by www.samspratt.com

“Logic - Under Pressure” - Album Cover illustration for Def Jam Recordings by Sam Spratt

I usually don’t like to give much context or explainer for anything I’m illustrating, but this is an exception. When Logic reached out to have me paint the cover art for his debut album under Def Jam (this is the first of 2 covers) he started by just telling me his story.
He grew up in poverty in a very broken home filled with violence, abuse, drugs, his brother dealt crack to his own father, mother was stabbed, he was kicked out of school, out of the house, all by age 17, and when these systems failed him, he turned to his friend to stay in his basement — with a couple others close to him, he sat down and started to write — to make music. He showed me a few grainy low-res photos which was all he had from this basement — enough to look at and see how the room was laid out, but little else. There just wasn’t any sort of documentation of that specific moment/feeling he had there — which despite everything that had happened prior, was a positive and warm memory. So he explained to me this quiet scene in the basement of him reading his recently written lyrics off his phone while his two friends sat there, listened, and the sun started to go down and bleed through the window. He described some of the things that filled this basement like an old thrift store painting of a car, an ugly yellow moth-eaten sofa, perpetually twisted-up window blinds, a stolen street sign, the colors, the materials of the desk, stereo, and speakers, down to some of the stickers that were pasted over it. And then he asked me to recreate that.
So this album cover was about a month worth of researching, sketching, and painting but not for a glitzy portrait like I assumed I’d be doing as rap album art — instead it was piecing together the mood, color, feeling, action, and setting of a very vivid, fairly unexceptional, yet important memory that a camera just never captured. I’ll have more to share in the near future as to how this was made in-depth, the back cover, and the other album artwork we worked on together, but I thought I’d share a bit about what went into this one. When you hear the album, it’ll make even more sense as it has this amazing narrative throughout the whole thing that we worked hard together to sync up on the art side. If you’ve never listened to Logic, here’s a small taste of what to expect on a couple awesome tracks: HERE and HERE with Childish Gambino.

To everyone in NYC! tomorrow I’ll be giving about an hour long talk, demo, technique breakdown, and Q&A put on by Apple and Wacom. Anyone is welcome, it’ll be super low-key and I’ll be around afterwards if you wanna say hey or just start getting in line for the iPhone 6. Info here: Tuesday, September 9th at 7pm - New York Soho Apple Store - 103 Prince St. New York, NY. You don’t need to, but you can register on Apple’s site here: http://bit.ly/1jARFg8

Print by Sam Spratt http://1xrun.com/runs/Daenerys Print by Sam Spratt http://1xrun.com/runs/Daenerys

SIGNED PRINT RELEASE: “Daenerys”  - by Sam Spratt

So I know I’ve been super bad about doing signed prints, I just really don’t like selling you stuff, so sorry about that. I partnered with 1xrun again (they handled Gilded) and did a *beautiful* job on the printing while also letting me keep it actually affordable. The edition is timed and will be up until September 16th. Ships internationally, they do an amazing job to avoid print damage even in those long treks, and the archival pigment print is on this thick ass 16” x 24” 310gsm Museum Natural Fine Art Paper which picks up the color, texture, and wooshiness really well. So share around, you can snag one at the link above or HERE and let me know if you have any questions about it that aren’t answered on the page. Thanks, all!

(Source: samspratt)

What made you choose SCAD?

Asked by Anonymous

I guess it’s been a couple years since I’ve answered a question like this so in as cliff-notey of a way as I can make it:

Love and naivety.

Didn’t have much interest or experience with art, but my girlfriend at the time got in so I took an incredibly boneheaded romantic leap, applied there and nowhere else, never visited, miraculously got into the art school, got out of the relationship, was stuck there, ended up liking drawing quite a bit, and the rest is history. It was a terrible decision made for terrible reasons that just happened to work out extremely well despite a million reasons why it shouldn’t have. SCAD is a perfectly fine university, has its issues like any art school, but better resources than just about any other — none of that was remotely a factor into going there though.

Moral of the story: make wildly impulsive and short-sighted decisions and everything will work out perfectly every time, always, forever — nothing can go wrong making major life choices based on teenage romance. It worked for me, so it’ll work for you. 

Print by Sam Spratt http://1xrun.com/runs/Daenerys Print by Sam Spratt http://1xrun.com/runs/Daenerys

SIGNED PRINT RELEASE: “Daenerys”  - by Sam Spratt

So I know I’ve been super bad about doing signed prints, I just really don’t like selling you stuff, so sorry about that. I partnered with 1xrun again (they handled Gilded) and did a *beautiful* job on the printing while also letting me keep it actually affordable. The edition is timed and will be up until September 16th. Ships internationally, they do an amazing job to avoid print damage even in those long treks, and the archival pigment print is on this thick ass 16” x 24” 310gsm Museum Natural Fine Art Paper which picks up the color, texture, and wooshiness really well. So share around, you can snag one at the link above or HERE and let me know if you have any questions about it that aren’t answered on the page. Thanks, all!
illustration by www.samspratt.com illustration by www.samspratt.com illustration by www.samspratt.com illustration by www.samspratt.com illustration by www.samspratt.com

"Emmy Portraits" - illustrations by Sam Spratt

A handful of golden portraits of my favorite nominees this year that I’ve been working on: Laverne Cox (OITNB), Ricky Gervais (Derek), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), and Kerry Washington (Scandal). 

Prints available here

death and art tributes

Art can actually be a beautiful way to pay tribute to death, there’s no wrong way to grieve, and there’s validity in being sad over people you’ve never even met.

But to any artists out there, I encourage you to simply ask yourself honestly if within hours of discovering someone dying, and you’re already putting pen/brush to paper/canvas — why you are, and if you should. Are you doing that because you profoundly want to honor this person you have never commemorated before, or are you capitalizing on someone’s death for self-promotion? If the answer is the former, then a “window of relevance” won’t matter — put weight behind that decision, take care, take your time, and truly make it great.

"Neil deGrasse Tyson" - Illustration by samspratt

Finally got around to wrapping up this portrait of everyone’s favorite astrophysicist. With his huge impact on new generations of aspiring scientists, I knew I wanted the background to be children’s space drawings. With my 6 year-old niece’s planetary masterpieces as inspiration, I did my best imitation with my left hand. (prints available here)