The Design Series // No. 01: Samantha Santana
Samantha Santana is a Los Angeles based designer specializing in wallpaper, stationary and prints.
Asymmetric Magazine: How and when did you start your design shop?
Samantha Santana: I started this particular design shop in 2014, and it has been evolving ever since. It is actually my second! My first what a floral design studio, which I sold three years ago.
AM: What's your biggest inspiration?
SS: I'm an ex-florist, so flowers and plants definitely have a huge presence in my work. However, I am driven to produce art as a way to keep my mind distracted from my health woes. I have unexplained neuropathy, which causes chronic pain in my feet, hands and back. Creating helps to keep my focus away from the inconvenience of pain.
AM: How would you best describe your style?
SS: I would best describe my style has lively. Color makes me very happy.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue in your designs?
SS: A theme I try to tackle in my work is femininity vs. masculinity. Working with flowers and plants is seen as a very feminine art, however I don't feel it has to be. I'd love to create prints that are accessible to all, regardless of your gender.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
SS: Los Angeles is a foreboding presence, as it smacks me in the face day after day with its beauty, dirt, community and conflict. I seek to show the brightness of LA in my work, and the diversity of it's culture and people. It is a city of dreamers, and I am one of them.
Los Angeles is a city of dreamers, and I am one of them.
AM: What music is currently inspiring you?
SS: I have been jamming the past few photo shoots to Solange. Her new album Seat at the Table is deep and a proud representation of herself and her culture.
AM: Where can our readers shop your products?
SS: My product and services can be found at my website (samanthasantana.co), as well as Lulu & Georgia and May Designs.
AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
SS: I have been working primarily with fresh florals and photography for my current wallpaper and paper goods, but would love to move into painting next, as well as sculpture. Though, I built a miniature desert landscape to shoot for the Unique Markets, and it turned out beautifully. I'd love to do some more of these in the future.
AM: What's your best advice for aspiring designers?
SS: The best advice I can give to aspiring designers is learn business and marketing. Yes, you are an artist, but that means that you more than anyone should know how to sell your work, speak in commanding tone with clients, collect your fees, and keep your books straight. This advice was given to me by a mentor I had when I was in college (through the Getty foundation), and it was the best piece of advice I had ever received. A lot of times it does not matter if you are the best at what you do (and believe me, if you are starting out, you will not be). However, if you know how to carry yourself professionally and are open to constructive criticism, you will get paid what you deserve, and you will get more work. You don't have to be a starving artist...just a dollar menu artist.
View more of Samantha's work and shop the prints here: samanthasantana.co.