SAM THE BUTCHER contemporary art

Artist Statement


Tyler ShapiroI started drawing pretty much when I was old enough to hold a pencil. Even before that I must have been interested in drawing, because I remember making my mother copy comic book characters for me. Art classes were only somewhat helpful, although some individual teachers showed me some useful techniques and I am grateful to Ms. Weinsoff, my 4th grade teacher, for showing me how to draw toes!

For the most part, I am self-taught. My method has been to endlessly copy what I see in front of me, what I have observed from life experiences, and what I find interesting or exciting. In 1st through 5th grades, that meant drawing Pokemon and Dragonball Z characters. I drew entire booklets, illustrated stories, and made my own comic books. Later, I started drawing portraits of family and friends whenever they could sit still for 5 minutes. Mostly, I did a lot of self-portraits because the subject matter was always conveniently at hand. In the 6th grade, I drew individual portraits of all my classmates.

I prefer graphite, ink, and markers to more messy media such as charcoal. At home in our family art and music studio, I am using oils and acrylics, which give me an opportunity to create more depth and texture. Precision and form have so far been more important to me than color and texture, but I am exploring different media all the time.

I still love drawing as much now as I did when I first started at age two. The difference is that my range of subject matter has expanded and I'm exploring new modalities and creative expression. An artist's work is never done. I can always add, subtract or do more to complete the expression of my pieces. The next step for me is to move on to larger scale portraits, perhaps combining paint and traditional drawing techniques.


— Tyler Shapiro