We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Rosado and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Samantha, why did you pursue a creative career?
I new I wanted to be an artist as a kid and announced it proudly during my Kindergarten graduation. As an adult, I want to honor my goals and always be connected to my inner child.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
1. I am a Puerto Rican, cisgendered, gay woman who works primarily with oil paint on canvas. My work is about identity, family culture, and relationships. Storytelling is my motivation. Though subject matter demands careful consideration, I create imagery using comic relief. Humor lives within an intentional use of color, form, and repetition. Painted figures lock eyes with onlooking viewers, pulling them into these staged dreamscapes. The audience gains understanding, while reconsidering their own state of affairs. Before painting I stage photographs then create digital collage (using manipulated photos, drawn elements, and at times elements from different stages of the paintings) to develop composition, color, and light. These collages are edited while painting to further develop content and visual aesthetic. I also sketch, watercolor, write poetry, and collect images before and during painting. Getting into character is an important part of my process- I pose as the main characters and photograph myself in position to further understand form and light. I then paint from life, drawings, collages, and collected images.

2. I currently live in Charlotte, NC with my Fiancée and kitty & corgi. I moved here after finishing my MFA at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. I have a studio at the McColl Center for Art & Innovation- I am part of the studio rental program launched this year. (Local artists submitted work through a jury process to be selected for a spot in the program.) Over the last 3 months I have worked with McColl Center staff to run workshops, create video projects, and participate in professional development opportunities. The connections I have made through open studios and my full-time work (Trader Joe’s) has helped me become more involved with the community.

3. I am beginning to understand the business side of being an artist- which is not easy. There is a lot of time spent on applications for grants, shows, exhibitions, and marketing. With that comes a lot of rejection- but this makes the successes even more special. I have learned that it is helpful to get to know artists around you- they are the ones who can help connect you with gallery owners and make recommendations on your behalf.

4. One thing I am especially grateful for is my partner who supports my career and encourages me to keep making and keep working for my dreams. It is important to have someone who celebrates your wins. I am fortunate to have a ton of family and family friends that send their love as well. My mom and the rest of my family are all very excited for each new accomplishment.

5. I am proud to be a hispanic woman. I am proud to be putting my story as a gay artist into the world- I hope that my work can inspire others to be true to their stories. I am proud to be brave enough to advocate for myself and ask for help when in need. I am excited to see what comes next.

6. A piece of advice I would give to other artists is to always ask for opportunities and ways to get involved. Say yes when opportunities come your way, and believe that you have the skills to do the work that is necessary or to apply for that dream job.

7. I have some exciting upcoming events that I hope will expand my skill base. I recently opened an Etsy shop to take commissions, and created a portfolio on Saatchi Art to sell my work. I am in the process of completing Master Classes in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, AfterEffects, and Photoshop, so that I can better market and present my work, as well as be more marketable in the field of graphic design. In October, I will be visiting Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Tennessee) for a cake decorating workshop. In November, I will be a visiting artist at Winthrop University (South Carolina), where I will present my work and have the opportunity to mentor senior/graduating students. From March to April, I will be an Artist in Residence at Anderson Ranch (Colorado).

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Breakfast: Queen City Grounds (“The Burrito You Want” made vegan) Coffee: Giddy Goat (lavender oat milk latte)
Lunch: Optimist Hall (tons of vendors so everyone can have something they like)
Dinner: Ma Ma Wok (Singapore Mei Fun, Edamame, Spring Rolls)
Dessert: Pepperbox Doughnuts (Oreo & Strawberry)
Drinks: Fahrenheit Charlotte (rooftop restaurant overlooking uptown that I’ve been meaning to visit)

Hotel: Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection

Visit: Niece and Nephew in Rock Hill, SC., My studio in the McColl Center for Art & Innovation, Romare Bearden Park, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (where my fiancée proposed), The Collectors Room and Elder Gallery (where we will be getting married), Morning walks with our corgi on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, Ride the Charlotte Light Rail around town (haven’t done it yet but excited to go), Queen’s University (where my Fiancée is getting her MBA), our apartment to meet our animals (and swim, relax, eat, drink, and watch movies)

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Family: Destiny Lynne Kasubaski (fiancée),
Chancellor Bambino (our corgi) & Mogli Peaches (our tabby cat)
My parents (Doris & Oscar Rosado)
All my siblings and my nieces and nephews
My long-term friends Diana Abouchacra & Rachael Mayer
My nephew Talon and cousin Jade
My sister Jacquie’s, dogs (Ralph & Nala)

Colleagues: MFA Painters at LSU

Grad School Professors: Kelli Scott Kelley, Fredrick Ortner, Denyce Celentano, Allison Young

Professors: Pablo Delano, Joseph Byrne

Website: www.sa5mantharosado.com

Instagram: instagr.am/sa5mantha.rosado

Facebook: fb.co/sa5mantha.rosado

Other: Saatchi Profile https://www.saatchiart.com/sa5mantharosado (new, work will be for sale shortly) MFA Thesis https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/gradschool_theses/5356 Etsy Shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/LonelyGeorgeStudio (it’s new, only have one listing so far)

Image Credits
Rick LeCompte Kevin Duffy Destiny Lynne Kasubaski

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.