Sam Randolph is a graphic designer and illustrator based in New Orleans, LA. Her company Little Histories prints her illustrations of the many unique and historical buildings prevalent in New Orleans while providing background info on their architectural aspects and shifting uses.
How did your interest in your medium begin and how did you arrive at your current style?
I became interested in graphic design at a young age—though I didn't quite yet realize why I was hoarding pretty notebooks (but never writing in them, because that would ruin how pretty they were) and saving cute packaging. During high school I took a digital arts class and fell in love with arranging elements on the screen. I studied design in college, but it wasn't until I graduated and moved to New Orleans that I really began to explore digital illustration.
How do you feel about the relationship of an artist to their city or surroundings?
I think that being in a place you love is very important. I draw inspiration from almost every building I pass in New Orleans, and the kindness of the people around me make me strive to be a better person and someone who works to help their community every day.
How do you choose your subjects?
With Little Histories, I pick whichever buildings feel right to me, whether it be because they're classically pretty, are great because they're absurd (The Giant KFC Chicken Building or The Basket Building) or because they have a great story. I've been trying to focus on illustrating architecture that may not be around for much longer so that they can be documented before the wrecking balls move in.
Who have been some of your biggest influences or your best teachers?
I had a professor in college who was probably the person that pushed me the most as a designer and artist. He always made sure that a student knew that a piece could always be better, which was terrifying at the time to learn that creative work was never 100% done but nonetheless a great lesson in growth and creativity. I also have to mention Liz Cooke of Lionheart Prints for taking me under her wing and teaching (and continuing to teach) me so much about business, the stationery world, and how to write awkward, non-robotic emails.
Do you have a creative or artistic peer group in your area that you're a part of?
I attended Venture Pop! last year and keep up with the Facebook group of attendees—it's a wonderful group of wonderful creatives—and I'm looking forward to this year's conference in a few weeks. I am also friends with a lot of New Orleans creative people who are always more than happy to talk about work and give out piles of helpful advice.
Where do you go to draw inspiration?
My biggest source of inspiration lately is just from going on walks. We are so lucky here in New Orleans to be in a place that respects its architecture and history.
Do you feel creatively satisfied?
I feel pretty darn creatively satisfied right now. I am working a couple of great jobs (shout out to Lionheart Prints and Chris Fettin Design) as well as juggling my personal work and company, and I couldn't be happier with it all!