Shriya Samavai and Childhood Memories

Words by Ndemazea Fonkem

Published Nov. 9, 2018

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Shriya Samavai has been creating for as long as she can remember. When she was in first grade, she wanted to be an artist.


The New York City-based photographer started her career over a decade ago with a camera gifted to her for Christmas. At the time, she had been writing journal entries and poems for a few years, as well as dipping her toe into drawing or painting, but the moment she received the camera something changed. She found her passion.


This confidence in creativity stems from Samavai’s biggest supporters: her family. Her father, the gifter of that first camera, and her mother, a cheerleader, and her grandfather, the family documentarian. Her environment was extremely supportive and it allowed her to grow, but her growth grew exponentially when she moved from small-town Indiana to New York City in 2011. “Being in New York has given me creative opportunities I never had in the Midwest, and I am very thankful for getting to live here,” said Samavai.


The differences between New York and Indiana has had a large impact on Samavai’s creative vision. “But this buzzy, non-stop energy can make me miss the stillness of my hometown. A quiet place can give me a lot of creative energy - I can focus more on what I’m making and think about the motives behind it. My hometown feels more like a blank canvas for me to work with, where this city is a mural that I am adding to.”


If you’re wondering how to see what’s Samavai’s up to, you can find one of her printed photos, find her as she wanders around a museum, or talk to her in real life. Engage her in a conversation on her projects, her environment, or even, what she wanted to be when she was in first grade.

To read the rest of our exclusive interview with Shriya Samavai, get your print or digital copy of issue four today!

Stay up to date with Shriya on her website or newsletter.

See the rest of the articles from issue four here.

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