful exclusive pieces for your desktop or mobile backgrounds — the trickiest part is picking just one.
This is probably biased as Samantha is my daughter but she’s been drawing since she could hold a crayon . She even had a crayon necklace . Our family and friends are very proud of her genuinely heartfelt creations. And her journey in life has always been reflected in her work.