Samantha Zaza, freelance illustrator and compulsive sketcher, is the winner of the FC Hope contest with her winning submission "My, what fabulous shoes you have." Samantha graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, designed ads in San Francisco, and participates in the Moly-X International Moleskine Exchange. Samantha is working on becoming an art teacher, and has spent some time as a trapeze artist.
On her first pair of Fluevogs:
I bought my first pair of Vogs five years ago (they were Merrilees) and I've
been hooked ever since. Funny, I don't know if it was a subconscious
decision, but when the polls closed yesterday I was wearing the Adrian boots I had on the day I found out about the
In 2008, Samantha entered Fluevog's Open Source Design Contest with her drawing of a spats inspired Mary Jane. (Customers are invited to submit their own shoe designs, and twice a year John chooses two designs that are produced into Fluevog shoes. Along with fame and worldwide recognition, the winner gets free shoes and and their style named after them.) In fall 2008, John released the Mini Zaza which was recieved in the Fluevog world with a loud standing ovation.
On why Samantha entered the FluevogCreative contest:
How could I not? Besides being a Fluevog devotee, the opportunity to have my artwork published in the coolest of magazines called to me. And of course, there are the shoes... I've had my eye on a few. I have this vision of wearing a pair of Radio BBCs while staring at the Himalayas.
On the inspiration behind her winning ad:
As soon as I saw the red Hope Dreams, I blurted out loud, "Oh my, what fabulous shoes!" The red was so perfectly Little Red Riding Hood, and I must have doodled eight different wolves and legs before settling on the final composition. I drew everything with a pen and India ink, then painted Red's cape with gouache. Drawing all those lines demanded a solid week and countless cups of Darjeeling.
Samantha has been participating in the Moly-X International Moleskine Exchange for several years, where artists from all over the world exchange their sketches and drawings in tiny moleskine books, each adding their own art before passing the book along to another artist. Each book might have many different artists work in it, and might travel the world a few times over. The books are then collected and presented in galleries or museums. Below are examples of Samantha's contributions.
On her travels and adventures:
In December of 2008, I made a sudden decision to uproot my life in San Francisco and move to Istanbul. Two and a half weeks later, I had sold nearly all of my possessions (except my shoes) and boarded a plane with two suitcases and no idea of what I was doing. A year later, and my Turkish is still flimsy, but I've had some incredible adventures, including visiting Prague, Beirut and Budapest. I still have yet to make it to Mongolia, but I'm crossing Nepal off my list this summer, where I'll be volunteering as a teacher. I've been chronicling my adventures on my blog Harika.
Since Samantha and previous FC winner Aurel both live in Istanbul, we felt obliged to introduce them, bringing the Fluevog world a little bit closer together:
I would like to add that I am so grateful to you for introducing me to Aurel and his fabulous girlfriend— the moment I noticed Aurel was in Istanbul, I invited him for a çay (Turkish tea). There's nothing like new friends! I also want to thank them both for their support in the competition.
Thank you so very much! I'm so excited, I don't know how I'll sleep. Yay!!
Keep an eye out in Bust, Juxtapose, and BRM magazines for Samantha's winning design in print.