Let’s kick off this week with another really inspiring and beautiful Spaces column, featuring, graphic designer, Sarah Sherman Samuel. Sarah has a really beautiful blog / studio, Smitten Studio. She also did some really amazing work for Greenroom, but I’ll let her share more about those things! Today is also a really exiting day for Sarah — find out why below! ( also – she totally makes me want to paint a wall black or better yet – chalkboard! ) Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself as a creative.
My background & formal education is in Graphic Design but what I especially love is applying the graphic design principles into the roles of maker, stylist, and art director. My blog Smitten Studio has turned into a great creative outlet for each one of those paths as well as my time as Creative Director at Greenroom. While there for the last 5 years (basically since its inception), I was able to wear all of those hats while building the fashion paper line’s collection in Target. However, as of today.. (yikes!) I have taken the leap out on my own to full-time freelance so that I can concentrate more on Smitten Studio and put more time into developing my own line of artisanal products… which I CAN NOT wait to share!!
Describe your creative journey.
Growing up I always, always knew I wanted to do something creative. My parents didn’t have jobs in the arts but both of them had creative hobbies that they are gifted at. My dad is a very skilled wood worker, and my earliest memory of working along side him was at age 6, sitting in his workshop making tiny cat and dog figurines out of scraps of balsa wood while he was building model airplanes. (I’ve been a maker from the very beginning). I was also always rearranging the furniture with my mom or getting into her oil paints.
Like many other creatives I enjoyed so many artistic fields that at times it was hard to nail down which path to take. From a very young age if asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer either a writer, painter, or an interior designer. In high school I took as many art classes as possible and still feel so lucky that our school offered such a variety of courses in the creative field. Painting, drawing, ceramics, craft, wood shop, film, and technical drawing were all offered in depth and I gobbled each of them up. Once I discovered graphic design in college I knew that it was the right path to go down and it became my foundation for design.
My professional design career started at an advertising agency but I quickly realized that was not right for me, so I pursued more creative opportunities before eventually landing at Greenroom. It was there that I grew from designer, to art director, and then to creative director all while honing my own personal aesthetic and solidifying my love for surface design and styling. Finally, almost a year ago, I started Smitten Studio and I plan to continue on designing, making, and styling through the opportunities it brings from here on out.
Share a little bit about your space.
I set up my studio in the second bedroom of our town home in Los Angeles. The floor to ceiling windows give a good amount of light and the floor to ceiling shelves give loads of storage. I custom made the work table that sits in front of the windows and it usually ends up completely covered when I’m mid project. Luckily my clean freak husband doesn’t go in that room that often because I can really get into some “creative messes”.
What’s your favorite thing about your space?
My favorite thing about the space is the chalkboard wall. It’s always changing from project to project and I like that I can use it as a pin board or as a giant sketchbook page.
What’s one thing you think every creative needs in their space?
A place to work away from the computer… like my large workbench and the chalkboard wall. Basically, a space to spread out and see an entire project live as opposed to digitally is a necessity for me. Good things always happen off the computer. Oh and definitely a dog or two
Thanks for sharing Sarah!
*If you love her workspace as much as I do – you have to check out her cabin reno – it’s equally beautiful!