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Artist Profile: Sam Cowey

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Kathryn Blume 9 Apr 2018

Vermont graphic artist Sam Cowey has a playful, energetic, and audacious style reminiscent of both Frank Miller’s darkly focused graphic novels and R. Crumb’s blazingly anarchic imagery. We were curious not just about his sources of inspiration but his thoughts about where he’d like to be headed in his career.

HVT: What is your personal background?

SC: I grew up in Vermont and studied Illustration at Seneca York in Toronto, ON. I love the outdoors and in my free time I enjoy skiing, hiking, and anything on the lake.

Spidey – personal page layout

HVT: Do you currently make your living as an artist?

SC: No, I have a day job as a screen printer at Select Design. I also do graphic design for the custom magnet company SteelBerry. My main goal is to work from home as an illustrator, and I’m always sending stuff to Marvel, DC, MAD Magazine, and collaborating with friends on film projects.

HVT: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?

SC: There was a moment in high school when I met a friend’s father who was a successful illustrator – he’d done pieces for The New Yorker. It made me realize that the whole “starving artist” stereotype isn’t a real thing, and that it was something I could do as a living.

HVT: What’s the source of your artistic inspiration?

SC: My inspirations mostly derive from the comics I read as a kid and still continue to read. Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Jerome Opena, Frank Frazetta, and Bernie Wrightson are some of my favorite artists.

Punisher – Spot illustration

HVT: What’s your personal and artistic relationship to Vermont?

SC: Vermont is my home and it’s a wonderful place for artists. We have a great community that supports creativity.

HVT: What’s your relationship with cannabis?

SC: Long, loving, and purely recreational.

Battlefield – opening page to personal comic

HVT: What’s your vision for cannabis in Vermont?

SC: I’ve personally never felt threatened or outcast due to my cannabis consumption, it’s one of the reasons I love Vermont. With decriminalization, and the new law taking effect in July, I’m happy that Vermonters can be safe whether it’s recreational or medical use, and I hope to see more people educated about the plant and its effects.

HVT: Where are you based, how can people see your work, and what’s the best way for people to contact you?

SC: I live in South Burlington, VT. You can see some of my previous work at samcowey.com or stay up to date with my current projects on Instagram @samartst. Both provide links to my email samcowey@comcast.net  

Sam Cowey

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