Award-winning Portrait Specialist Maneuvering Her Way Up Amid Rejections

An award-winning Hyper-realistic pencil artist, Samantha Messias faced many challenges in her life before getting to where she is today. From having a tough childhood, receiving rejections on gallery submissions, but through her gift in pencil drawing, she managed to flip her script and became a successful portrait specialist. Messias turned to art for her healing process, which later helped her find her niche in business.

Here she shares on the journey of her upbringing, discovering her gift and becoming a well-recognized portrait specialist.

1. Who is Samantha Messias and what does she do? 

I am a self-taught, award-winning Hyper-realistic pencil artist, specializing in family, celebrity, and animal portraits. It has been my mission to create that perfect luxury gift that keeps on giving for generations to come, a gift that brings us joy every single day.

My life and the process of creating my drawings have developed through turning something dark into something light.

Much of my skill and creativity was developed by using it as an outlet to release, heal and express my emotions from a traumatic childhood. I was adopted at 5 years old and, for a while; the only way I could communicate what happened was to draw it. I didn’t know that what I was doing at such a young age was indeed a form of therapy, and one I would continue throughout my life.

I came across hyperrealism in 2013 and fell in love with the intense detail, skill, patience, and discipline that encapsulated this genre and how photo-realistic Art appeared. I began to teach myself using the grid method and started to create these incredibly detailed drawings that gave the illusion of a high-resolution photograph.

2. What motivated you to turn your gift into a business?

After the first year of creating these hyper-realistic pencil drawings, I was introduced to an Art gallery in Lancashire, England where they were super impressed by my work and level of skill and began to sell my work to buyers and collectors worldwide. I knew there and then that I could live my dream as a full-time, well-paid Artist and all that was required was for me to believe in myself that it was possible.

3. What’s distinct about the artwork you create/ produce?

The way I create my drawings is not about trying to reproduce every exact detail, texture, and contrast from the reference material. It’s about adding something that wasn’t there before, intensifying and manipulating details, contrasts, and textures, awakening emotion, life, and curiosity into the heart of the observer not just into the artwork itself.

Hyperrealism is a genre in the art that resembles a high-resolution photograph. When you look up close and personal at my work you will see that they are entirely constructed out of graphite, charcoal, and black colored pencil, and as a result, people mistook my drawings for photographs.

4. Previously you’ve exhibited your work, would you say this is an integral event to consider in your field of work?

I would say it’s an important aspect of any artist’s career. Exhibit your work far and wide whether that be online, in galleries, market stalls, art expos, and more as if no one knows you exist. That’s how you can succeed as an artist and give your gift to the world.

5. Which other tools do you use for promoting your work as a graphite artist?

I promote my Artwork in many different ways however social media has been a fantastic way to get my Artwork seen by more people and create collaborations with huge influencers and celebrities such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even TikTok. I promote my work at events, with flyers and business cards, word of mouth, referrals and just showing up and authentically sharing my gift with others and providing a wonderful gift to give your loved ones.

6. With receiving awards and recognition thus far, what steps did you take to reach the level you’ve reached?

Like most things I’ve achieved in life, it’s been down to my mindset my self-belief, discipline, persistence, consistency, perseverance, and resilience in the face of failures and setbacks. Also researching and applying to open exhibition events and open art opportunities have been a great help in my achievements too.

7. From your standpoint, what qualities does one need in becoming a successful artpreneur?

All the above mentioned in question 6 and having openness and willingness to learn more, give unconditionally, and grow both mentally and emotionally too.

8. What mishaps have you faced with being an artist?

A few setbacks I’ve faced, but what has also helped me grow as an artist is the rejections of my work from over 30 gallery submissions from open art exhibitions and not being given opportunities. This can be tough on anyone, but that’s why it’s so important to develop your mental faculties in resilience, perseverance, commitment, persistence, and remembering your goal and mission in life. If you’re not getting enough no’s you’re not growing or pushing yourself harder. I believe that no matter how you think or feel, if keep taking positive action towards your goals you will achieve them.

9. What’s been the greatest highlight in your business of portraiture so far?

2021 has been the greatest year of my Art business so far, as it saw me take my annual income to my monthly income by marketing my work the right way and networking with incredible people on the new social media app, Clubhouse, and Instagram. I also have launched my first Art photobook, limited edition prints, and planning my first solo exhibition in London and I was the winner of the Visual Art Open exhibition in the drawing category, so many highlights and blessings this year and with so many more to come.

10. What advice would you offer to an up-and-coming artist?

The advice I would give to upcoming artists is to believe in yourself more, take action towards your goals, develop your skills, be confident, persevere, and keep sharing your work with the world. Think outside the box, have a plan of action, have a vision or mission statement you look at every day, and remember your Why. Learn about personal development and marketing your products or gifts wisely, educate that business mind as an Artist. This was one area that when I developed it my business and results skyrocketed. Be true to who you are, share with love and authenticity, give unconditionally, and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do something.

For Samantha, inspiring others and creating art that moves and gives hope for her clients has been a powerful experience. To leave others with a touch of inspiration is a wonderful feeling, she shares.

To learn more about Samantha’s journey and see her work on display, go on her Instagram page and her website.