At just 19, Sam Wilson knows better than most about working passionately and impulsively. A last minute decision to reject traditional (and impressive) university offers led Sam to follow his dream and move to London. Now studying Fashion Merchandise Management at Westminster, London has become a hub for Sam’s opportunities and creativity to flourish.
Rawness, honesty and candid authenticity are at the core of all Sam’s work. Never content in one discipline, Sam’s visual work spans personal photographic series’, street-style, live photography and fashion-editorials. Shooting on everything from Disposables to DSLR, ultimately Sam is a visual artist. From film photographer to full-blown image-maker, experimentation with graphics lends Sam’s current work a narrative identity. As Sam says humbly of others, ‘The Future is Youth’, and no one proves so more
What is it that inspires you to take photographs and create?
I originally started taking photos when I was 16; I used to take photos on disposable cameras of my friends while we all got drunk off a few ciders (the life). The photos are cool and all, but it’s always been about the reaction I got from my friends from the photos: laughter & happiness all from me simply taking a photo. The photo becomes something that bookmarks the moment, and with the majority of my photos being shot on a film camera or a polaroid it gave them access to something physical that they can keep and always remember that bookmarked moment. My hope is that in 45 years, a dusty development or Polaroid will be found and that exact same moment that I captured so many years ago can then be invoked again – but at a much later age; Something that would not be possible or would have been forgotten without that photo. It creates something that cannot be bought, an emotion felt between the brain and the deepest roots of that individual. That is why I take the photos. It was 3 years ago. And still is the motive now.
What message do you want to convey through your art?
THE FUTURE IS THE YOUTH,
THE PEOPLE I SURROUND MYSELF WITH ARE TALENTED –
DON’T SLEEP ON THEM.
THEIR WORK SHOULD BE SEEN.
How do the people you photograph affect your work?
Inspiration. People interest me and inspire me on a day-to-day basis. Those that I primarily surround myself with the most in my life are those that also inspire me the most. Everyone has a story to tell, and I think what I love the most about taking photos is that I can try my very hardest to capture that story as best as I can. The hope and motive has always been to inspire myself to inspire others. To be completely honest, I think the people that inspire me the most are often the people where the photos found grant me the most optical outcome from my work. If I’m not really trying to capture the moment, or the personality – then why are you really taking the photo?
Did moving to London impact your work, and what’s it like for a young creative in the city?
London is quite literally my everything. This is the city that first stepping foot into when I was three years old to go and see the Lion King in the West End I knew that I needed to be/where I would be. This city is so alive, and I do not even live particularly central. Like all the greatest cities on our planet, the city never stops. And that is what inspires me so heavily. Put that alongside some of the most creative and forward-thinking people I have ever met in my life live here, it’s perfect. This city is ideal for a young creative that is ready to work, with work ethic…anything can happen in this city.
You’re also studying Fashion at Westminster- how do you feel about crossovers into other creative disciplines?
I’m currently studying a degree in Fashion Merchandising, but I’m being interviewed here as a photographer. Yeah my days of taking photos go back to my teenage years, but if you aren’t multi-talented or cannot learn new things and evolve yourself daily with new situations then how are you really progressing. I think crossover into creative disciplines is crucial. And it separates the best from those that are just average. However, work always must be quality. There is no point in doing 200 different things and them all being sub-par, or something you as a creative are not happy with the outcome of. It must be consistent. Hopefully one day I will get there.
Which creatives do you think we should be taking note of?
PLACES + FACES
NO VACANCY INN
SHOULD BE ESTALBISHED NAMES:
Talk us through the playlist you curated for us. Does what you listen to inspire your work?
Music is at the top of it all. Without music, I would not be the person I am today. Old School Hip-Hop got me into skateboarding, which then in hand got me into fashion. Some of my biggest influences come from those artists that I have been listening to since I was young and even more so that I listen to now. My own personal style is heavily influenced by the music I listen to, even down to the particular way that I shoot all of my photos is inspired by that of old A Tribe Called Quest or Pharrell music videos. Hip-Hop & R&B are not the only thing that I listen to: I was brought up on Frank Sinatra from my mum’s side and The Eagles on my dad’s. This playlist consists of 20 of the songs, that have been there for me all throughout my 19 years of life however recent or old they may be. Without music, I struggle to create – there is something about it that deepens my level of concentration on the task at hand. Helping me achieve whatever I am going for with whatever I may be shooting/editing or working on. These are most definitely the songs that make me want to create.
Where do you want to take your work next?
Photos are just the start.
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