Sam Pink, poetry, paintings & Skittles

This saturday is quite different.

I’m going on knowing american authors. It’s like I’m walking down the American streets, made of books and sharp words. I’m not sure I have the insurance.

Sam Pink has answered my questions. He writes books and paintings people. One of those faces could be you.

How did you start writing? I started writing things on coupons during lunch break at my job when I was younger. Eventually I started a blog and posted writing on it. NOt long after that someone asked about compiling it into a book.

How would you describe your style? I would describe my style as a shotgun shell full of Skittles.

Do people support your works? Yeah for sure. Overall people have been really supportive. People tell other people, or email me saying their friend made them read one of my books or something. Really cool stuff. People have been very very supportive. Without the audience, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. I was never on a huge press, or receiving any kind of formal promotion, so word of mouth, and people supporting me, has been basically 99% of my support. In that way, it has created a cool base of people because it’s not something you hear about on (x website, radio show/etc) but from a friend or someone you know. It has been kept a nice secret for a long time and I’m very thankful, every day, for the ways in which people have helped me.

What gives you the idea for your books? I’m not sure what gives me the idea for my books. I don’t mean to sound (whatever) but I’ve always felt like with writing, and especially visual art, that it all feels guided in some way. Like it’s coming from somewhere. And all I do is wrangle it a little and make sure it looks nice/clean.

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And where does “Rontel” come from? “Rontel” was my cat’s name. The idea to name a book was just a moment in which that seemed hilarious. The idea of the book itself was just theat I wanted to write a book that takes place within a day or so, and has an “odyssey” feel, even though there is very little, arguably, adventure. The “ideas” for my books are very loose and usually like “it’ll be about where I work” or “it’ll take place within a day” etc.

Sometimes people think that “big promotion” means “commercial”. Do you agree? Why do you think a big press doesn’t bet on you? Yes, I do agree. By definition, more promotion generally means more commercial. Being widely available/commercialized doesn’t mean your shit sucks, but it definitely means it has been commercialized. Promotions are commercials. Sometimes, the people who like your stuff promote you, they give mini commercials by saying to a friend, “hey read this” but anything above that, like ads/appearances on interviews/podcasts, and pretty much anything else you can think of, is paid for or arranged by a publisher, who has a commercial interest in you. I’m not exactly sure why a big publisher hasn’t helped me out, but I probably know. ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t get into doing this for that reason. I got into it to make things to share, which I have been doing, and will continue to do. Its behooves me to do anything I can on my own. I make a little money, and that’s cool, but I really don’t want a “big place” telling me what to do and “taking me on” because I’m a son of a bitch and it probably wouldn’t work out for them. I don’t paly nice when I don’t like a situation.

Have you got any fovourite author? I think ultimately, I don’t have a favourite author, but the book that probably did the most for me has been Aesop’s fables.

And what about your paintings? Who are all those faces? Who are the people you draw? The paintings and art are the same way. I just sit down and try some stuff, and if it provokes the reaction in me I’ve come to associate with “good” then that’s a success. I’ve noticed, much like with writing, that when I have a good sense of what is “good” in terms of their own work, the audience responds the same way. I’ve never felt strongly about something and then the reaction by the audience didn’t equate. I don’t know who the people I paint are, but I’ve found they often resemble the faces of people I know. Like someone’s face works its structure into the painting. Not necessarily important/close, but people I’ve definitely encountered.

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How much people influence your works? How much are they present in your paintings or writings? People influence my work a lot. I mean in some way, writing is necessarily always (even if you were the only character) about other people. Language is like an agreement between more than one person. In some way, I’m hoping that a certain arrangement of words/feelings/etc, transmits to another. It’s like teleportation but for different units of mass. People influence my work in more overt ways too, like simply being there to be turned into a character or added into a book. More so in writing than in art but like I said, I can almost always tell you, after the fact, the face that any given painting is based on. It just happens. I mean, it’s impossible for me to imagine almost any situation that doesn’t involve people, or isn’t influenced by them in some way. As I get older I realize the profound (not always good) impact people have. In fact, I’m trying to always go deeper and deeper into learning/unlearning/identifying how much of “me” or my behaviour is being influenced (not necessarily directly) by other eople. And the goal is to free myself from that while also not ignoring it.

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Sam Pink, poetry, paintings & Skittles