Hidden Creatives: Aaron Samuels
Hidden Creatives is a portrait exhibition which explores the creative diversity in the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) (Link to CEZ page). For this project photographer, Andy Donohoe was tasked with exploring the different corners of the district to find creatives which demonstrated the broad mix of practices and technical backgrounds. The images have been printed in large format and have been exhibited throughout the CEZ in public places.
Aaron Samuels: Illustrator. Use google maps to find where the portrait is located
I studied Art and Design at Epping Forest College in 2010 and decided to begin my art career after I finished. Art has always been a big part of my life. I’ve always been known as an artist. From an early age, I felt like I was put on a pedestal by friends, family and teachers when it came to art as they thought my work excelled my peers.
The pencil became my tool of choice when it came to mediums. I felt like I had more control over the pencil whilst drawing, allowing me to achieve more precision in my work. After studying artists such as Kelvin Okafor, I began using different techniques and added charcoal which helped to create depth in my work.
Blackhorse Lane is a very busy area. It has the potential to be the meta of creativity due to its diverse and free-thinking community. I’ve lived around Blackhorse for over 10 years and have seen the number of creative businesses grow tremendously, so I feel it does have the potential to get bigger as a creative destination.
I feel like creative industries are the splash of colour in this grey world. Without it, many artists/designers, including myself would not exist today. Creative industries can help benefit the economy as they generate jobs and productivity in the community, especially for the younger generations which is beneficial for future development. Also Being a Creative is an outlet to express yourself, so the fear of redevelopment could make you loose sense of self.
Growing up on the gritty side of East London, surrounded by drugs and violence, I found it hard to stay motivated. From a young age, I spent most of my free time sketching, not just to develop my craft, but to soothe my mind at stressful times in life. Drawing was almost like therapy for me, as I felt it helped me to channel my emotions into something of purpose. I feel like the place you grow up will always have an impact on the way you think and art is an expression of your thoughts in a visual form. I Feel like my recent digital artwork, (abstract, primitive) influenced by the style of Jean Michel Basquiat, shows a lot more of an influence than my pencil drawings as I’m able to add more colour and expression in a graffiti style imitating the streets of London.