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Illustrator Sam Weber was born in Alaska and grew up in Deep River Ontario, Canada. After attending Alberta College of Art and Design, in Calgary, he moved to New York to pursue illustration and attend graduate school at School of Visual Arts. Sam's studio is in Brooklyn and he's married to illustrator Jillian Tamaki.

01.04.11

Illustration in Context

If you have a degree in what field is it? I have a Bachelor of Design from Alberta College of Art and Design and an MFA from School of Visual Arts.

Have you always been able to draw or was it a skill you learned in college? I’ve always loved drawing but I didn’t think about it as something I might be able to do for a living until I finished high school.

What was your first paid assignment? A drawing for the New York Times Op-Ed page.

Which illustrator (or fine artist) do you most admire? David Lynch.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an illustrator? I honestly have no idea.

From where do your best ideas originate? Movies and photography, childhood memories, novels.

How do you overcome a creative block? Working on personal project can help. Most of my creative leaps have evolved out of something I created for myself as opposed to something I’ve done for a client.

In one word describe how you feel when beginning a new assignment? Anxious.

Do you have a personal philosophy? No.

Do you have creative pursuits other than illustration? None that I’m willing to admit to on the Internet.

What music are you listening to right now? Solo Piano by Gonzales.

What's your favorite quote? “Illustration: The applied art most likely to be found dead in a hotel room as a result of auto-erotic asphyxiation.”

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Try to have a new body of work six months after you graduate. Have a Web site. Look at illustration in context. Create work you enjoy making. Be objective about your work; just because you're good at something doesn't mean you should be doing it.

What's one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? It’s okay to say “no.”