Season Four – Samuel Luke

Image credit: James Manning

Samuel Luke

Season 4 – Episode 5


Goodspace Gallery
Goodspace Gallery
Instagram – goodspacegallery

Read To Me (live comic reading event)
Instagram – readtome

Seamside Podcast on Spotify

The Quilty Nook

Instagram handle @samuellukeart


00:00:00 Kiera Brew Kurec
Hi, I’m Kiera Brew Kurec

00:00:01 Nick Breedon
and I’m Nick Breedon

00:00:02 Kiera Brew Kurec
Welcome to Pro Prac,

00:00:04 Nick Breedon
where we explore the professional practice of artists

00:00:06 Kiera Brew Kurec
and hear their stories.

00:00:08 Nick Breedon
Samuel Luke is an artist who uses graphic narratives and autobiographical storytelling to explore intimate realities of being transgender. His works take the form of digital illustration, prints, comics, embroidery, quilts, and murals. Samuel’s work offers alternate forms of queer and trans representation to other gender explorers on similar journeys. From tomboy childhood gender euphoria, to affirming moments of gay trans masculinity. Samuel graduated from UNSW Art and Design in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He has since illustrated projects with ABC News, Adobe, ACON Health’s Trans Hub, Converse ANZ, Headspace and Sock Draw Heroes. Samuel currently lives and works in Sydney on Darug Country, New South Wales.

00:00:59 Kiera Brew Kurec
Samuel, thank you so much for joining us today on the show, and we would love to hear how you got to where you are today.

00:01:08 Samuel Luke
Thank you for having me Kiera and Nick. Yeah, it’s been quite a journey. I guess since like I’ve been little, I’ve always loved drawing and like little stories. I remember in year, year five, I took cartooning classes. . And I guess that was the first time I’d ever like properly done, well, yeah, it was my first introduction to comics, at such a young age. And yeah, I, I mean, granted those little comics were super silly and the characters were mostly. Little blobby people, or dragons.

00:01:52 Nick Breedon
Do you still have any of those?

00:01:55 Samuel Luke
I do, yeah.

00:01:56 Nick Breedon

00:01:57 Kiera Brew Kurec

00:01:59 Samuel Luke
It’s actually really funny looking back at them now, because like, all these characters I invented were like, these like, really cool dudes that like, ultimately, I probably wanted to be. Like, one of them, this kid, his name was Seth. And I’m like, I was obsessed with that name for some reason, but, anyway, but yeah, I guess I always loved drawing and creating and just telling little stories, whether they were silly or I guess a bit more serious later in life. So yeah, I went to art school, and yeah, I continued that illustration and storytelling. I came out as trans in my first year of uni and That was obviously such like a pivotal time in my life. But a huge also shift in my, in me creating art. So I guess the stories that I was creating then were like about what I was going through and any of the like the briefs that I got at uni no matter how abstract they were, I always tied it back to me being trans.

00:03:36 Nick Breedon

00:03:38 Samuel Luke

00:03:38 Nick Breedon
Would you, would you say that like, your kind of primary, like, medium that you were sort of focusing on, when you were at art school or when you started art school, was, was continuing that lineage of, of like an illustration or cartooning kind of practice?

00:03:56 Samuel Luke
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So in my first three years of uni, a lot of the works were like, like self portraits, illustrations, a little bit abstract, but the content was always about me, but the figurative portrait, it was always like a bust. So like heads and shoulders, I’d never addressed anything like below that.

00:04:22 Nick Breedon
Hmm. That’s really interesting.

00:04:24 Samuel Luke
And yeah, I mean, I don’t really know how I got away with that for doing that for like two, two and a half years. . And my, you just didn’t go, Hey, maybe you should, like, do you wanna do something new? But in that, On my last semester of my third year, I went on student exchange to Canada, and so I went to Montreal for six months and I did three printmaking classes and an artist book class.

00:04:54 Nick Breedon

00:04:56 Samuel Luke
So that was where I guess I was reintroduced to comics again, and like zine making. That was also the first time I started living as Samuel, and like introducing myself as Samuel. With he, him pronouns to like people that didn’t know me before. And that was also like life changing. And after that, that time in Canada, I came back and did my honors year. And that’s when I really delved into creating graphic narratives and comic books. And I did that for my, I created two graphic narratives for my honors year project.

00:05:43 Nick Breedon
And did you, did you, did you go, below the neck? Did you start getting below the neck in honors or is it still?

00:05:50 Samuel Luke
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I, yeah, I drew all the parts of me that I was uncomfortable with. Yep. I even started drawing like a future body.

00:06:03 Nick Breedon

00:06:04 Samuel Luke
Yeah. Which was what I really needed at the time. Yeah. Cause I felt like really stuck in my transition and in my story. Yeah. I felt a bit. And so I guess I was illustrating like where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be. Yeah.

00:06:26 Nick Breedon
There, it’s, it’s, it’s really is like a, such a foundational sort of, thing to do in honors, right? To, to really just go, like to go there, you’re just like, okay, now it’s going to get really, really personal.

00:06:41 Kiera Brew Kurec
Well, honors is such, honors is such an intense year.

00:06:45 Nick Breedon
So full on.

00:06:47 Samuel Luke
It was. Yeah. Yeah. It was. Definitely the, my best uni year, like I loved it so much, but it was also so incredibly emotionally draining.

00:07:02 Nick Breedon
Yeah. I had a very, a very similar experience of honors where it was, yeah, a lot of introspection, but, yeah, a lot, just a very difficult year all around, but, yeah, definitely learnt, learnt a lot from it.

00:07:18 Samuel Luke

00:07:18 Kiera Brew Kurec
What has, your process been since honours, in continuing your practice? Did you have, that time from being in Canada and then going into honours? Did you have like a trajectory that you knew you wanted to follow in your practice or was that something that you kind of navigated, each step that you took along the way?

00:07:37 Samuel Luke
So coming back from Canada, I went into honours straight away knowing that I wanted to make Like comic books. And I knew I wanted to illustrate trans stories and like trans representation and like positive futures for queer people. And like use my experiences as a way to like process what I was going through, but also in hopes that other people could find comfort in, if they were also going through a similar journey. So Yeah, I did know that I wanted that to be the trajectory of my practice, and just sharing my experiences through, comics.

00:08:23 Nick Breedon
. So, at, well, cause, you know, I think at this point you’ve talked a little bit about, or you’ve talked a lot about your, your practices being predominantly like a drawing based kind of medium so when, like, I know that you’re, you have a lot of a, like a quilt and textiles based practice or that’s incorporated into your practice, now, when did your kind of interest in, quilts and tapestry? And textile practice, begin for you.

00:08:51 Samuel Luke
Yeah, that’s a great, great segue. . . Yeah, so I, after I did, yeah my honors year, and after uni, I, I worked as a freelance artist for a couple years, like just digital illustration. That was, it was incredible, but also really hard. And. I felt after a long time, the digital realm was no longer serving me. It wasn’t giving me like the comfort or, I was going to say happiness.

00:09:32 Nick Breedon
It’s not fulfilling.

00:09:33 Samuel Luke
It wasn’t as fulfilling. So I, I was turning to something, I wanted something that I could create with my hands and ultimately something that like I could take care of and then it would grow and just something that yeah, it was like physical. And I created like my first, yeah, like embroidered comic, in like 2021, 2020,

00:09:59 Nick Breedon
so relatively recently.

00:10:02 Samuel Luke
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like a couple of years ago. So it’s still like, I was still embroidering illustrations, but. It was, yeah, like on textiles and there was even like interactive elements, like you could flip the fabric and there was like another illustration underneath and still text. And then like those were quite just handheld little kind of experiments. And then they grew into like small wall hangings and then I’ve now grown to like baby quilts and then like now I’m like working on bigger quilts. But I just love the way fabric it’s, I was going to say self healing, like, like you can always undo a stitch and like, even if you cut it, you can always sew it back together. And there was something beautiful about me making these embroidered quilts, you know, about top surgery and being trans. And then I’m like, literally sewing it together. Like about, I don’t, I really liked the parallel of like me being sewn back together since top surgery. Yeah, and like feeling a lot more comfortable and safe in my body and like these quilts are really, they’re so comforting to me and they are like a form of safety as well, just being wrapped in them and yeah.

00:11:30 Kiera Brew Kurec
Given that your, practice is, really reflective of your own experience, how have you navigated, presenting them in the public realm and like, what has been your process of, exhibiting and where you’ve chosen to exhibit?

00:11:46 Samuel Luke
Yeah. So all of my art, I, I share on my Instagram, whether that’s just like a standalone illustration, photos of a quilt that’s got, you know, like a video and then up close shots or even like a longer comic that I have in like three or four parts, like I just, I put everything up. So a lot of it was being in group shows with my classmates or, of people who I met, through a lot of like, from going to like zine fairs and then like making connections with other comic artists. going to community, art exhibitions, like good space gallery and then in like Chippendale, yeah, they’ve got like quite a big gang of like comic artists and through them. Sorry, I’m getting a bit of a tangent. I’m sorry.

00:12:47 Nick Breedon
No, this is good. Yeah. Tangent away.

00:12:50 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah, please.

00:12:52 Samuel Luke
And like through those community gallery spaces yeah, I met more comic pals and then those comic pals were like, Hey, have you heard of this place called Read to Me? And it’s like a live comic book reading event that’s hosted at knox Street Bar in Chippendale. And sometimes they have special events at like Ashfield Library and other libraries around Sydney. And those events, which like I had been invited to create a comic for, and then read that comic, often like a longer comic, like around 10 minutes, was a really great way to like challenge me to make a comic that wasn’t just super quick, like Instagram sort of comics. Something that required, you know, your attention for like 10 minutes, and I guess would be like an important story to share.

00:13:50 Nick Breedon
Yeah, that, that’s, that’s like on a, a scale of attention compared to Instagram, which is like, like a factor of a hundred or something, like one, one second versus 10 minutes.

00:14:05 Samuel Luke
Yeah. So like through those events, I met more people and then I guess we had more group shows. Yeah, it’s just so many, so much like community building. And then I guess making more connections and then I had a solo show at Good Space Gallery, so it was just, just my art. And that was, yeah, my first solo show and that was the beginning of 2020.

00:14:37 Nick Breedon
Given that you have, like, you have quite a few, you know, followers, um. And you know that your, your kinda practice or your, your medium is sort of very much,

00:14:51 Kiera Brew Kurec
Sorry, quite a few followers. I just looked 14, 000 followers.

00:14:55 Nick Breedon

00:14:56 Kiera Brew Kurec

00:14:57 Nick Breedon
Quite a few followers. And like that your, your kind of like a practice, like it, it, it’s, I think it lends very well to like social media as like a platform to kind of. Share your work or exhibit your work, how, how does it feel different to you, you know, putting such personal work like on Instagram compared to like showing it in a gallery context? Like, does it feel more intimate actually showing in a gallery that it does on Instagram or vice versa?

00:15:29 Samuel Luke
Yes, it’s different. It’s so different. I guess with, with Instagram, like I’ve I tend to just post it and then I guess kind of leave it,

00:15:42 Nick Breedon
just like have convenient amnesia

00:15:44 Samuel Luke
Yeah. And with the gallery it’s, yeah, cause it’s strange watching people look at your art. And then I don’t know, it’s like, well, I wonder what they’re thinking, do they like it?

00:15:58 Yeah. Yeah. But the thing, I guess they’re both, both platforms, but being in the gallery, it’s really wonderful when people, I mean, one of my favorite things is when they see my art and then they, they look at me and I look at the art and they point to me and they’re like, Hey, is that you? And I’m like, yeah.

00:16:20 Nick Breedon
You can’t really hide when you do soft portraits. Can you?

00:16:23 Samuel Luke
No. But yeah, and then like the conversations that come after that and it’s a really beautiful, like, oh, like. I also feel that way about being trans or like, oh, I didn’t know, you know, other people were still, dunno, it depends what the comic was about, but like it usually people feel, I’m really grateful that people feel really comfortable coming up to me either at a gallery or online after I’ve shared something really personal. It, it sort of gives them permission to be like, oh, like thank you and yeah, that’s really nice.

00:17:05 Nick Breedon
I’m glad you like that because I think you, your, your inbox must be just full of people oversharing.

00:17:12 Samuel Luke
Oh, thank you. No, it’s, no, it’s really nice. There was one comic that I posted, it was called Gay Boy and it was about me navigating, you know, the complications and all that stuff about being a gay trans man. And I’d never addressed my sexuality online before. I mean, I guess I just assumed everyone thought I was gay, but never like made a comic about it and yeah, pretty like intimate stuff. I mean, I call it sad, spicy, spicy stuff. Yeah. And that, those comics still to this day, like the most engagement my Instagram has ever gotten. Yeah. The comments and my inbox, I guess, was also really overwhelmed in a, in a good way of people saying like, thank you for being so vulnerable. . But it also got a lot, and I had to Yeah. Step away from like that comic and I, I had plans to make more issues of it.And I just, yeah.

00:18:26 Nick Breedon
I think, just touching on what you’re talking about now might be a good point to just, ask you about some of the challenges, you know, obviously fielding other people’s, responses or reactions to your work, I’m sure is incredibly, emotionally demanding, given the kind of work you make, but, you know, do you want to talk about that a little bit more to that or some of the other challenges, that you’ve experienced as part of your, your practice as an artist?

00:18:54 Samuel Luke
Yeah, sure. So when I came out as trans in my first year uni, so that was 2014, I didn’t start, so I had come out socially and been socially transitioning for like four years before I started my medical transition. So I was creating art for those four years about like waiting to transition. Yeah, which is quite an awful mindset, to be in, so like when I had, you know, I had started testosterone and then had received my top surgery and I suddenly wasn’t creating art to the scale or like the sentiment of what I’d been going through the past four years. Like I was way more preoccupied about like navigating my changing body and like relearning how to occupy my body. So that was a really big challenge because there was so many new feelings, but I just like, didn’t know how to put that into, into art, I think. Cause it was so immediate I like needed time to process what I was going through before I made it into art.

00:20:13 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah, that’s very understandable.

00:20:16 Nick Breedon
Yeah. You’d like, you haven’t even, yeah. Like registered. What’s happening yet? ?

00:20:21 Samuel Luke
No, not at all. Yeah, I don’t know. So it was like a, a bit of a shift in my art practice ’cause I, you know, took a break for a while. And I, I remember I tried to do the gender explorer series, which is like the series that I made in my honor year. I tried to pick it up again after starting T tried to, you know, with the same characters, like, Oh, but now the characters on T and it’s like, it just wasn’t the same, like that character, it really like, documented like a period of my life. Like, I couldn’t, it felt weird. Like I couldn’t just morph them into like someone else, someone else, like they just that, that character existed for a reason. I guess another shift would have been like from digital illustration to then wanting to work with more tactile, materials and, I guess the shift from that is also not immediate. Like textiles, for me, it takes a long time for me to plan them. I can’t, I can’t just like draw something on Photoshop and then, you know, paint bucket tool and like, you know, it’s not so immediate and, you know, I can’t scale it up super big and print it and it, it is what it is like in front of me, that’s how it exists.

00:21:59 Nick Breedon
It’s more, it’s like definitely much more of a, like a sculptural, medium.

00:22:04 Kiera Brew Kurec
And by nature, like a slow process as well.

00:22:06 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Like it’s, it’s quite, um. Yeah, tactile, and,

00:22:13 Yeah, I’m just, I’m just like pinching my fingers together. .

00:22:17 Samuel Luke
Are you okay?

00:22:17 Nick Breedon
Yeah. . It’s just like tactile and like it’s, yeah, it’s very material.

00:22:20 Kiera Brew Kurec
Like, , literally .

00:22:21 Nick Breedon
Again, like, like a, like a sculptural kind of work. Yeah. You do really have to, I mean, you just said that, but you have to, you have to plan it out from start to finish and, and kind of have a, a, a design kind of, You know, that you want to kind of work to more or less and, and, and material, you know, then you have to like figure out your materials, you have to go purchase them and then, you know, do tests sometimes to see if like the kind of thread you want to use is going to work with the fabric that you’ve chosen. And then, you know, yeah, it’s a lot more involved, as a, as a multi material, kind of process. So, yeah, I imagine that would have been quite, uh. A shift.

00:23:02 Samuel Luke
Yeah, absolutely. I also really, thank you, Nick. I, also really wanted to touch on what Kiera just said about, like, slowing down the process. Because that’s like, that was such a huge shift in my practice from like, the immediacy of digital art it’s so quick. And then like, especially working as a freelance illustrator, you have to be quick. And like, there’s, you know, deadlines and, um. Yeah. So it was like such a huge shift. Yeah. It’s been really nice to like spend time with the work that I’m making, instead of, I guess, just, you know, illustrating and then sending it off and then it goes off into the void and it kind of just exists in a digital realm and I don’t get to see it. So it’s, yeah, really rewarding on like a personal level creating these works. And, only last year I created. like a baby, baby blue quilt, which is a baby quilt that I made for my younger self. It was about me growing up as a tomboy and then, like those boyish experiences are really a way for me to affirm my gender in my memories. And so I created this baby quilt and then from the scraps of that quilt, I created what I called like sibling quilts and they were like, Smaller wall hangings, that had illustrations from the bigger quilt and then I had the little siblings for sale and that was the first time that I’d ever sold like an original artwork. Which was really hard.

00:24:56 Nick Breedon
Yeah, I was going to say, how did that feel? Like, that’s such a, that’s a, like, incredibly vulnerable, like, incredibly personal work. Like, how did you, how did it feel to kind of sell those, those works?

00:25:09 Samuel Luke
It was really nice. Cause like, I know everyone who bought them. Yeah. So either, like a close friend of mine, I mean, all close friends actually, but she’s just not, she’s not queer, but all the other people are queer. Yeah. So like, I know they’re going to really… Really great homes and they’ll be super loved and I can go visit them if I want. But yeah, it was hard like parting with them. . Because like, I spent so long making them and, you know, it’s about such a personal topic, so.

00:25:40 Kiera Brew Kurec
Would you be able to share what a successful practice, means to you or looks like to you?

00:25:47 Samuel Luke
I feel like. a successful practice is when you’re making work you’re truly excited about and you’re making it up for you. It’s not like, it’s not satisfying a brief or a client, like it could be, but I feel like it’s way more important for you to be really excited about this and, you know, wanting to get into the studio early and, you know. The best feeling is when you’re hyper focused on a project and you’re just like, you could do this for hours and hours and… You know, and it’s hard cause like, as a freelancer, you do need to like, think about money and

00:26:39 Nick Breedon

00:26:40 Samuel Luke
sadly, sadly, we can’t just make crafts and, you know, have fun all the time. That’s the dream. Like you do need to meet those briefs, but, you know, I’d encourage you to seek out clients that are, you know, aligned with your practice. And you’re, you don’t have to change anything but you. And I feel like you can still be an artist if you’re not making work all the time.

00:27:08 Nick Breedon
I’m, I’m really curious to hear a little bit about like your kind of working setup, obviously it’s going to be a little bit different for your kind of digital work or your drawing practice than your, your kind of textiles practice, like, and, and that shift as well, like kind of necessitates having a bit of a different working style. So how do you, how do you kind of navigate like working with, like textiles or like with quilting? Like, are you someone who likes to just, kind of, you know, sit on the couch and, and kind of work away at something like watching TV or like, you know, are you, do you sit at like a desk and work? You know, do you have like a really dedicated setup to do this kind of work or do you just kind of just like squeezing time here and there, or do you dedicate a whole day to it? Like what’s your kind of, like your daily sort of practice setup and kind of timeline like?

00:28:01 Samuel Luke
Hmm. So at the moment I am only working one day at a local bakery. And then I’ve got two days at TAFE at the moment. And then the other days, yeah, I, if I’m not doing TAFE assignments, I’m doing my quilts, so I do. I’m currently living at home with my Mum and my brother. And so I’ve got my bedroom and we also have a spare room, which I’ve converted, it used to be a playroom, but I’ve converted it into my studio now. Yeah. So I’ve got like our old computer desk and then I’ve got this sewing table that I found on the side of the road. It’s so good. And then I’ve just got my little sewing machine there and I’ve got lots of storage. So like shelves, lots of like, there’s like trundle bed, storage boxes, like stacks full of so many fabric scraps and, you know, old bedsheets and fabric that I…

00:29:08 Nick Breedon
Oh no, it’s like, fabric hoarding is, is like… You’ve gone down, you’ve started down that road,

00:29:15 Samuel Luke
. Yeah, I recently reorganised like the whole room. Cause it really needed it cause it was getting, I couldn’t, I couldn’t find stuff. Yeah.

00:29:23 Nick Breedon
And how did you reorganize everything then? Did you do like by color or like by type of fabric? Like what was your kind of organizational strategy, methodology, if you will?

00:29:37 Samuel Luke
I did it, yeah, by color and then color size. So like, like little blue scraps or go with the blue, little blue ones. Yeah. And then I’ve got like, you know, bigger blue. I’ve got a lot of blue.

00:29:51 Nick Breedon
Yeah. I was going to say, I have a feeling there’s going to be quite a lot of blue compared to the other colors.

00:29:57 Samuel Luke
Yeah. But I do have, yeah, like a few, you know, those pull out, like plastic drawers. The stackable ones, I’ve got lots of those, there’s like Ikea cube storage things. They’re really great. And I, I always make little labels for the fronts of the boxes and I write exactly what’s in them. Because

00:30:19 Nick Breedon
we need photos.

00:30:20 Samuel Luke
Oh, okay. Yeah, sure. Absolutely. Cause like, if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Cause I can’t see through like, yeah, I don’t have, yeah, cleared, clear boxes for everything. And I can’t have everything on display. But yeah, so the, the big desk is really good for like drafting up. I’ve also got like a little light box. So when I like draft up, the design for the quilts and I can like, redo them in pen with the light box and then scan them into my computer. Do a digital mock up, then print out that as a pattern in real scale. And then I can, I kind of just like trace it onto the fabric and, and then cut it out and then assemble the book.

00:31:12 Nick Breedon
Do you use a rotary cutter? I’m just so fascinated by this as a tool.

00:31:17 Samuel Luke
Sometimes, it depends what mood I’m in.

00:31:21 Nick Breedon
I can’t decide whether I would really like it as a tool or really hate it.

00:31:26 Samuel Luke
It’s pretty dangerous to be honest, they’re super like stiff and like, I don’t know, I just prefer tiny little scissors. Yeah, so typically, yeah, if I’m not working on TAFE assignments, I like to spend most of my time in the studio, like once I’ve planned the designs. I mean, planning the designs, like, I technically can do that anywhere, just like on my phone, in the notes app, you know, collecting reference images from online.

00:31:58 Nick Breedon
Yeah. And do you find that process kind of quite fulfilling or is, are you sort of like, just always keen to get to the like making part?

00:32:06 Samuel Luke
It’s so hard cause like I have so many ideas and I just want to make all the quilts. But yeah, once I’m like actually dedicated time to making the quilts, it’s just, it’s so much fun. And I really get lost in that and it’s a really great place to be.

00:32:23 Nick Breedon
And, of course the big question is also like, do you listen to music or podcasts while you’re making your quilts? Also Pro Prac is the only valid answer here.

00:32:35 Samuel Luke
I know, I’m like, I’m not putting myself into a hole. Yeah.

00:32:46 Nick Breedon

00:32:50 Samuel Luke
I, Also, I listened to a, a quilting podcast, or like a,

00:33:00 Nick Breedon
do you mind sharing what the name of it is?

00:33:03 Samuel Luke
Absolutely. It’s called Seamside and it’s run by this person named Zach Foster and they’re based in the US, but he’s got a really great way of, he has a guest speaker every time. and either they’re quilters, embroiders, weavers or screen printers, just people working with fabric. And it’s so wonderful to, for me to like, hands on work with fabric and then it feels like I’m also hanging out with them.

00:33:44 Nick Breedon
Yeah. That is really nice. And is it more, is it more like, kind of technical or is it more. Like conceptual or,

00:33:51 Samuel Luke
Oh yeah, yeah, bit of both.

00:33:54 Nick Breedon
That’s such an interesting, kind of, you know, like audio as a medium to discuss, you know, something technical. Cause you know, I guess like our podcast is based off of experiences and people’s ideas and you know, whatnot. But I, I can’t say that I have any podcasts that I listened to specifically that talk about. technical aspects of making. So yeah, that would be quite interesting to listen to in terms of like how they’re, how they can kind of communicate verbally, different kind of aspects of making. So I’ll have to check that out. It sounds really interesting. Yeah.

00:34:31 Samuel Luke
Yeah. Please do. Like Zach also has, I guess you’d call it a resource. It’s kind of like, it’s called the Quilting Nook and it’s like an online community. Or any creatives that are working with fabric and it’s kind of like a discord server, but like much better where it’s got like, it has little rooms, so there’s like an LGBT room where you can share your projects. There’s like, like a dyeing, like fabric dyeing, like. Room, it’s like, that’s just your practice.

00:35:15 Nick Breedon
Is this like, like, what they used to call in the old days, a forum?

00:35:20 Samuel Luke
Ooh, in the old days. Yes. Yes.

00:35:25 Nick Breedon
It’s like, I’m like, just like a discord server. I’m like, that kind of sounds like, I think it was like a. I think they were called forums back in my time. That sounds cool though. I think we, it’s almost like we’ve, we’ve jumped ahead in our resources section. So was there, was there any other, practical resources that you had that you wanted to share?

00:35:48 Samuel Luke
I would highly encourage like the Quilty Nook to check that out. They’ve got really awesome workshops.

00:35:55 Nick Breedon
Oh, like step by step kind of tutorial sort of things.

00:35:57 Samuel Luke
Yeah. Yeah. And they do like live sewing circles. And, oh, just like, you can ask questions, and people are just so supportive or you just like share something or have a look through everyone’s projects. Yeah. I don’t know if this counts as a resource, but I’d say like attending zine fairs, back to like the comics, that I was talking about before. And I feel like that’s a great way. I mean, tabling for those events is quite a lot. But like even just attending and bringing along a friend, it’s really cool.

00:36:42 Nick Breedon
Yeah. It, I think, Quite a few of the, guests in this season, have talked about, you know, we’ve talked about finding your, your people a lot has been a recurring theme, I think. I mean, even just throughout Proc Prac and, you know, often, often you don’t find your people or you may not find your people when you’re at uni or you may not go to uni. So you can often feel quite you know, lonely when you, when you’re not around those people who are in that same like very strange little Venn diagram niche that you’re in, but, yeah, everybody’s sort of, yeah, really stress the importance of, of, of going, like figuring out where your people might be and being a little bit strategic about that. And then, go there and then you’ll find your people. It sounds like you might find some of your people at, the zine fair for sure.

00:37:32 Samuel Luke
Yeah. Definitely.

00:37:35 Kiera Brew Kurec
You kind of touched on this earlier, in terms of, when sharing your work online or in a gallery, but, I’m just still like, wow, 14, 000 people. How have you, like, like I’m on private, like if someone, no one followed me ever, please. Do you think that Instagram has been a resource for you in your practice and developing your practice?

00:37:57 Samuel Luke
Yeah, absolutely. It’s been like such an immediate way to connect with community and like find community and people who are also making art about what you’re talking about with,

00:38:15 Nick Breedon
with like, I’ve got, I’ve got a sort of small handful of, people that I, you know, friends of mine, people that I’m working with at the moment who have, expressed to me and I, you know, formally recently, I think I was in this boat as well. Being on social media just gave me a sense of dread. It made me like, I really hated sharing anything personal on there. And I just like, all I could imagine every time I posted something was like, all my haters being like, Oh, that’s so cringe. Like, why the hell would you post that? And then something happened where I was just like, I don’t give a fuck. And I just post like terrible memes and, way too much information. And I find generally that, you know, the more vulnerable and open I am on the internet and, you know, maybe when the sort of, AI cyborg Armageddon. I’ll really regret that, but like, do you, do you have anything like, sorry, what I was going to say is that when I share more people like that because they relate to it, you know, and again, like this podcast, people relate to people being themselves and being open and honest. Like, do you have any, would you like give any advice to anyone who’s like really struggling with like social media? Because, you know, I think it is really like, it is a sort of like you kind of can’t escape the fact that, like, it is part of our job, almost, required to do that as an artist now. Do you have any advice for people who are, what should I say, Instagram or social media, fearful, apprehensive.

00:39:55 Samuel Luke
Yeah. I was going to say, I’m not sure I’m like the best person to give advice because I only post on my Instagram grid, like every three months. Which is funny because I don’t know. I, I mean, touch wood, but like, I’m surprised that people stick around. It’s really nice. Cause like, I really don’t post often at all. It’s because like in that time, in that big chunk of time, I’m like making a project. And then. I like, I’ll post stuff on my stories, which is like, you know, quite immediate, but it’s temporary. So like I’ll post the, the work in progress on my stories, but then three months later, you know, I’ll post the final photos and then, and then I’ll dip and then like come back in another four months or so.

00:40:47 Nick Breedon
Yeah. I find that seems to be a sort of familiar pattern for a lot of people now is that they’re only using their grid for like, You know, permanent, like, this is the work, it is finished, here is the documentation, here was the process, or an exhibition or, you know, whatever it is, but stories, much more work in progress, kind of immediate sort of something like that.

00:41:07 Samuel Luke
When I’m, when I’m scrolling, like, I love to see people’s progress, but I don’t, I don’t know why I can’t apply it to myself. So I would encourage other people to please share your process because I love seeing it. I love seeing what people are making, what they’re doing. Even like what they’re experimenting on, like, Oh, I found this like new fabric or this new way of dying this fabric. And I’m like, Oh, that’s so cool. I never thought that. But I, but like my Instagram, I try not to worry about what other people will think, I’m just like, am I really happy with the work I’m putting out? Yes. I love it. So it’s, it’s on my page and. People don’t like it they, they don’t have to stick around.

00:42:01 Kiera Brew Kurec
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

00:42:02 Nick Breedon
They can make their own page and put their own cringe shit on it.

00:42:06 Samuel Luke
Exactly. Yeah. Which is like hard to do. ’cause the stuff I’m putting out, it’s super vulnerable and it’s me. And so like, if someone doesn’t like it, it’s like, I was like, oh, they don’t like me . But it’s okay. Yeah. I’ve probably gotten three bad comments. In my history of being online.

00:42:29 Kiera Brew Kurec

00:42:30 Nick Breedon
That’s extraordinary.

00:42:32 Samuel Luke
Yeah. Thank you. That’s quite nice compared to, you know, the overwhelming amount of support and love. That I received from, like, the trans and queer community, so that’s, that’s more important to focus on.

00:42:46 Kiera Brew Kurec
Totally. Totally.

00:42:47 Nick Breedon
Yeah, I think, you know, that, that’d be great advice, I think, to synthesize from what you said is that if, if Samuel has 14k followers and only got three really nasty comments, then if you’re apprehensive about social media and you have 500 followers, maybe you don’t need to worry so much.

00:43:06 Samuel Luke

00:43:08 Nick Breedon
You know, if you could go back at some point, you know, to your younger self, you know, which I think is a particularly pertinent question for you because you, you do, you know, so, frequently address this kind of idea of younger self, older self. You know, if you could go back in time at some point and give yourself some advice, like what, what advice would you give yourself, your younger self?

00:43:29 Samuel Luke
I don’t know. I don’t know when I define when I started being an artist, but like practicing artists, I guess like after uni, which was hard cause like uni didn’t help me with like a set career path. A lot of people don’t go to uni, and or the uni like doesn’t teach you how to draw or how to, you know, specific skills

00:43:54 Kiera Brew Kurec
for sure.

00:43:56 Samuel Luke
I feel like it’s really important to make connections with people who like believe in your practice and like understand you as an artist and like, I guess could see where you want to go or would help, or would help you get to where you need to be. Yeah, so like the, the friends that I made during uni and even like the lecturers, like their support, like during my honours year was phenomenal. I guess like after uni I kind of felt I was just like, like I kind of just had to do it myself. And by do it myself, I mean, just like pick up freelance jobs. And I guess I think it sounds kind of silly, but I’d encourage people to be like really selective about like what you say yes to as a freelance illustrator or artist, because when I was just starting out, like I said yes to everything because it was such an incredible opportunity and I didn’t really know when the next opportunity would come along. So. Yeah, I said yes to everything and then, you know, got quite exhausted and a bit burnt out after a few years of doing that. So yeah, I’d encourage you, find people and clients that align with your practice, so you don’t have to change for them.

00:45:26 Nick Breedon
That’s great advice.

00:45:27 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. That’s some really good advice.

00:45:29 Samuel, thank you so much for sharing your time with us today and sharing with us your story of your practice and, yeah, thank you.

00:45:38 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Thanks for joining us.

00:45:40 Samuel Luke
Thank you for having me.

00:45:43 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. It’s been a pleasure to have you on. Thanks.

00:45:45 Nick Breedon
This episode was recorded on the lands of the Bidjigal and Gadigal of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to elders past and present and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and we extend that acknowledgement to the lands on which this podcast reaches you on today.

00:46:01 Kiera Brew Kurec
This season of Pro Prac was funded by Creative Australia.

00:46:05 Our music is created by Evelyn Ida Morris.

00:46:09 Nick Breedon
Thanks for listening to Pro Prac. You can find us on Instagram @propracpodcast or reach out to us at We would really appreciate if you could take a moment to rate and review us as it helps others find Pro Prac and it assists in our funding applications.

00:46:24 Kiera Brew Kurec
Also, consider sharing this episode with a friend.