June's Featured Artist!
In honor of my one year of writing about monthly featured artists, I wanted to go back to basics and keep this month’s featured artist as a traditional interview format. Meet Samara DiMouro! We were booth neighbors at ARTsea in Marina Del Rey and thought it would be fun to interview a local artist. Let’s learn what makes her so unique as an artist and writer.
Tell me about yourself and your artistic style
I've been creating for as long as my memory allows me to think back. As a kid I would draw and write stories and play my older sister's keyboard. Art, writing, and music are my little trinity of existence. I'm happiest when I get to do all three at the same time. That usually consists of listening to my favorite music while writing a poem and then matching the poem with a little sketch, often involving triangles and random lines. I discovered a little over a year ago that I have Synesthesia, a neurological trait that allows my brain to cross my senses. It's a little complicated, but the most basic way I can explain it is when I hear music I see shapes and textures in my mind and I often feel those textures and shapes as sensations on my skin or in my muscles. Poetry feels very similar to music for me and I think it's why words tie in so closely with my art. My synesthesia gives me a full and rich life and I'm so grateful for it, though it does make math, measuring, and quickly telling my left from my right challenging at times. All of this, I think, explains my artistic style. It's a bit diverse, I guess, in that my pieces don't necessarily match. I usually paint/draw what I feel or hear and that can change drastically by the day and/or music I'm listening to. Maybe that's breaking the rules, but I can't help it. It's how my art comes through and I don't dare try to tame it.
I love that, art should flow naturally instead of being a choreographed routine. When did you begin creating?
I've been creating my whole life. I wrote my first book when I was seven and had my first poem published in my local newspaper at age nine. I was incredibly creative as a child, but life and social pressure pulled me away as a teenager. I was still writing and creating art, I guess, but it wasn't authentic. At some point I decided I wasn't a good enough artist to take it seriously and I couldn't control what I painted enough to give it my time. I pushed myself towards photography and journalism and studied those in college. I thought it was the most practical way to use my skills, but it was very wrong for me. I was a fine journalist and photographer, but it wasn't what I really wanted and it took me failing at both to get back to drawing and poetry. Getting back into my true art has been a process of learning to let go of control and I'm happy to say I'm making great progress. I still have a ways to go, with music especially. I'm very shy and protective of my singing voice, but I'm working on it. I hope to be able to share that part of myself in the future, too.
That’s awesome you practice a bunch of different mediums but if you had to pick a favorite, what would it be?
I love a good pen and a big sheet of clean paper. Just thinking about it makes my body tingle! Pen and ink drawings are my favorite, right now, for sure. I love to paint with acrylic and I also love to make illustrations for my poems. I've made a few children's books (hoping to self publish them soon!) and it's so much fun.
It sounds so fun to write a children’s book! Are there any artists you look up to or aspire to be like?
This one is tough because there are so many artists I adore, but to be brutally honest, I don't care to be like anyone in particular. Like I said, a big part of my being able to create authentically is my ability to give up control of the outcome. If I care too much about categorizing my work or aligning with a particular artist, I can't create. It gets in the way. Though, I have been told A LOT that my work looks like Kandinsky, which I love hearing for obvious reasons. Fun fact, Kandinsky had a very similar type of synesthesia as I do. Might explain our similarities.
I feel the same way actually, there’s so much around us to be inspired by. What are some of things that inspire you?
My synesthesia inspires me. The way I get to see, feel, hear, and touch this world creates my art.
That’s a good example of taking something that most would see as a detriment and utilizing it to better your skills. Do you have any special talents aside from your creativity?
Aside from being able to see sound? I can wiggle my ears and make my eyebrows do the worm...I guess that's more of a weird talent than a special one. I feel like I have something better, but I can't think of it right now!
I can’t say I can do any of that, haha! Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process?
What's my process... It's messy. Messy in a literal sense and also it's not pinned down or organized in any way. I have a small process when I paint, but that's just prep work so I don't get paint all over my apartment. When I create I'm either listening to music, which lately has been Billie Eilish songs or I watch TV, usually The Office. When I get bored and I have a pen and paper near me, I draw random and intricate doodles. You should see my high school and college notebooks. They all have maybe five lines of notes (on a good day) and the side bars and rest of the page are intricate doodles and designs. My process is I create when the urge comes to create. It's mostly random.
I’m the same way, every piece is created in a different way with no particular routine. I know you recently exhibited at ARTsea, have you exhibited in any other shows? If so, which ones?
Yes! I recently had a table at ARTsea in Marina del Rey and one of my pieces will be in gallery in Santa Barbara starting June 6th. It'll be at SBCAST organized by Open i as part of their First Thursday shows. June's theme is Water and they picked my big blue painting I titled "Mist and Lines" (I don't like naming my work, but it's necessary, I guess.) ARTsea was so much fun and I can't wait to go to Santa Barbara for the show. At some point this summer my work will also be hanging at Blue Diamond Jeweler in Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CA. I'll be posting the date on my Instagram soon. Keep an eye out!
How fun! I’d love to hear how your upcoming shows turn out. Have you sold any pieces?
Yes! I'm so lucky. I've sold many prints, some original drawings, and I've made a few custom pieces in the past year. I love it. My goal this summer is to sell one of my big paintings.
That’s a great goal, sometimes it’s the unexpected pieces that catch people’s eyes. What are your plan for the future of your creative career?
My plans are to keep exploring my abilities. I feel like there's still a lot about myself to be discovered and that's very exciting. Especially with music and my writing. I'm still so scared to let anyone hear me sing, but I know there's more to my music abilities that I need to break open. I also have so many stories to tell. I've played around with some children's books, but after ARTsea and seeing how much people loved my one printed book and my illustrations, I'm going to put more effort into making books and getting them printed and published. I also have some screenwriting projects in the works. We'll see where they go!
I can’t wait to see all the awesome things you’ll do! Do you have any advice for emerging artists?
I'm still very much an emerging artist myself, but my advice to anyone who enjoys creating (isn't that everyone, though?) is to loosen up on your vision. For me, art isn't something I can think up. Art is an infinite world and trying to categorize it stops me from freely exploring it. Maybe this is part of my synesthesia, but I feel like my creations come from new worlds I fall into. I don't know how I find them, but somehow I do, and my art comes from me just recording what I experience there: what I see, feel, and hear. To do that, I have to understand that the world is bigger than me. My advice is to understand that art is huge. Universe huge. We can't possibly fathom all of it, and the idea that everything there is to discover about art and art technique has already been done is foolish and untrue. Just start making something and let it take you where it takes you. Does that make sense? Hope so.
To find more of Samara’s work, visit:
Thank you for joining me for this month’s featured artist! Tune in next month for our next featured artist!
If you are interested in being featured, please fill out the form below.