Welcome to my art & illustration blog.
Hi. I’m Sam Soper. I currently run one business where I do freelance graphic design and website development. This does not make me as happy as drawing and creating characters and scenes does. Honestly, I have been building websites since I was 12 and only started teaching myself as a method to get my pixel character creations out into the world (s/o to The Doll Palace). It just became my career path out of convenience and demand. Don’t get me wrong, I love programming, but mostly when I am building something for myself with freedom of full creative and operational control (“wow so unique…” I understand most people feel this way about their profession).
Due to some synchronously unfortunate and fortunate events, I found myself in a position to re-evaluate my career trajectory and think about what I really want out of my life. I want to be an illustrator. I want to do character design. I want to create a fully inclusive tarot deck. I want to write and illustrate a sci-fi graphic novel, but set-up with a soundtrack so it’s an interactive experience. I want to put all of my stupid ideas into action. I want to educate and inspire. I have art series, blogs, applications, e-courses, books, and a lot of random thoughts brewing in the back of my head and filling my Google Drive. It is difficult to find the time to do any of them. This is me setting up a space for that to motivate myself to actually do something rather than just think about it. And, in humility, asking for support along the way.
A Brief History
When I was 5, I wanted to become Pablo Picasso when I grew up because my father had a piece he had painted in high school based on The Old Guitarist. In elementary school, it was a cartoonist. As a pre-teen, an architect (until lol math). Finally, in middle school, I settled on graphic/web designer as a creative outlet that would provide financial stability. I got really good at design and added some web development on top of that. Unfortunately, the little illustrator in the back of my head has never really been happy with that. She has gone through my career trying to inject little crafty art projects and hand-drawings and character designs into every project assignment, much to the chagrin of several of my past bosses. I get super depressed if I stop drawing, so here I am feeding the beast and trying to make illustration my reality.
You can learn more about me on the Info page.
Purpose of Porpoises
The purpose of this site is to get my artwork out there, keep track of shows and events, and hopefully get more cool opportunities to center my livelihood around illustration. This blog will be focused on general announcements, sharing inspiration and experience, and maybe some tips and tutorials. Someday I hope to offer e-courses, private tutoring/critique, and other neat stuff.
Some Questions You May Have
Why are you breaking away from your branded partnership, BAMFaktory?
At this current junction in our lives, Brad is working full-time and I am supporting myself through various freelance outlets, including but not limited to graphic design, UX design, WordPress development, and illustration commissions. Because BAMFaktory is registered as a general partnership, whatever business is done through the company ends up getting split between both of us on our taxes. While he has been busy with work and prefers his privacy, I have been trying to put myself out there more and start generating a legitimate income from my commission work. It’s not fair to saddle my partner with that financial burden when we are not contributing equally, nor is it fair for me to hold myself back from trying to become as successful as I possibly can be in an attempt to keep things balanced.
Why don’t you just put your artwork on your main design portfolio site?
First off, if you don’t know me personally, I am all over the place (wee ADHD). The strong urge to learn everything and do everything has been both a blessing in my career flexibility and a curse in my applicant screenability. In various positions I have applied for, ranging from social media art director to WordPress developer to UX designer, I have been turned down due to my lack of specialization. Adding my artistic work into my main design portfolio site, does not really make a lot of sense if I am looking to transition back into a corporate position. Furthermore, based on this past experience, I would like a singular and focused place to direct potential clients and employers when I am applying for illustration or character design positions in the future.