Welcome to another installment of the Heart Beats Series. This is a series we explore the stories of those making an impact outside of the music industry. I started this podcast in music, and while music artists will always be the foundation of Auxoro, I felt that I was watching fascinating stories outside of music pass me by. So, I created a space for these stories to exist called Heart Beats.
This time we are going to do things a little bit differently. But first, let me tell you about our guest this week, Sam Brunell who started a company called Little Sam’s Art (@littlesamsart). Sam draws vivid, colorful, and striking sketches of music artists, actors, cartoon characters, and others. He makes some of the best artwork I’ve seen, and I don’t say that lightly. These aren’t just portraits. Sam incorporates elements from each person’s life into the artwork.
For example, in a recent sketch of Ariana Grande, Sam included a mini sketch of Mac Miller covering his face and peaking through one eye (from the Vulture profile, the last interview he did before he died). Sam also included an Eevee, one of Ariana’s most recent tattoos, in the portrait. He describes this style as “portraits within portraits.” Sam, now 26, has been drawing since six years old. He’s done some epic collaborations, including one with Justin Bieber, and his drawings have even been featured on Will Smith’s Instagram. As a kid, Sam endured multiple, serious surgeries to address spinal problems and extremity issues. On his website he says “life was a big struggle for me when growing up, undergoing many serious surgeries from a young age. Drawing and creating characters I wanted to be around seemed like an escape from it all. Ever since I remember putting pencil to paper, I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.”
I think Sam makes amazing art and I reached out to have a conversation with him on the podcast. He responded, saying “I’d love to do it, but I have really bad speaking anxiety. One of my worst fears is giving speeches. I broke down in college before I had to give a presentation, and ever since then I can’t do it.” Even though Sam felt uncomfortable speaking, I still wanted to have him on the podcast. So I sent him some questions over email, and he sent me back his answers so I will be reading them for Sam. Without further ado, here is our latest installment of the Heart Beats series with Sam Brunell.