In Let’s Meet, we’ve decided to get to know some of our local business people a bit better – and today we speak to Sam Bailey, a local artist who has most recently been known for her A Round Brighton sculpture as part of Shaun By The Sea.

Why did you choose to take part in Shaun by the Sea?

I lost a very dear friend to cancer when I was in my thirties. We were the same age and he left behind a beautiful wife and three amazing children. During his illness, he spent time in a hospice, what incredible people the staff at these hospices are. If painting a sheep can help raise money for hospice providers like the Martlets  – then give me that paint brush and stand back! 

Please tell us about your business and what you offer to visitors coming to Brighton

I’ve been a graphic designer, illustrator and interiors consultant for over 20 years, working on projects for large corporate clients and smaller local business. I’ve always worked on my own artwork on the side. It’s only recently that I’ve called myself an artist and have hosted two Artist Open Houses, showcasing not only my work but the work of some other incredible artists.

What inspired you to start your business?

I have two children, a husband and a dog – working for myself definitely gives me the flexibility to enjoy it all. It’s only in recent years that I’ve really focused on the type of illustrative art that you see on my A Round Brighton Shaun. I think it was after I opened up our house for the Artist Open House festival and it was a huge success that I gained the confidence to further explore my art and to start calling myself an artist for real.

What makes your artwork different?

It makes people think. My art is interactive and the 3D artworks are essentially a guessing game. They are made up of two layers – the top layer reveals part of a picture and you have to work out what the whole thing is, then you step to the side to view the whole image and get the answer.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best part of being an artist for me is that I can create interactive, thought-provoking artwork as part of my job. It might sound like a cliché, but I love that working never feels like work. It also gives me a real buzz to know that people out there like my work enough to have them hanging in their homes or businesses.

What is your average day like, or is it never average?

Most mornings, I say good bye to my husband and the kids as they head off to work and school/college then I walk my Great Dane . . .  and then who knows what the day will bring. No two days are the same!

What would you be in an alternative career?

A surgeon! I used to love Holby City (which is sadly no longer around) and Casualty. Maybe that’s why I like creating art – I can freely wield a scalpel without responsibility.

Tell us about your Shaun By The Sea sculpture.

My Shaun design is based on one of my most popular pieces of work called ‘A Round Brighton’. It is made up of circular illustrations featuring the architecture, events, personalities and monuments that you find ‘around’ Brighton – hence the name A Round Brighton. Like my other 3D pieces, each top circle only reveals part of the image. This is the same with Shaun – the circles on his body show you a part of Brighton and you’re encouraged to follow the trail so you can essentially ‘Visit Brighton’ and see the whole picture for yourself.

It sounds like your Shuan is a Brighton tour guide?

Yes, he’s definitely a tour guide! I really wanted to make A Round Brighton Shaun all about Brighton and what it means to live and visit here. I also designed him to be as geographically accurate as possible.

North and South of Shaun’s body:

Shaun’s feet depict North and South of Brighton and Hove. The pebbles are the south; the grass is the north. So all the images displayed on the ‘pebble’ side are locations found South of Kingsway; the images found on the ‘grass’ side are North of Kingsway.

East and West of Shaun’s body:

These images are also in geographical order. So, South East to South West you go from Roedean and Brighton Marina to Shoreham Power Station and Rampion Wind Farm. Then, with North East to North West you go from Saltdean Lido and The Amex Stadium to Patcham Pylon and Hove Museum.

As an added bonus, A Round Brighton Shaun also features the #BrightonFlock – which are sheep illustrations placed on or near a location you can find another Shaun sculpture.

My Shaun’s final nod to his Brighton & Hove roots are his stick-of-rock legs and Pride eyelashes.

What do you like most about Brighton and what is the best thing you like to do in the city?

I’ve lived with my family in Hove for over 20 years now and have met some amazing friends. I love that everything is so accessible, we’ve got fresh air and the sea at the bottom of the road. I’m not the most organised person in the kitchen so being so close to so many restaurants also makes my life very enjoyable.

What is next for you and your business?

I’m working on a couple of large 3D interactive pieces that I hope to have ready for Christmas. They include wine and whisky – for the artwork, of course!

Thank you Sam!

** Just a reminder to all visitors to the trail to please respect the #BrightonFlock and do not touch, climb or damage the sculptures. Not only are they works of art but they also have an important job to do - raising funds for the vital services provdied by the Martlets. **

⇒ You can donate to the Martlets via their website.




Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply