Photo by Jack Waguespack
Sam Bayless is a freshman majoring in visual art and minoring in education in hopes of becoming an art teacher for young children. Bayless tends to be modest with his art, and teaching may help him come out of his shell while also giving a larger meaning to his work.
“I think getting a healthy mix of unbound chaotic energy and distilled, refined focus would be a lot of fun to work around,” he said.
He says he has been drawing since he was 2 years old, which is evident because the majority of his first drafts are done in crayon. Encouragement from the people he surrounds himself with kept him practicing his art. “If I didn’t have the support I did when I did, I might not be doing what I love today,” he said.
“I don’t really get inspired by people, but that’s not to say I don’t find inspiration. The way I see someone draw an object, or a pairing of notes in a song that change the mood and message from what I thought it was, or even a word that someone uses that I don’t know what it means.”
Drawing inspiration from things outside the art world isn’t anything new, but for Bayless, these connections come from something deeper.
“I don’t have any people as inspirations for art, but in general life, I rely on my friends and family, like most people do,” he said. “The way they deal with things and succeed or fail is interesting to watch and participate in, and whenever someone triumphs, it’s an inspiration. When they fail, it’s a lesson to be learned.”
As far as how he personally views art, Bayless said, “Art is so subjective, you can really assign any meaning or idea to any piece. It can be the most complicated way we can communicate with each other, or it can [be] the simplest.”
Bayless works in many different art forms, but he has a clear favorite. “Music. I don’t know when I’m not listening to it or thinking about it. Either joking about starting a band or sitting on the bus just watching the world like a movie.”
When he isn’t making art, he is working at one of his more “realistic” jobs.
“I love working. It’s kind of strange. For some reason when I’m at a job, whether it’s working in a restaurant or in construction, things just make sense.”
He also talks about stability and how sometimes it’s needed a little more when you’re an artist. “Even an unstable job like my current one can bring a sense of stability simply by virtue of being a responsibility with tangible, physical actions needed. There’s no fluff of deadlines or papers to fill out. I guess I find low-level jobs more satisfying than jobs when you sit in one place not moving.”