Episode 518 – Dmitry Samarov

Virtual Memories Show 518:
Dmitry Samarov

“Art is made out of art, and you model your art and/or your behavior after other people. Then time goes on and you meet some of them, and they’re not what you thought they were. And that makes you question what it was that you were after all those years.”

For the final interview episode of 2022, artist & author Dmitry Samarov rejoins the show to talk about his new book, PAINT BY NUMBERS, the disastrous experience he had trying to profile a pair of renowned artists, and why he chose to chronicle (& fictionalize) it years later in this book. We get into the conflict of art & commerce, fame & failure in America, and the relationship of artist, artwork, and audience. We also talk about the Lynda Barry class that opened his eyes to his own art-making process, what he’s learned from making a podcast of his own, the surprise bliss of holding a book-event with no audience, how he’s changed through the newsletter he’s been keeping up regularly for a dozen-plus years, what his ongoing collage-art has unlocked for him, whether there’s such a thing as an artistic dead-end, and more. Give it a listen! And go read Paint By Numbers!

(And listen to our 2014, 2015, 2018, 2020, COVID Check-In, and 2021 podcasts)

“I’m 52, and I can very confidently say that at 10 or 12, art was a very important part of my life.”

“I had times where I tried to be inspired by ideas or memories as a spur for a piece of visual art. I’ve tried repeatedly. . . . That kind of thing is not a way I ever had any success in.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

Lots of ways to follow The Virtual Memories Show! iTunes, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TuneIn, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Dmitry Samarov paints and writes in Chicago. He is the author and illustrator of seven books, including Old Style and Soviet Stamps. He sends out a newsletter every Monday. An absurd amount of his work is collected at his website, dmitrysamarov.com, which is around 20 years old. His new book is Paint By Numbers.

Follow Dmitry at his newsletter and on his podcast, hu u no.

Dmitry & me, Jan. 31, 2018

Credits: This episode’s music is
Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Zoom PodTrak P4. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Drawing of Dmitry by the man. It’s on my instagram.

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