How Samantha Messias Channeled Her Traumatic Experiences into Moving Artwork

·3-min read

Sometimes, it’s the darkest moments and the biggest sources of pain that propel us to create the most moving and prolific art. Functioning as a means to express all of the hurt, complexities, and stresses that we carry as humans on a daily basis, art can be that cathartic release that helps us to feel more secure, connected, and surrounded with support. In a sea of loneliness, and a world that is growing increasingly cold, artist Samantha Messias wants people everywhere to know that art is waiting for them.

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It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Enduring immense hardships as a child, causing her to be adopted at age 5 in an effort to remove her from physical and sexual abuse, Messias thought she was finally free of the hardship. By age 22, both of her biological and now adopted parents had passed away, leaving her in that pit of isolation again.

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Rebuilding herself slowly using her art, tragedy struck Messias again in October 2020 when she gave birth to a 5-month-old stillborn baby. As her first pregnancy and child loss, Messias endured the most traumatic event a mother can go through, devastating her and her partner. Left to her own devices to heal and repair herself, Messias did what she does best: draw.

“I share my story to help other people out there who have gone through similar experiences,” said Messias. “I want them to know that by pursuing art, they can feel supported and understood in what can otherwise feel impossible to explain. When I sit down with a pencil in my hand, I finally feel like I am being understood again.”

Messias’ lifelong dedication to pencil drawing has earned her international accolades and respect for her works of art. Not many people in the world can do what she can, with an attention to detail that makes her art look like photographs. With a unique approach to each drawing, based on adding something that wasn’t there in the image before, Messias’ artistry is inspiring a next-generation of artists and drawers alike.

As Messias likes to put it, “it’s about intensifying and manipulating details, contrasts, and textures, to awaken emotion and curiosity in the heart of the observer, not just in the artwork itself.”

“I feel there is no point to have gone through all of this trauma to just quit,” said Messias. “I must continue to go after my dreams, heal, and inspire others so that they can be happy and succeed despite their hardship, too. We are in this together.”

An Artistic Blessing

Messis reflects on her childhood as having been the catalyst needed to create highly detailed works of art today. She feels it is a blessing to be able to share her journey with the world.

Today, while she is drawing, Messias says she sees the world as being made up of particles, tiny moments in time, the small singular details that make a whole image. That is what makes us who we ultimately are.