To Top

Life & Work with Samantha Wake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Wake.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’ve been making marks since I could grip a crayon – just shortly after my natural instinct to grip my mom’s finger kicked in.

Since then, art has saved my life many times. It is a constant that comes before I even take a breath – even when I forget how to breathe. It is a way for me to express all of my emotions and convey my thoughts and inner voice. I believe art and self-expression are part of the world’s saving grace.

Growing up, I became most comfortable with drawing in pencil and painting in acrylics. In college, I learned that the world is full of mediums and everything is an art supply. Anne Schutte, my mentor and professor said, “everything is an art and the possibilities to make art are endless!”.

After receiving a bachelor of arts degree in art with a concentration in drawing at ASU, I began operating under Broken Bullet. I have always been intrigued by opposing ideas and juxtapositions because of the conflict that can occur when they collide. I wanted my label to reflect that. Being broken is a weak and vulnerable condition. The opposite of that, powerfully strong and defended, is like a bullet. But when the two are merged together, a broken bullet represents peace; disabling what could be used to hurt or kill.

So, I began using discarded ammo casings from a now closed, underground shooting range. By artfully recycling the shells, I am stopping the cycle of the bullet from being repacked and reloaded where it could hurt somebody, to an artistic evolution into a peaceful entity. As an added bonus, it’s also a way to keep history alive as the bullets were shot right down the street from the art gallery I owned in Scottsdale.

I think killing is a result of humankind ignoring our similarities and fearing anything which opposes or is different. If we created an environment where we focused more on what we innately have in common as humans, and embraced the contrasts, it would be a more peaceful place with less fear, hate, and war.

I hope to lead that charge by living my life peacefully with love and kindness. I have made it my purpose to pass these ideas on through my art, and forward them to my greatest inspiration, my daughter Gray, just like my parents did for me!

And so, 10% of my monthly proceeds are donated to Kids for Peace, “uplifting our world through love and action”.

This is a global nonprofit organization that focuses on teaching our youth to lead with kindness.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Although the creation process has come easily, there have been many obstacles clouding my path. After getting an art degree from Arizona State University, I experienced a tragedy close to me where my friend murdered 2 people and then committed suicide. After that, my drinking led me to rehab. At that point, I was misdiagnosed with bipolar.

Although I quit drinking alcohol at age 21, the misdiagnosis led to me being over prescribed and abusing prescription drugs. During that time, I attended another rehab as well after a car accident to lessen my sentence. Then, I opened Broken Bullet Boutique and Gallery, LLC, and had a shop in Old Town Scottsdale on Craftsman Court. Here, I sold my art, jewelry, and fashion. I had the shop for 3 years. I didn’t feel like I was bringing in enough capitol though and was more interested in creating than marketing. I found myself discouraged, uninspired, and bored being confined there. I closed my shop and began working from home.

I started a nonprofit organization called Pet Portraits for Pet Donations on Facebook and Etsy where I was creating pointillism drawings (all dots) of people’s pets. In 2017, I gave birth to my daughter and married her father a year later. I kept creating but was not pursuing any business. Then I got divorced and my psychiatrist of 10 years died of Covid. He passed on his practice to someone who, I believe he thought could help save me. My new Doctor began detoxing me from a slew of pharmaceuticals over the next couple of years. I officially finished detoxing the last august and have been re-diagnosed with depression and PTSD. I began rebuilding my business through instagram and I also have a Shopify in the works as well. While I still struggle with the business side, I believe my biggest demons are behind me.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I consider myself a mixed-media artist because I literally couldn’t choose one! I started with drawing and painting.

By the time I was 6, I was designing and creative clothes with the help of my mom.

I began making accessories soon after. In college I found myself dabbling in almost everything from metals, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics, and fibers. At this point, I see everything in front of me as an art supply!

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and are any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
On a personal note, I learned that I draw a lot of inspiration from in-person interactions.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @brokenbullet

Image Credits

Juliet Finklea and Brandon Mendez

Suggest a Story: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories