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1/1 Artist Spotlight: Silky Sammy

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Silky Sammy

ONE37pm's 1/1 Artist Spotlight is a series that focuses on giving love to 1 of 1 NFT Artists. Whether they're from the traditional art world or just got started in art through web3, we want to highlight and help you get to know those who are up and coming.

A 1/1 NFT is a unique, one-of-a-kind digital collectible where no other exists other than the piece itself.  Each 1/1 collection has a limited amount of editions available, with the number dictated by the artist. We hope to introduce you to talented and incredible people in the NFT space and the reasons they love doing what they do.

Samuel Burney Jr (Silky Sammy) is this week's 1/1 Artist Spotlight. He graduated Pace University with a degree in Graphic Design in the summer of 2020 and while scrolling Twitter, saw art that didn’t fit the mold of what he was taught in school but still pulled people in. He then bought an iPad, downloaded Procreate and started creating. Since starting his artistic journey he has decided to use his art as an outlet to express his emotions and display his tastes in fashion and pop culture.

With work inspired by anime, Sammy posts many timelapse videos on Instagram, so viewers can see his entire process of creating a piece of art. He recently spent 150 hours creating a piece. His prints are also available to purchase on his website and his 1/1 NFTs are available to on Foundation.

ONE37pm: How has your artist journey changed since joining NFTs? How did you start?

Silky Sammy: My artist journey actually started in June 2020 and I only started creating as a form of expression. At first I was only making things I thought were cool or interesting to look at. It wasn’t a very deep form of expression, but it made me happy. As time went on I became more and more invested in my creations, the content in them and how well the feelings in them could be received. With these new considerations came an increase in the amount of time it took me to finish them. The main thing that's changed about my artist journey since joining NFTs is I have an income from my work. Before I was even making money I was pouring an excess of time into my art, so making an income from it has greatly reduced the stress I feel about investing so much into it. On top of this I can spend more time on my work making it more precise while also not having to work around the clock. I started in NFTs in March 2021 and I got that start when Shay the Surrealist invited me onto the NFT platform, Foundation. With her invite and help from countless artists I’m glad to call friends, I started out and have gained footing in the NFT space.

ONE37pm: Do you prefer physical or digital art?

Silky Sammy: I prefer digital art but that's mainly because it's the medium I use to express myself. Another reason I prefer this medium is because with it I have so many possibilities and techniques readily available to me. You still have to work a lot to be successful doing digital art but certain resources are more within reach while using digital means. An example of this is I can make my digital canvas whatever size I want as opposed to being constrained to my material canvas if I was a physical painter. Another example is I have any color I can think of at my disposal, as opposed to having to regularly stock up to create with said color. One last example is that I can export my work directly from my iPad to my laptop or phone instead of having to wait for good lighting to photograph it or having to find a scanner to get a clear image of it. Although I feel this way and am happy I don't have to navigate these tasks digitally, my respect for traditional artists is very high because they do and they still manage to make wonderful work.

ONE37pm: How would you describe your art style?

Silky Sammy: I feel like I have a few different art styles actually but there are definitely overarching staples that carry over through all of them. One of these would be a general anime aesthetic. Anime was one of the leading factors in me being inspired to do artwork and I feel like that admiration for the industry can be felt in all my work. Whether it be through the colors used, the features drawn on characters or the themes of the work the role anime played in getting me started is apparent. Other mainstays in my artistic styles are an attention to detail and a lot of love shown to the lighting situation in the piece. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist so it's hard for me to let any detail go unthought of while I’m creating and I truly believe good lighting can tell stories all on its own, so these other two characteristics can be seen in all my work.

ONE37pm: What is your favorite piece?

Silky Sammy: My favorite piece I’ve made would have to be “Outside Face." A lot of my work has to do with my inner feelings. With this being the case I have no shortage of self portraits that I’ve created. Usually when I make these self portraits I’ll tie in a slight pop culture reference so it's more palatable to other people, after all not everyone can relate to a piece of art only about me because not everyone is me. Outside Face completely goes against this belief though and a few others I had in my head of why people liked my work. This is because it is extremely focused on me, it's not a broad piece of art at all as the only thing displayed are 7 versions of me. It's also not particularly easy to view either, as I had to make it an extremely wide format to fit 7 versions of myself horizontally. Lastly there are no vibrant colors in the piece or any detailed background; the only thing drawn is intertwining line work, shadows, a border and it's all done in black. The unorthodox elements in this piece and its success truly make it close to my heart and a constant reminder to trust in my instincts.

ONE37pm: What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?

Silky Sammy: In the next year I hope to deepen my knowledge of art, network with more people and open up more opportunities for the future with my art. Prior to starting art in summer 2020 I didn’t have any concrete goals I was shooting for, I was kinda just floating through life. Ever since starting though, getting better is all I’ve wanted. Since I’ve started creating, most of my inspirations have just come from work I happen to come into contact with, so I hope to deepen my knowledge of art as a whole to add more elements to my work. The platform I’m most active on is Twitter and since I’ve begun sharing my work I’ve made some of the closest friends I’ve ever had, shared new experiences and grown as a person. This being the case I want to meet more people and experience all I can. Lastly, since sharing my art online and starting NFTs a lot more things have moved into the scope of possibility for me, things I never thought I’d be able to think about prior. I want to see just how far I can go doing art.

ONE37pm: When do you feel most inspired to create?

Silky Sammy: I feel most inspired to create when my ideas challenge me. I love feeling like I’m pushing myself and when I can recognize my growth. A lot of my work takes me long periods of time to complete and it's exactly for these reasons, I purposely do art that I know will be difficult for me to bring to life. Even though this is the case at the end of the process I’ve always grown some, taught myself a new technique or I’ve had my next challenging idea so it works for me.

ONE37pm: Who are 3 artists you have your eyes on at the moment?

Firstly, Mediolanum666 (@mediolanum666), he is a fellow procreate user and I truly feel his work is one of a kind. Everytime I see his creations I’m always struck with awe because I don’t know how he can create the things he does. One of my favorite feelings when I see artwork is wonder and I always feel that looking at Mediolanum’s work. I also love Ram Dezin (@ram_dezin), he uses both digital and traditional mediums and everything he puts out catches my eye. Such a wide range is displayed in his artistic capabilities. Whether it be sketches, paintings or digital drawings I always enjoy looking at the themes and craftsmanship that he makes a part of all his work. The last artist I’ll mention is Virda Khalid (@virdakhalid), her work is also both traditional and digital. Virda’s work is so unique and satisfying to look at and I love seeing what characters or scenes she will draw next. Her use of colors and shapes always makes her art stand out to me.

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