Drawing Inspiration


G. Konijisky

Landreth sketches during art class.

Genevieve Konijisky, Staff Writer

Slouching on the living room floor littered with torn Spider-Man stickers, 5-year-old Sam Landreth scratches the mucky residue off of his television screen. He guiltily glances around the room, spotting several other drawings of the fated Spider-Man. However, his dad’s pristine velvet chair taunts him in the corner, because Landreth and the chair share a secret: a permanent Spider-Man who lives where only he can see. 

“I actually got really involved in drawing because when I was a kid my dad didn’t allow me to print anything, and our printer didn’t work, so I got really upset with him and decided I would draw everything instead and put it all over the house,” Landreth said. 

Spider-Man had piqued Landreth’s interest at the time. So much so that he covered any surface area possible with the same familiar drawing. Books, board games and furniture were only some of the items susceptible to young Landreth’s pen. 

“I was obsessed with the way that he was drawn in the show… So I retaliated and I took my mom’s pen from a random hospital,” Landreth said. “And I drew on everything he owned. I drew Spider-Man on the chair he picked up from Facebook Marketplace that he was proud of. I drew on all of his board games. I drew Spider-Man on all of them. I even drew Spider-Man on the bottom of his name plaque he was given after he graduated college. It was the Spider-Man obsession that blinded me.”

From simple copies of cartoon characters to realism and drawings of the human figure, Landreth spent years finely tuning his artistic abilities. Now 16, this hobby has been a part of his life for about 10 years, and he is still committed. Animation was the catalyst for his interest, and it is helping to shape his present and future plans.

“Since I started out with my Spider-Man origins, you can tell that I had a lot of influence from comics. I still really enjoy comics and I enjoy a large range of art styles,” Landreth said. “I would like to work with a company, but sadly many companies do not do 2D animation anymore, so I’d probably work with kids shows.”

A simple paper and pen are all Landreth needs. His love of 2D art and the drawing skill that comes with it are what he hopes to be a gateway to a career. 

Landreth has followed the art course during his career in high school and is currently a member of the Advanced Art class. There, he has learned how to use a multitude of different art mediums, and even found love in unexpected places. 

“I hated watercolor for years because I’m super impatient, but last year Mr. Jones brought it up in class and taught us how to use it better. I learned to like it a lot more than I did before,” Landreth said. 

Last year however, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he made his favorite piece. The assignment, for foundational drawing, was to recreate a work inspired by a certain artist of Landreth’s choosing. 

“I thought of this woman who was holding a jar of water and had this fish going in a circle around her. I drew it out in the artist’s style, and I thought that I should paint it,” Landreth said. “It was the first time I had painted with such bold colors and flat lines and it turned out really well and I was very proud of it.”

Landreth’s process of evolving from an artist who recreates, to an artist who creates has been a lengthy journey, but his progress in the present day and hopes for the future show that his efforts have paid off.