Artist Interview with New York Illustration Star Samantha Dion Baker
Contemporary Artist Interview with New York Illustration Star Samantha Dion Baker
The master behind Draw Your Day took a minute to speak with us about her brainchild, her actual children, and the projects she has in the fire.
Contemporary Artist Interview: Samantha Dion Baker. I’ve known Samantha for years. Naturally, I’ve always been a gigantic fan of her work, her spirit and her life. Life threw us together in a cosmic tango and we’re all still friends, and I’l sure I’ll be seeing a lot of Sam et al for the rest of our long, artistic lives. We occasionally settle for a visit with a coffee and talk about what we’re up to, and that’s what brought me to asking her if she’d answer a few questions for my ongoing artist interview series. So, here we go.
Samantha Dion Baker graduated from Cooper Union in New York and spent more than twenty years as a graphic designer working with many iconic institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Christian Dior, The Frick Collection, and The Shaker Museum. Now Baker draws upon her experience as a graphic designer to feed her daily journal pages, which have been featured on Instagram, Buzzfeed, and DesignMilk, and inspired her books Draw Your Day and the Draw Your Day Sketchbook, published in August 2018 by Watson Guptill/Penguin Random House. Her illustration clients include The Highline Hotel, Blackwing, Atelier Cologne, and Kikkerland Design. Her self-published daily sketchjournals are on permanent collection at The Morgan Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Originally from Philadelphia, Baker lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two boys.
1. Tell us what your technique is all about.
I draw with pencil, ink and a mix of watercolor and gouache.
2. What brought you to be a full time illustrator?
I’ve kept a combination journal and sketchbook for most of my life. Around college years, when I was focusing on design, and working greatly on the computer, the sketches began to disappear from my journals, and eventually I stopped drawing altogether. Fast forward to my 40th birthday, when i had been a mom for 10 years, desperate for a new creative outlet away from screens – so I started doodling in my journal. The doodles became drawings and I shared the pages on Instagram. People noticed. Instagram even noticed them…. clients came asking for drawings. Now I am a full-time illustrator. That’s a very short version!
3. With what colors are you currently infatuated?
I love all color. Since I draw what I see, I need a full range of colors to work with. But I always have many blues and greens in my palette. Indigo is an all-time favorite.
4. We know you mix a combo pencil, marker, watercolor, gouache etc in your pantings. Do you ever paint with a single media in one piece?
I am beginning to let go of the black ink outline. Sometimes I will just use graphite.
5. How did you begin to you draw your day?
I simply wanted to get better at drawing. To consistently challenge myself. So I decided to draw all of the things I did, saw, ate… Because I draw what’s right in front of me, even if it’s a pile of laundry, there is never lack of inspiration or subject matter. I rarely suffer from artists block.
I also love to draw letters, to write words, so the combination sketchbook and journal, drawing my days, has been the best way to practice everything at once. Plus I have a record of my time, and my families adventures, that we can look back on for years to come. Win-win!
6. What else do you want us to know about you?
Well there’s a lot more i could share, but I’ll keep it simple. I have two boys who are now way taller than me. They keep me young, so time is freaking me out right now because I feel like I’m 28, but apparently I’m in my 40’s! I have just begun working on my second book. It will be a while before I’m finished, but it’s very exciting. If you want to read my first book, it’s easy to find, and is called “Draw Your Day”.
How to find Sam:
Literary Agent: Present Perfect Dept
Illustration Agent: Lindgren & Smith m: firstname.lastname@example.org p: 212.397.7330
For all other inquiries please contact Samantha at email@example.com
To see Samantha’s latest work and daily sketch journals head over to her Instagram @sdionbakerdesign