Exhibitionists: Sam Larson

Sam Larson comes to us from the Pacific Northwest, where the trees are green because it rains a lot. In addition to puddles, there are also beautiful coastlines that all kinds of kooks surf throughout the year. Sam is one of them, but he’s also an artist who, like so many of us, takes that passion for the ocean into the art studio (and in this case, his desk at Portland State University). He’s young and experimenting with different mediums with which to express that passion. Here, we’ve chosen to highlight his linocuts and water color paintings because they remind us of simpler times. 

1.) Who are your top 3 artistic influencers?

Adam Grosowsky. He was the first art instructor who really captured my attention because he had a clear idea and could communicate his thoughts about what goes into creatively problem solving and designing things on a 2D scale. His passion and enthusiasm sometimes took the form of what some of his students called “egotism” but I love the guy because he didn’t sugar-coat anything and he made me a better designer.

Wolfgang Bloch. A man who can do more with a scrap of wood for a canvas and his paints and a paintbrush than anybody I’ve ever seen. His works are both incredibly simple, yet so deep and honest. If aliens landed on earth tomorrow and asked me to show them “art” I would direct them towards Mr. Bloch’s work.

The ocean. I never get sick of it and it never fails to put things into proper perspective.

2.) Where do you create your art?

Usually at my desk with music goin’ and a cup a tea.

3.) How much time do you typically spend on each piece?

I try and problem solve whatever idea I have for a piece before actually sitting down and working on it, to save time but also, to not overwork the piece. I keep a sketch book on me when I’m out and will suss out any ideas as I think of them. Then, when I am making the piece, I can just focus on craftsmanship and not making unnecessary mistakes (although things don’t always go as smoothly as I hope). But usually, the less time I spend on a piece, the more I am pleased with it.

4.) What mediums do you work in?

I mostly make water color/pen paintings and linocut prints, but I have also worked in other mediums; linocuts are just what I am excited about at the moment. I also shoot photos, and as a graphic design student, I spend some intense hours on a computer. I’ve found, though, that if I’m not making anything I’m impressed with, it is a good idea to learn a completely new method of creation and jump off (or on) the computer, because some ideas are conveyed better thru a different medium than others.

5.) Do you have any advice for young artists?

I always have to remind myself to not take things so seriously. Risks are worth taking because not taking them is like signing your life away to regret or mediocrity. Travel, read, listen, learn, share and find things, people, and places that make you stoked and keep you inspired!  

Find more of Sam’s work here: http://portraitofakook.tumblr.com/

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