Black Spell takes its inspiration from board sports culture and the arts. As part of an ongoing ‘Community Feature’ series here at blackspell.co.uk, we’re going to highlight some of the other creatives we have the pleasure of working along side. This is your chance to get to know a little more about the people and processes behind the art; the riders, artists, photographers, makers, creators and collaborators.
Black Spell x Samuo Art – The Unisex Goat King SS Tee
Sam Curtis is a UK artist who currently works and resides in Osaka, Japan. His daily drawings are creative, thoughtful and somewhat provocative.
In this feature, Sam talks about his style of art, inspirations and the recent piece he completed in collaboration with Black Spell, the “Goat King”.
Artist and Black Spell Collaborator – Samuo (サムオ) Art
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Sam, I’m an artist / creative all rounder based in Osaka, Japan, originally hailing from the beautiful North East, UK. I spend a lot of my free time trying to create funny / weird / thought-provoking / erotic / low-brow art, in a vain attempt to give myself some sort of self validation, and hopefully make people laugh along the way.
I have a huge love for the natural world, I’ve always been a huge animal lover and studied Biology at university. You can see that a huge amount of my work is animal based in one way or another. I also collect (ethically sourced) taxidermy / skeletons, when I can afford it. It makes my apartment pretty creepy, but I love it.
Who’s work are you influenced by/where do you find inspiration?
It’s a difficult question to answer, some of my ideas just arrive in my head, others after staring blankly at a wall for a few hours desperately trying to think of something funny, hating myself more with each passing minute. Other times I bastardise some song lyrics I’ve heard or a famous quote / phrase, and use it to create an idea. If I cant think of anything clever, I’ll usually pick an animal and draw tits on it.
I’ve always been a big fan of the unusual and bizarre, and as I get older I’m accepting that side of myself more and more. It took me 32 years to realise that nobody really cares what you wear / do / think, so why not embrace the unusual, if you want to draw a shark jumping out of a vagina, why the hell not?
Other times i’ll just have an idea whilst I’m out drinking or whatever and make a note in my phone. It works really well as you just end up with this huge list of ridiculous ideas that barely make any sense, such as ‘elfen sausage’, ‘dolphin crotch’ or ‘grandma, what long tits you have’. A lot of them are just garbage but it’s great to read back through them and have a laugh, or use one to inspire a new piece.
On a more serious note, some artists / illustrators that I really enjoy are the works of are Sir John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham, Ernst Haeckel and Hieronymus Bosch.
“I most commonly use Procreate on the iPad, with the Apple pencil.” – Sam Curtis
What was the last thing you sketched?
My last piece was a drawing of a deep sea diver opening a treasure chest, only to find out that it is empty, except a message saying “the real treasure was inside you all along”. The diver then responding with a very downtrodden “for fucks sake.” I often like to mess around with these profound quotes and ideas that try to fill your mind with motivation, inspiration and hope, when actually all you want is a big massive box of gold coins. You cant get smashed on a six-pack of motivation.
What’s your favourite thing to sketch?
Easily my favourite thing to draw is my take on the mermaid. The lower half is a fish, with the top half being the nude lower half of a woman. It’s something I can draw easily and I really like how the shape flows.
My other favourite is drawing my ‘welcome adventurer’ series. They take a fair bit of thought to come up with but it’s always worth it to see how much people enjoy them.
What equipment do you use?
I most commonly use Procreate on the iPad, with the Apple pencil. Procreate is a super user friendly program and a one off payment, I highly recommend it. When I’m not doing digital, I use a fine mechanical pencil, and then ink with 0.03 Copic multiliners, sometimes thicker fineliners depending on what the piece is.
What was your initial inspiration/ideas for the Black Spell collaboration piece you did?
For my Blackspell Goat King design I wanted to lend my style to the Blackspell image. It was really fun for me to stray a little different from my usual style and produce a graphic that had a darker, more witchcraft kind of feel. Goats are traditionally associated with witchcraft and demons etc. and they also happen to be one of my favourite animals. So, I did my own take on a sort of supernatural / demonic goat king that fit with the Blackspell aesthetic. I also chucked a little bit of subtle Japan in there too, utilising the solid circle of the Japanese flag as the background.
What’s your favourite piece that you’ve ever created?
I have two pieces that will always be iconic for me. The first is my shunga (japanese erotic art) woman, with the old man’s face in place of her vagina. The image really sums up a lot of different aspects of who I am, it’s weird, erotic, a bit creepy but also funny. Someone actually liked it enough to get it tattooed on their chest.
The second piece I really like is one of my mermaid drawings, just something about the rhythm and flow of the drawing is really pleasing for me, I’ve always loved it.
I have to give a shout out to my other favourites too, which are my take on the old ‘choose your own adventure’ books. I really enjoy thinking of all the bizarre outcomes, and messing with peoples sense of judgement. Check them out!
Where can we see your art?
My art is almost exclusively on my Instagram: @samuo_art. I also have a few products available on my redbubble store. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my feature, feel free to contact me any time!
View this post on Instagram
The real treasure is inside all of us. 😒 – #digitalillustration #digitaldrawing #tattooart #illustration #penandink #darkart #dailysketch #diving #weirdart #surreal #dailydrawing #treasure #ink #pendrawing #inkdrawing #inkwork #dotwork #linework #stippling #blackwork #blackworknow #digitalart #osaka #eroticart #大阪 #イラスト#linedrawing #illustratenow #lineart #lowbrowart