SPOTLIGHT ARTIST Samuel Shin
Thalo loves to promote artists and each month, we spotlight a member of our community!
This month we are pleased to have Samuel Shin as the thalo Spotlight Artist.
Thalo Team: Can you give an "elevator pitch" of your work?
Samuel Shin: Being inspired from Alex Ross, Bryan Hitch, Norman Rockwell, and Ryan Meinerding, my work figuratively and literally lifts itself from life.
TT: What is your artwork about and what do you want people to take from it?
SS: I do a lot of comic-book, superhero art. What I really want people to take from my work is that they can, at the very least feel like they're there seeing all the events unfold in the panels or feel like Captain America or Batman is right in front of them.
TT: Which artists do you feel have influenced your art the most?
SS: Definitely the four that I mentioned above. Norman Rockwell, Alex Ross and Bryan Hitch are the three artists that inspired me since my youth. The great Ryan Meinerding came later in the picture when the Marvel Cinematic Universe started to boom. I've been a fan of comics for as long as I can remember, but it was Ross and Hitch that inspired me to pursue a career in art. Looking at their work is almost as if you’re present, witnessing everything that is happening from panel to panel and that is something I try to evoke.
TT: Do you have a preferred method of presentation for your artwork and why? (Examples: workshops, gallery shows, Instagram, etc.)
SS: I typically use Instagram, Facebook and my personal website. They're very accessible and a great platform to get yourself out there. Workshops and gallery shows are something that I might look into eventually.
TT: Out of all of your creations (or bodies of work) which one did/do you find the most cathartic in creating?
SS: This answer is kind of a cheat, but I find myself at peace whenever I do any kind of work.
TT: When was your “Aha!” moment that led your work to where it is now?
SS: Definitely when I was in college. Going to the Academy of Art University, the teachers did not pull any punches. It helped me develop a tough skin, understand critiques and subjectivity, and harnessing my potential. It wasn't really one specific assignment or a personal piece of work that made me have that "Aha!" moment but it was just everything at once. Improving my ability, learning about the industry, getting a job, etc.
TT: How has your work (or technique) changed over time?
SS: Technique is still the same, but I've become a little more quicker than I used to be. Overtime you just quicker at what you do.
TT: How do you promote yourself and your art?
SS: Mainly social media. It is the best platform to use. It can be difficult at times, as everyone uses it and one could get lost with the millions of people who post their work online, but using the right hashtags and posting at the right time will help.
TT: Do you have any tips or advice for fellow artists based off of your experiences thus far?
SS: Work hard, and keep posting. If you're still in college, networking and applying for internships is key. Getting your foot in the door is the first big step and knowing people will help a great deal. Take advantage of any conventions or gallery shows that fit the criteria of your work and be persistent.
TT: What are you working on right now and why?
SS: I'm currently working on multiple projects, a couple being personal. I'm primarily a storyboard artist nowadays for commercials and motion pictures. I currently wrapped an Allstate Insurance commercial.
TT: What would you consider to be your "biggest achievement" with your work thus far?
SS: Probably my storyboards. Nothing in particular, but being that I came from a comic-book background, I new that breaking into comics can be very difficult and that it can be hard to make a living out of, so in my second to last semester I decided that I needed some options. Storyboard happened to cross my mind and I already knew how to do sequential so I figured I can get my foot in the door in the department. It was the best decision I made so far, as I got to meet a lot of other storyboard artists, make connections, so that would have to be my "biggest achievement."
TT: What was your first work of art that you were proud of? Where is it now?
SS: Maybe my Beatles illustration I did in copic markers. I got noticed by their official Twitter account and they retweeted it on Twitter and Facebook. It was the post that helped me get noticed by others, which helped a lot. As of recent it is probably my Ultron artwork done in copic markers, based off the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. I personally felt that I made one step further to improving my craft after finishing up that piece.
TT: Do you take commissions? Why or why not?
SS: I absolutely do!
TT: What do you do when you aren't working on artwork (hobbies, job, etc.)?
SS: I still try to read comics when I got the time, I also enjoy going to the movies and collecting. I'm a big geek so I'm always there opening night for any big superhero blockbuster and I also do spend my hard earned money on figures and collectables like Hot Toys, Funko Pops, etc.
TT: What is an area in your work that you feel weak in that you want to improve upon and how are you going to get there?
SS: In complete honesty, sometimes my work can look a little stiff. I feel as though I can get a little more loose in my drawing skills to create some more visual flare. I think I can get there if I can stop worrying too much about technique and structure, which I am slowly but surely working on.
TT: How do you overcome art blocks?
SS: Just look at the other talented artists work online. That usually does the trick.
TT: Where do you see your work taking you in the next 5-10 years?
SS: At some point I'd aim to have my own comic out and possibly get a higher work flow of storyboarding. In-house or freelance.
Want to see more? Check out Samuel's work: