We’re stoked to be launching our series of #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) on this fine day in October. We hope you’ll stop by often to check out all of our lovely lady #Crushes. If you would like to be featured, want to make a suggestion, or recommend someone you know to be in our series, please send us a beat at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. We’re all ears and in search of Bad Ass babes who make this world go around! So without further ado, today we are presenting a most talented #GirlBoss and artist, Samantha Marett of Samantha Louise Designs.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was born and raised in Atlanta and worked a corporate job in media sales for a long time. I got recruited for a different company here in San Diego, but as soon as I moved to the west coast everything changed. Even just in the first few weeks living here and not knowing a soul, everyone I talked to and met just did what they loved and figured the rest out. Happiness was much more important. It was hard for me because I had worked so hard in my career, but knew that at the end of the day I could translate my experience and skills into being a small business owner. I started my wedding planning & event design company Samantha Louise Moments after about 6 months of living in San Diego and quit my job 4 months later. SLM gave me the platform to transition back into a creative space and it just snowballed and has turned into this insanely awesome thing that I can’t believe I get to do everyday. Samantha Louise Designs is still under the SLM umbrella, but I felt the need to have some separation to spotlight the art & calligraphy on it’s own. SLM is transitioning to be less planning and more design & installation focused, and I am so grateful to have both of these little businesses to support each other and let me live my passion.
Can you describe the first time you realized that painting was something you absolutely had to do?
For a long time my favorite creative outlet was lettering & modern calligraphy. Growing up I was forever doodling on every notepad in the house, scribbling different funky fonts, and decorating all of my friend’s school binders (do they still even have those anymore? 🙂 ). Fast forward to a few years ago and I started dabbling in lettering again for weddings. I knew I needed some professional help to take my business to the next level, so I took a modern calligraphy workshop from Taryn of Twinkle and Toast. She helped me so much with my technical skills and from there I practiced like crazy and loved it more all the time. About a year and a half ago I started becoming hyper aware of abstract art and unexpected palettes. I don’t know where it came from, but it was like a lightbulb moment turned quick obsession. I remember picking up my first little 8×10 canvas and having the best time experimenting with brush strokes and composition. That first painting looked NOTHING like what I had in mind, but that’s where I found the magic. It was something unplanned and beautiful in it’s own little way. The process for me is so therapeutic and forgiving, and I learned with that first painting to adapt to the art and the process and to not put too many rules or limitations on myself. It’s the most freeing thing I have ever known and I thank my lucky stars for this way of expressing myself. And wine. I’m also very very thankful for wine.
What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative is everything to me and has always been a huge part of my life. I am so thankful I grew up in a very artistic family and was always encouraged from a young age to explore every creative outlet I could. My Dad is an insanely talented musician/writer and my Mom is a landscape designer/artist. Growing up, there was always music playing around my house and crafts to be made. My mom used to take us on little hikes to collect “fairy furniture” and build little fairy houses out of old shoe boxes. She is a magical woman and I owe so much of my creativity to her and my Dad both. Being creative gives me such a full heart and creating with my hands fulfills me in a way that I can’t even explain. I believe everyone is creative, but most people haven’t found the right vessel or outlet. Keep looking for it. That shit is gold!
What are you trying to accomplish with your pieces?
I want to create art that evokes emotion. I want people to feel happy around my work more than anything, but I also think that you can’t appreciate the light without a little bit of the dark too. I pour so much emotion and soul into each piece and I want the art to give you something new every time you see it. For me, it gives me what I need when I need it and my interpretations always change with each mood. Commissions are my favorite. Typically I am going into my client’s homes and spending time with them in their space and really getting to know them in their environment. I then get to take all of those vibes with me back to the studio and put them on on a canvas with my client in mind the entire time I’m painting. I think about the kind of memories they will be making in their home, their kids growing up around my colors and contrasts, and it’s seriously the best feeling around.
Describe a day in the Life of YOU! (Your art process, when you work, where you work, etc.)
Every day is different! I generally wake up with my mind running a million miles a minute and have the itch to paint early in the morning. I am lucky to share a studio space in North Park with my good friend and fellow bad ass babe Melissa from Walter & George. I am also really lucky that the studio space is only a few blocks away from my house and I get to walk and get some endorphins going on the way to work everyday. Once I get inspired I can binge paint for hours, so typically I have to regulate my day with tasks & emails and then reward myself with making new art as a treat. I’ve developed a few different processes and styles and I like to mix it up to keep things fresh and current. My work style is pretty undone and you can usually find me covered in paint on the floor or contorted into some bizarre position checking out my works in progress from all the angles. I will flip my pieces constantly while I am working on them, but I usually don’t decide until the very end which way they should be hung. I can’t do anything without music. I’m constantly bumping new jams and am a Spotify playlist nerd. There is so much symmetry in the rhythms and melodies in music that help me navigate my way through each piece. I couldn’t do what I do without music. Current bands on rotation are: Phantogram, Led Zeppelin, San Fermin, and People Under the Stairs.
What do you love most about your business/what you do?
The people! I have to pinch myself every day because I get to work with some of the most bad ass and crazy talented people in this city. Community is what fuels me and I love connecting and collaborating with other like minded creatives. I have been so lucky with my clients too. Every commission I have done I have had clients that fully trusted me, didn’t need to see progress photos or make revisions, and have generally just let me do my thang and respected my craft. That’s so rare and I am so appreciative for all of the people who have come into my life and let me and my art be a part of their world.
What have been some of the challenges you have experienced in business and how have you overcome those challenges?
Every day is a new challenge, but in the healthiest and best of ways. I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s always a cake walk, but every day is a learning experience and I always try to take the positive out of whatever situation gets thrown my way. I also am almost 30 and call my Mom at least 3 times a day. Mom’s fix everything. Balance is definitely something I still struggle with. I have a serious case of constant #FOMO and have a hard time saying no to new projects & collaborations even when my plate is beyond full. I have 2 sweet pups and a seriously kick ass boyfriend who I know would love if I could get this whole balance thing under control 🙂
Do you have any #GirlBoss advice for aspiring artists or, in general, badass babes?
Ooo um, how much time do you have? 🙂 For the artists: PUT THE WORK OUT THERE! Art can be such a personal and vulnerable thing and sometimes we get caught up in this vicious cycle of self-doubt. It’s easy with things like Instagram/Pinterest etc. to go down that rabbit hole of comparison, but just remember you can’t possibly compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 15. That shit will make you crazy. And sad. And it’s hard to be productive when you’re sad. Keep hustling, stay true to who you are, and put good juju and an attitude of gratitude into the universe and good things will come your way. For badass babes: Build your tribe! It’s so cliche, but it absolutely takes a village and as much as you want to, you can’t do it alone. Build a beautiful community of friends and colleagues and find ways to lift each other up and support each other’s passions and goals. Hold each other accountable too! Sometimes you just need a good friend to give you a swift kick to the pants to get you back on track. In the most loving way of course. There is so much power in community and relationships, so don’t be afraid to verbalize exactly what you want to accomplish. If you’re not going to voice these hopes and dreams, who is going to do it for you? Put it out there, pour yourself a glass of wine, and let the universe do the rest. You got this!
NOTE:: The Roc Shop used Samantha Louise Designs artwork for backdrops and props in our most recent campaign, #FALLintoFORMATION
Be sure to follow Samantha’s creative journey via