This architect-turned-graphic artist is changing the walls of Kerala’s cafés and offices one at a time
One of the best things about Ayaz Salim’s artisanal bakery, aside from the food, is its artful interiors. However, over the last six months, French Toast has moved on from Pink Floyd and Deadmau5 posters to something that’s a bit more expressive in nature. Walking into this two-year-old eatery now involves admiring an enormous graphic wall art of a life-size Buddha and detailed wild landscapes. Smitten by this unique endeavour, we decided to find out more about the artiste who made this happen. A former architect, Samantha King has been drawing since her childhood, but 2017 did the trick as far as this 20-something is concerned.“I started doing wall art at the age of 25. My first and most determined piece of work now adorns the office of Roshan Netalkar, who is associated with Swordfish Events & Entertainment. Thanks to him, I’ve been working on walls for the last two years. He went on to put me at work with platforms like Art Bengaluru as well,” explains Samantha, who earned her degree from University School of Design.
Done using acrylic and enamel paints, Samantha’s works draw inspiration from subjects such as Buddha, mother nature, and concepts like Feng Shui, women empowerment, etc. Sporting influences from drawing techniques including zentangles, the young artist’s works stand apart owing its life-like detailing and sheer size. Apart from the 35 x 12 feet doodle wall she created for a cafe at Vasanth Nagar, Samantha also painted a 40-feet wall mural for Eastern Group’s facility at Adimali. “It was a real challenge, as I happen to be scared of heights. The style adopted was the same as that of the nature mural done at French Toast,” she explains. Her recent projects include a chalkboard-styled wall piece (12 x 12 feet) at Bubblewrap Cafe, JP Nagar, which was finished within 10 hours and a hippie-styled work which sprawls over three walls of The Brooklyn Tap. “I have also been dabbling in custom paintings that are conceptualised around love, mother nature, and women. The clients were as unique as their orders and it opened up a new way of expressing my art,” adds Samantha, who is hoping to work with quirky concepts such as 3D murals in the coming months.