Addicted to colour

The vibrant work of Christchurch illustrator Sam Cawthorn is packed with attitude, joyfulness and bold colour.

Interview by Carolyn Enting

Working from her Winsome Studio, Sam Cawthorn’s work is informed by the idea of injecting a dash of colour into people’s lives. She’s also “a perfectionist” whose passionate about creating intuitive design solutions for her clients.

If you had to describe your style of work to a stranger without showing them your work, how would you describe it?

I would say my work consists of vibrant colour palettes, bold graphics and is a wee bit dramatic.

What inspires you most in your work/purpose?

Anything bright and bold, whether it’s fashion, prints, or architecture. I’m also inspired by the figure. I love how much it can be exaggerated and remain identifiable.

For Good magazine’s 10th birthday issue you created an illustration to the brief ‘life is good’. Can you explain more about this particular illustration and how that informed this work?

I wanted to capture that magical moment when the right song comes on at just the right time and it makes you feel inspired and empowered.

Life is Good by Sam Cawthorn of Winsome Studio

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I honestly couldn’t tell you. For as long as I can remember I have been drawing and creating things. When I was young I would pinch all sorts of printed materials to chop up and draw on.

What was your first memorable artistic memory?

I drew my family and our cat, it was horrible… but Mum still framed it ha ha.

Can you share one of your career highlights to date?

Not so much a particular highlight, but I love working together with clients when our ideas are in sync. I love the dynamic and rapid growth in my job.

What types of commissions do you enjoy the most?

Creative illustration pieces are my bread and butter. If I can continue to do them regardless of where my career leads, I will be one happy gal.

What is your happy place?


What medium do you mostly/prefer to work with, and why?

Well I usually start out with a pencil to sketch out and play around with my ideas. I then transfer my favourite sketch to either an ipad or to my laptop where I finish it off digitally.

What do you hope people get from your work?

I hope it inspires people to be a bit more playful, expressive and carefree.

To see more of Sam’s work go to winsomestudio.co.nz

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