Artist Statement

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Hello! My name is Samantha J. Darr and I am an Illinois photographer and artist. I love to explore different mediums to see what they can do and what I can do with them. My work usually features bright colors and fun, bold textures and patterns.

My passion for art started at a young age. My grandmother is a painter and digital fractal artist, as well as a teacher, and she is who I credit with starting my journey in art. Some of my fondest memories are of us scribbling on the circle cardboard cutouts saved from frozen pizzas. My grandma liked to prove that anything can be an art supply, and I have taken that sentiment to heart!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to antique shops, flea markets, yard sales and second hand stores. I love taking something unused or forgotten and giving it a new life. I embody this attitude with much of my art and photography, finding new ways to look at something, bringing attention to overlooked objects, or just incorporating recycled items into my art.

I've enjoyed taking pictures for as long as I can remember, but my passion took off during high school when I got my first "real" camera (a Canon AE-1) and learned to develop film. Something just clicked (pun intended) and I've never felt more at home than when I'm behind the camera. I love to capture bright colors and contrasts in my photography, but I have a soft spot for black and white photography – something that reminds me of being back in the dark room.

When I’m not behind the camera, I'm often found doodling in my sketchbook. I still consider myself to be a student of the arts and am currently exploring different mediums and techniques to find my voice as an artist.

Marker Art

My latest focus has been on marker art, mainly using Copic and Tombow brush markers. I like the bright, bold colors, especially when combined with black and white ink.       

Exploding Skittles

For more of my art, check out my Artwork gallery!

Urban Photography

In my photography, I am most drawn urban decay. The grit, texture, and sense of being left behind call out to me. I think there's beauty in the details, and I like to draw attention to what most people would overlook.

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Still Life Photography

I also love exploring antique shops - jars of buttons, old pop bottles, rusty tools... there's a history in these well-loved and well-used items that pulls at me. 

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Rural Photography

Living smack dab in the middle of the U.S., I am surrounded by corn fields and dirt roads. As a result, I have a weakness for barns and wide open skies. 

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Butterflies & Dragonflies

The color and movement of butterflies and dragonflies makes them a favorite of mine to photograph. I'll often take a day to visit the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri and spend hours walking around among the butterflies, with plenty of trips to rest in A/C and get water!

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Flowers & Plants

Nature is an instant go-to subject to photograph, and I love the pops of color and lush green foliage of flowers and plants. One of my favorite places to explore nature is the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and their sister-site, the Shaw Nature Preserve. 

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Visiting Ireland was at the top of my bucket list and it had so many different things to explore, from exploring the streets of Dublin and Limerick to the ocean view at the Cliffs of Moher and the castles and countryside between!

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