When we asked her what motivates her creativity, our July speaker Sam Kirk responded, “I am motivated by people working to overcome current issues, stories of strong women, and the LGBTQ community. I believe art can help to change perspectives and I am curious to see the effects of the work I create on society.”

“As an artist, it’s my responsibility to push back. If I want to see something different, I have to create it.”

July’s event on “Intention” was amazing. Artist Sam Kirk spoke about how she uses her work to celebrate the lived experiences of underrepresented communities. Then, members of our community stood up and shared their personal intentions for a goal or project they’re going to commit to in the next 6 months. Needless to say, it was an inspiring morning. 

We’ll have the full video up on our site soon, but in the meantime, enjoy a few more words from speaker Sam Kirk in our speaker interview below, and check out highlights attendees shared from the event!

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Q & A with artist Sam Kirk

I understand you previously had a career in advertising. While the intention behind your work may have changed, I imagine there are many ways the two paths are complementary. What is one lesson or skill you learned in your time in advertising that has transferred over to your career as an artist?
The biggest lesson that has transferred from my advertising career to my art career is having the ability to work well under pressure and to trust your ability to deliver no matter what the challenges are.

How does Chicago influence you or your work?
Chicago’s soulful character and charm fills my work. I grew up playing in water pumps, watching my cousins break dance on cardboard, and racing my friends to the corner store for penny candies. I’m most interested in the activities that happen deep in the blocks of our neighborhoods; street vendors hard at work, alley mechanics, and summer block parties filled with Chicago accents, dance moves, and culture.

What are the top three places you find inspiration?
I am mostly inspired by people, so I often find myself in public spaces for inspiration or go for a bike ride, but I also escape to nature when I need to recharge my imagination.  

Lastly, what’s one fun fact about you that’s not in your official bio?
I’m a chocoholic. I have chocolate at least once a day… usually several times a day.________________