Meet Sarah of Sarah Sampson Art

Sarah Sampson

📍 Oregon, USA.

We checked in with the waterwoman, Sarah, of Sarah Sampson Art to see just what it's like to merge her love of nature, art, and conservation work.

"I hope to explore my ability to combine art and science."

How did you become the creator that you are today? What spurred you to start? 

Growing up in coastal California, my life revolved around the ocean. I grew up playing in tidepools, diving in kelp forests and surfing a longboard.  Committed to the sea, I became a marine biologist and scientific scuba diver - and spent a lot of time at sea. Along the way, I forgot why I became a scientist in the first place: my fascination with the patterns in the natural world. I recently resigned from my job to become an artist and homesteader in the PNW. 

What kind of resource do you work with? (leather, clay, textile, etc.)

Paper - Watercolor and digital illustration


What fuels you to create the pieces you share with the world? Tell us about your work. 

My work explores ecological shifts in nature. I identify the patterns, shapes and colors that vary amongst the natural environment. Influenced by both the mountains and the sea, I like to communicate ecological patterns through watercolor pigments. My goal is to create art as a tool for social change - advocating for the conservation and restoration of wilderness spaces.


What are some goals or places you look to grow? 

Overall, to grow as a female business owner. Since taking a ‘sabbatical’ from academia, I’m ready to get back into the creative realm. I hope to explore my ability to combine art and science.  Ultimately, the goal is to utilize art to fuel an eco-culture that promotes ecological conservation and restoration projects. 

Share achievements with us, what were some “Aha” moments? 

Last year, I resigned from my job and I had a plan… until 9 days later and the lockdowns for COVID began. I abruptly had to  change  my plans again. The pandemic helped me realize how vital my ‘side-hustle’ income could be. I focused 100% on being a productive artist and it worked. I was able to create an income without going back to my traditional job. Super grateful!

What are some lessons you learned that could help other makers?

Learn to collaborate and ask for help. It’s impossible to walk this earth alone, might as well have a helping hand by your side. 

What's a fun fact that brings you and your piece together?

For nearly 8 years, I worked exclusively as a scientific scuba diver.  With over 1000 dives and ~30 days of bottom time, it is more time underwater than I ever could have imagined. Captain, underwater camera operator,  fisherwoman, surfer, freediver - I’m a waterwoman.   


Okay, so you are done working for the day/week, what do you do?

Overall, I have chosen a life that is intrinsically tied to the natural environment - both the land and the sea. 
So in my free time, I like to go to the beach for tidepooling, tending to homestead chores, hiking with my dog, swimming at the local river…. But  really just a big nature nerd using the iNaturalist Seek app to identify species in the local landscape.
📍 Oregon, USA.

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