We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Jennings and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up I was inspired by the tremendously talented artists that came before me. In particular I saw the musician, Prince, as a shining example of an artist living up to full potential of his creativity. His passion was for music, but he played an active part in all aspects of his experience – photography, design, fashion, video, movies, etc. I appreciated his dedication to his craft and bold presentation to the world of who he was. It inspired me to pursue my own creative vision. I felt the power or art and inspiration. I loved how the right song, movie, book, performance, or image could powerfully connect with an audience and change their view for the better, improve their lives in some way, big or small. The power of connection and community can be expressed so profoundly through the arts that I wanted to be a part of it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Pursuing fine art in college, I discovered the internet and using the computer as a design tool. This led to a career designing online experiences, as well as developing my fine art painting skills. Designing online websites is all about connection. Primarily designing for communities of music fans, I’ve done my best to connect with the passion the music fan feels. Communities of fans play a vital role in people’s lives, and I want to make that experience powerful and enriching. I got where I am by being a problem solver. Instead of throwing up my hands and saying something is impossible, I look at the options. This has served me well on small teams where I had to wear many hats. It’s never easy, but it’s a dedication to at least making an effort to find a solution that has served me well. As I mentioned before, my brand and my story is all about connection. If my painting or my designs connect with another person in a remarkable way, I’ve done my job.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Obviously during the pandemic this has made things difficult. But if it were a normal time, I would love to show my friend the things that make living in Los Angeles unique. I would take them to a tv show taping. There are dozens going on all the time and tickets are not that hard to come by. Seeing live shows getting recorded is something you can rarely do anywhere else. I would also take them to Disneyland. I know it’s not for everyone, but again, it’s something unique to Southern California, and the Disney theme park experience is one-of-a-kind. The history, the culture, the immersive experience are all impressive. There are so many iconic places to eat. I would take them to Musso & Frank’s for some old Hollywood. Pink’s hot dogs and even In and Out for some LA style fast food. Griffith Observatory and Sunset Boulevard are also great ways to see the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am dedicating my shout out to Prince. I worked for Prince for 9 years in the 2000s, and during that time I definitely felt we had a mentor/mentee relationship. I am not a musician, and he was not necessarily a visual artist, but the passion, dedication, and execution of his creative vision was inspiring and to be admired and studied. From Prince, I learned about taking risks, not compromising your vision, doing what’s right for you instead of what’s cool for others, being a leader, and living without limits. He was one-in-a-million and I miss him every day.