A while back, I asked Gabby to come to my studio. Work immediately began and the beginnings of several sketches and pieces started to come together, but I didn’t want to rush the main painting so I shelved it while the usual pattern of clients interrupting personal work took over. Many paintings never get finished or see the light of day, both personal and professional, but Gabby was special. I wrote these notes back during her visit:
Her time in my studio was mostly light, ﬁlled with her bubbly energy as we cracked open some beers, exchanged embarrassing drinking stories, taking group photos as if we’d known each other for more than the actual hour we had, and her trying to convince me that she has an actual medical condition where she ﬁnds everything adorable. You’d be fooled too if you were lied to by an Oscar-nominated actress with her talent. But when I asked her, stripped of any pretension, that if I were to paint her, how she’d like to be portrayed, she said “I don’t really care about how I’m portrayed” and then she paused and continued “I guess … did you ever watch the show Community? Ya know how the school’s mascot is the human being? I mean, I don’t want to be a grey faceless spandex blob like that, but I’d like to just be a human being. Not someone’s message or idea of what I stand for because of what I look like, just a human, how you’d paint me if I were anyone else".
I don’t typically only make a single copy of an illustration and never make another, but exceptions are often made for family — this one-off from my Gilded series was made just for my brother Dan where it hangs in his home with my other 3: http://instagram.com/p/jILkSYQRTL/
American Royalty is a collection of limited-edition illustration prints inspired by the music of Childish Gambino. The series was commissioned by Childish Gambino and created by acclaimed illustrator Sam Spratt.
New York, NY: “American Royalty” is a series of illustrations created exclusively for Childish Gambino by New York City-based artist Sam Spratt. Much like the music on Gambino’s latest mixtape, “Royalty,” the modern scenes of Americana depicted in the pieces address themes of struggle, family, intimacy, simple pleasures and other experiences that are relevant to rap culture, but are often not explored.
“The pieces are littered with tiny nods, details, and Easter eggs that Childish fans will appreciate, but really these are the stories of many people—not just one. The chance to paint vignettes based on Donald’s music, and the genres it’s born from, wasn’t something I would ever pass up.” –Sam Spratt, Artist
“Sam’s an amazing artist. I’ve been following his work online for a long time. He has a great aesthetic that reminds me of Norman Rockwell, a man who I think is one of the greatest and most underrated artists in American history. Donald and I reached out to him about creating a series of images to go along with the music for the mixtape ‘Royalty’. Most of the illustrations for the project were based on pictures we took of family and friends in March, while we were in Atlanta waiting for Donald’s broken foot to heal so we could start his tour.” –Ibra Ake, Art Director
About the Artwork:
Only 28 copies of each print will be available for sale.
Each illustration is printed on thick matte paper with a light-fastness rating of over 100 years.
Each print will be individually signed and numbered by the artist, Sam Spratt.
The individual will be delivered to collectors in flat, rigid containers, to avoid damage and curling caused by tubed shipping.
Presently, only my contest winners and Industrial Light & Magic own my 'Gilded I’ piece, but I have teamed up with 1xRuns to offer a limited TIMED edition of it. That means this RUN will be on sale from 12pm EST today until September 28th at 3pm EST. The edition will be set to the number sold during that time and will close precisely at 3pm EST on September 28th. I wanted to find a way to get this to you all, do so in a way that lets everyone who follows me an equal chance of getting one, offer it for a fraction ( 1/6th ) of what I normally charge for limited edition prints, make sure they’re printed at 13”x19” on thick 330gsm archival fine art paper, and individually signed/numbered to boot. If this goes well, I will try to do things like this more often. Ships worldwide and you can purchase it directly with a frame through 1xRuns.