My name is Samantha Keck, and I am a self-taught artist from Grass Lake, Michigan. My favored mediums are sculpture and illustration, with my main focus being sculpture. The sculptures I create are usually characters, ranging from pop-culture to characters from my own imagination. I enjoy mixing Gothic elements with an enchanting whimsy that I like to think of as fairy tale-like. I am heavily inspired by Victorian aesthetics, as well as many other genres that feature heavy detail and adornment. I like to incorporate vintage objects and fabrics into my work. I find that it gives my characters a rich and magical past.
My journey in sculpting began in 2014, shortly after my senior year of high school ended. Until that time, I had dabbled very little with clay. I had a little experience with bisque clay from a class I had taken as a sophomore, but nothing more beyond that. I had always considered myself as more of an illustrator, until I discovered Sculpey clay. I quickly discovered that I could bring my sketched characters to life in a 3-dimensional form, and since then I've been absolutely hooked. I am a Dr. Frankenstein of sorts, bringing my own creations to life through clay and bits of fabric. Glass eyes stare back at me, creating an electricity that is like no other.
How do you come up with your characters?
My original characters can be inspired by so many different things. I can get ideas from so many things like an image I see in a book or online, a color, a vintage scrap of fabric, a movie, a song, and the list goes on and on! But I usually have many characters living in my mind at any given time, some just take more time to materialize than others. Some characters will kick around in my imagination for years before I do anything with them.
Where did you learn to sculpt?
When it comes to sculpting, I am completely self-taught. It's been a lot of experimentation and trial-and-error to develop my skills. I am constantly learning new techniques, and I love it when I discover a new trick!
Who Is your favorite artist?
I consider an "artist" to be a creative individual, and that can be many things. My favorite creative person is Guillermo del Toro. First and foremost, he is considered a director, but with the dark and beautiful worlds that he creates in his films, he is nothing short of a true artist. I aspire to be such a creative visionary. His 2004 film Hellboy is the reason I do what I do today. At the early age of 9, that film made an irreversible impression on me that still influences me to this day.
Where is your studio?
My studio is a loft above my dad's sign company in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Where do you get all the animal skulls?
I get animal skulls from all over! Many skulls I have purchased, while others have been given to me by family and friends. I also go skull hunting from time to time on the railroad tracks that run behind my neighborhood. Once you know where to look, you'd be surprised how much dead stuff you can find.
What is your astrology sign?
When did you know you wanted to become an artist?
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. It's just something that's always been there, something I've always known. So much of my identity is intertwined with my need to create. Without that, I don't know who I'd be.
Do you do custom sculptures?
Yes. If you have an idea for a character/creature that you would like to see created in my style, feel free to contact me. I love doing pop-culture and original characters, so the possibilities are endless!