I have my love/dislike relationship with social media, but focusing on the positives here, one of the things I love most is its ability to connect brands with talented artists we may have otherwise never discovered. And that's the exact magic that happened a few months ago when Samantha of Delilah the Gemini DMed us on instagram inquiring about custom graphic design work. We are always down to work with artists on commissioned work, especially when those artists just get our brand, our values and can translate my vision into beautiful designs. FACT: I've designed about 95% of the graphics you see on our tees since we started in 2016, but Dolkii has grown SO MUCH this year, I'm starting to look for part-time help in places like design and operations to help manage my now overwhelming workload!
Working with Sam on our Love Your Wahines and Tee Tatas designs was a dream. From start to finish, she respected my ideas while providing her professional design input to seamlessly bring my vision to life. We can't wait to work with her on more designs in the future!
Learn more about Samantha below and check out her full line of work on her website HERE!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! Hello! My name is Sam and I am an illustrator and designer based out of San Diego. I grew up in Huntington Beach, and decided to join the Navy when I was 18 to pay for art school. My dad said he would pay for college, just not art school.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE THIS CAREER?
I have been a graphic designer for five years and within the last 2 years really started to teach myself how to draw and paint. Something I was HORRIBLE at, but through skillshare and in person workshops got a lot better. I didn't know I wanted to be a graphic designer until probably the middle of my graphic design program in college. My dad really wanted me to be a dental hygienist, so after the Navy I went to school and worked in the dental field. I literally cried every morning before work and thought to myself "this can not be what adult life is about!" I quit, got a job at Wavehouse teaching people how to ride a simulated 10 foot barrel and applied to art school with no idea what I wanted to major in. I honestly thought I'd do video editing, but all those classes were full. The counselor recommended graphic design. I just knew I wanted to live a creative life because I felt best when I was creating.
ANY FAVE BRANDS YOU ASPIRE TO WORK WITH IN THE FUTURE?
I'd LOVE to work with Billabong Womens. Vans is always doing very cool things. Ban.do is my religion. I'd love to teach an online workshop with Brit+Co that is for creative small business to grow and scale but still design focused. Any company in Hawaii! I'd eventually see myself living out there and would love to build up some type of community before I make the leap.
WHERE DOES YOUR INSPO FOR YOUR PERSONAL WORK COME FROM? ANY ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU?
I am inspired by the need to speak out about something I'm passionate about. Art seems to be the way I communicate strong opinions. All the female owned companies right now really inspire me. I just want to be part of what they're putting down. I'm also inspired by any company that is focused on saving the environment. I'm all about turning this ship around! Influencers who inspire me: Defiantly Chelsea Kauai, and my friend @tarynashhh.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER YOUNG WOMEN LOOKING TO TAKE THE PLUNGE INTO FREELANCE DESIGNING?
Know what you're willing to give up, what you want to gain and how far you'll go to get it. I knew that working my 9-5 job and paying rent was keeping me in this "just enough" cycle. I always had just enough to keep going, but not enough energy time or money to level up. So I decided to give #vanlife a try, which is giving up A LOT but at the same time I knew I was gaining much needed time to work on my art and start my own business. Every time I was bummed I didn't a kitchen to cook dinner in, or annoyed that it's such a process to drive to the gym just to shower, I meditated on what I was gaining from this sacrifice and it made the juice worth the squeeze. Also know how far you'll go to get what you want because owning your own business can be very scary, lonely and intimidating but it's also the most amazing thing ever! I have to literally pinch myself when I realize someone just invested in me to create beautiful art for their business.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE OUR READERS TO KNOW?
You can't control the waves life throws at you, but you do get to decide how you ride them. I plan on riding all the swells life gives me and looking damn good doing it.