Personal Space: Interview with Artist Sam Yehros
Culture — 28.09.16
Photography & Words: Inbar Levi
Who are you?
My name is Sam Yehros. I’m 22 years old.
What do you do? Where is your studio/workspace?
I build furniture and cinderblock walls, cook, get stuff embroidered, and sometimes I make ceramics, and paint. I work out of my studio apartment in MacArthur Park.
What’s your relationship with Los Angeles? Does this city play a factor in your work?
Having grown up in Los Angeles, my relationship to the city was delineated by school, home, and friends’ houses. The city has opened up. I love going to places like Sun Valley and Vernon, industrial sectors of Los Angeles that I’d never had the chance to explore.
It’s been interesting to see how the landscape of the city changes. The unwavering construction and demolition of Los Angeles have produced a city whose architectures and infrastructures are constantly in flux. It’s this state of the in-between that inspires me to work.
Do you enjoy collaborating with other people or is it a one-person show for you?
Sharing ideas and negotiating expectations are challenging, but collaboration has taught me a lot about myself and other people.
What part of creating is more important for you: The idea, the process, or the outcome?
Right now I’m really enchanted by the process. Sometimes I get caught up in the perpetual motion forward, but it’s been nice to slow down and explore the zigzag.
What makes you wake up in the morning? What motivates you?
I’ve always loved the morning. It’s a calm time of day — my head is clear and thoughts are lucid. I like to remember that yesterday was just practice for today and, even if I mess up, at least I learned something new. A close friend told me, “it’s all just practice.”
What’s your work routine? What sparks a new project for you?
For most of the things that I do, my first step is to sit down and sketch something out usually. Once I have something on paper the initial idea feels more tangible and less insurmountable. I think bringing things into the world can be scary so it helps to have a plan.
Most times a new project will come up when I’m looking at a lot of things. I spend a lot of time just looking at stuff on eBay, or Goodwill, or driving. Recently, I’ve been noticing all these beautifully built trash chutes at construction sites, and I’m sitting with that idea right now.
Can you talk a little bit about your personal style and your work style and how do the two relate to each other?
More often than not, I dress in a way that’s comfortable to me, and that makes working easier. I guess my work style and personal style directly correlate. Some days when I feel nuts, I wear my crazy clothes.
How do you deal with trends in fashion and art?
Trends are a part of the course — they’re things that happen. You can’t change the direction of the river, but knowing which way the current flows will probably save you a lot of trouble.
In a decade from now, where do you think you’ll be and what will you be doing?
I’m not sure, but I hope that I can continue to cultivate a curiosity about the world around me. I’m learning how to be comfortable not knowing where I’ll be in 10 years.