I’m actually a little late to the “Baskets” game. Have you seen this show? If not, I implore you to check it the hell out! It's great. I discovered this show embarrassingly recently: Jan. 2019 or so...and promptly binge watched it. Around this time two cloon-type things merged in my life at once which can’t be coincidence, right? After the Creative Mirror show last year, I found a mentor in Grey Anatoli Cross. He tipped me off about a show that was coming up that he was taking part in and the subject matter was clowns. I had been watching Baskets recently and was intrigued by the show, so I wrote to the art director and asked to take part. I ended up getting into the show. The Baskets piece plus some of my stream of consciousness paintings were displayed for a few weeks while the show ran here in New Orleans. I posted the painting on social media and got some serious love from the official BasketsFX account on both Twitter and Instagram. Cool!
I woke up one morning a few days later to a comment directly from Louie Anderson saying he loved it! It was really, really cool (to say the least) to see the response.
I painted a second piece and displayed it at my first solo art show at St. Roch Market recently and it sold quickly. :)
Please watch Baskets, it’s brilliant! We need as many seasons of this original and unique show as we can get. (Season 4 starts in June 2019)
Hello Party People:
I wanted to update you on which comedians I’m painting next.
Questions? Email Me
In November 2018, I went to a Doug Benson show in New Orleans at Cafe Istanbul. I had tweeted about my excitement the night before the show and Doug ended up mentioning my tweet on stage. He started reading my Twitter name aloud and said : “Hey wait, is your last name really Galactica?” I huffed loudly and just said: “NO.” I’m kinda delighted to say got a laugh or two from Doug and the crowd. Needless to say, I have been asked more than a few times if Samantha Galactica is my real name. In the interest of transparency and honesty to the people who have supported me, I’d like to clarify and share a few things:
My given name is Samantha Hayslip, I was born in 1987. I grew up in Lisbon, Maine. (Never heard of it? I’m not shocked.) I went to the local public schools and graduated from high school in 2005. After high school I moved to Cambridge, MA and started attending the Art Institute of Boston. I went there for about 2 years and learned about a few different types of art in a short amount of time. I studied art history, I learned about photography, I was taught how to paint in oil and how to draw. I struggled with the practicality of my decision to study art pretty much the whole time I was there. I left AIB sometime in 2008 because I thought I wanted to get into nursing school and secure a practical career. I had a crisis of thought about studying to be an artist because I couldn’t figure out how I’d make money or start a career. I didn’t have anyone mentoring me in one way or the other so I caved to the thought that I needed to choose something more practical. I started exploring nursing programs in Boston and applied to several schools. I got into exactly zero of those schools. Struggling to find a direction, I took the advice of a friend at the time and enrolled in some exploratory classes at Harvard Extension school. Harvard was in very close proximity to where I was living and working so it made sense to study there. I never declared a major and lasted 2 semesters. I wasn’t asked to come back after my grades dipped below a B- for too long. It was an interesting experience but now seems like time wasted because I didn’t pursue anything specific.
I ended up moving back to Maine in 2009. I took a job at the nursing agency that I had previously volunteered at and where my mother also worked. In 2009 I became certified as a nursing assistant and was able to work in many different areas of healthcare, including:
Somewhere around July 2017, I had decided to leave Maine and formulated a plan to move. I came to Louisiana in late August 2017 and it’s been a great choice so far. I feel grateful for the people I have met and the connections I’ve made. I can now be an artist again and it feels natural to be working in the way that I do. I’m always going to be Samantha Hayslip, but becoming Samantha Galactica has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I was scrolling through Twitter when I read the first post about Brody Stevens dying. My brain turned to instant denial and that it must have been some sort of cruel rumor only the internet of today could provide. Then I saw more tweets, pictures and memorial messages. I felt and still feel a lot of disbelief that this truly funny and good hearted, positivity-pushing comedian took his own life. I do not place blame on Brody for leaving us, I’m just really sad that he’s gone.
In the days following his death, I knew I needed to paint Brody’s portrait. I wanted to memorialize him in some way, and I used the time spent making his portrait as my own type of therapy. It felt like my way of saying goodbye and helped me work through a lot of sadness by focusing on my craft in those few days.
Brody meant a hell of a lot to me because he shared things so openly and he helped me feel less alone in my own life more than once. When I watched his memorial at The Comedy Store on Periscope I saw that he helped not only me but plenty of other people during his time here. It was so clear to me how loved he is. I still feel a pang of sadness whenever his photo pops up in a feed, I miss him a lot. I know lot of others do too. All we can do is keep is memory alive and be there for one another.
Believe It Fund
Last September I was sitting at my display booth a local art show as people walked by and checked out my paintings. A passerby was perusing my art pointed at my painting and said: “Kinda folksy, huh?” while walking off. I realized in that moment that artwork can be easily misunderstood and that the message I'm trying to send isn't always received by the viewer. The big lesson here for me was that if I make strange art, which I do, it may serve me to try and explain it to the world. There's a big part of me that wants each individual viewer of my artwork to have a different idea on what it means, independent of what I say. I like to provoke thought and conversation as an artist and I'm glad if my work does so. Still, I think it's probably good to shed some light on my process and how I come about the imagery I create.
I do have a process that I like to follow. I enjoy creating little rules of each piece of artwork. These rules end up helping to inform the piece. For instance; I might make a rule that I can only utilize certain colors or tools. It's my thought that by creating small limitations that it helps me move my work in an abstract direction. I also change the orientation of my canvas intermittently while I work. I like to check that my image has visual balance and I think the change in perspective helps my brain see things more clearly. It's the same idea as stepping back 10 feet from the easel while working; a shift in perspective is good most of the time.
For these types of paintings I have adopted a stream of consciousness style. I'm not sure that is an exact or popular style, but it's what I call it. When I say stream of consciousness style, I mean that: