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

Hi Samuel, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking has given me my career, literally. I taught myself to paint at a young age, but it was only a hobby that I would share with friends and family. In 2015, after visiting my sister in New York City, I decided to leave the comfort and familiarity of my home in Israel and move to the United States. It wasn’t easy, as I didn’t know many people in the big city and I didn’t know the language. But I had big goals and America was the place to pursue them. In New York, I made the decision to turn my hobby into a full-time career. After a year of failures and struggles, businesses started becoming interested in what I do and jobs finally started coming in. Eventually, I was able to secure large-scale mural work with clients such as Macy’s and the US Air Force, and showed my paintings at various exhibits around town. I persevered by sticking to the goals that I had set. I believed in myself, and through hard work, dedication and an optimistic mindset I was able to find success. I felt like I had finally made my dreams come true, but I was starting to get tired of life in New York and knew that I needed a change. In 2019, I took another leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles where I am now engaged full-time as a muralist and oil painter.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After I made the decision to be a graffiti artist and oil painter full-time, it was a very tough time. I went from having a nice salary to worrying about where my next paycheck would come from.  Now I try to stay as busy as possible. I’m pretty restless, so I need to be constantly making something. Currently, I’m traveling back and forth between LA and Israel to work on a variety of projects. I’m then preparing to exhibit some of my canvas work here in LA.

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.
Where to begin? There’s so much to do in LA. Art museums of course – MOCA, the Getty, the Broad, LACMA.
Hiking – I’ll hike anywhere, but I really love it up in Malibu. Solstice Canyon and Zuma Canyon have great ocean views.
Downtown patios – Broken Shaker and Bavel are a few of my favorites.
If it’s nice out, then I’d take them down to Venice to stroll the canals or bike the strand. The Venice Boardwalk is something everyone should visit at some point when they’re in town.
Restaurants – I’m a big fan of Italian and pasta in general. Ospi and Barrique (both in Venice) or Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills are some of the best in my opinion.
Nights out – I prefer laid back lounges or beach bars to busy clubs. Hinano in Venice is a great spot for pool and a really good burger. The Alley or Old Man Bar are chill speakeasies on the west side.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Many people have been champions of my success along the way. I’d love to thank my family first and foremost. They were the earliest advocates of my art, and helped fuel my passion. Without their support, I don’t know if I would be doing what I’m doing.

Website: https://www.samuelartist.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samuel_hagai/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shmuel.hagag

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