Creator Q&A : Sam Niro

Photo Credit = Steve Bernhardt

Sam Niro

Sr. Content Marketing Manager


Photo Credit = Steve Bernhardt

In a few words state who your name, occupation and what it is that you create.

Sam Niro, Sr. Content Marketing Manager @ ExecVision, I create compelling copy and currently dabble in handcrafts until I work up the nerve to break back into my artistic practice.

Describe what you see when you look out your window.

Pale grey siding. A green chain link fence—beware of dog (there is no dog)—barren bushes who haven't braved new growth, what I think are irises. What is a podcast, book, or song that is keeping you sane?

Oh, how can I pick just one? For music, I've been revisiting some old favorites like Blink 182's Self-Titled album, newer releases from bands I loved in high school, and my favorite long drive jams to keep the energy up. What is a word that makes you laugh?

Worm What is the color of your current mood?

Sea-foam green What is something that brings you joy?

Hearing Toby, my neighbor's beagle letting us know he's outside. COVID-19 aside, what frustrates you?

The notion that you must have a "side hustle" to be successful. If all you can muster right now is working a job that (hopefully) pays the bills and vegging out on the couch after, that is more than enough. On a deeper level, this grates me because it comes from a place of privilege: higher incomes, steady hours, more energy and time to devote to it, and so on. The entire "hustle porn" lifestyle is a symptom of our larger economic disparities, but this one in particular really pisses me off.

What do you feel most hopeful about?

Hitting the water for the first time on my stand up paddleboard. With so much else left uncertain right now, this is the one thing I'm focusing on. How do you define your creative process - what makes you tick, what is your practice? Messy and often disorganized. I have a few notebooks and sketchbooks kicking around with ideas. Occasionally I pop one open to get reinspired. When I am in the groove an idea evolves and I keep iterating until I end up with something I can smile at. I mentioned earlier my art practice has taken a bit of a sabbatical, which I think is due to creative exhaustion.

I spend a lot of mental energy and creativity on my day job and that process is much more regimented: pick a topic, research keywords, get factual data because I've never experienced what I'm writing about, get a draft down, hate the draft and rewrite half of it, invite someone to edit it, wait for revisions, try to incorporate suggestions... and so on and so on.

Work aside, I have been planning out how I want to revisit a previous series that combined macrame, landscape photography, and myths/legends/mysterious sightings. What is something challenging you’ve accomplished as a creator?

Pitching my work. I began my career as a graphic designer and those skills have carried over into strategizing and writing content, building brands, and creating new marketing messaging. The act of walking through my thought processes and why I made certain decisions carries far more weight in meetings than I expected. Name an artist or creator you draw influence from?

Duchamp How has COVID-19 affected you? Have you changed your process during quarantine? I am fortunate to still be working, but self-isolating takes a major mental toll which has been affecting my creativity and motivation across the board. In your opinion what do you think the “new normal” should look like for our global society?

Higher wages for retail employees, acceptance and implementation of "socialist" policies e.g. Medicare for all, more freedom in white collar and any other roles to work remotely to reduce emissions from commuting and the need for massive skyscrapers and other office space. More kindness for one another. What do you look forward to most once quarantine restrictions are lessened?

Hosting a massive cook out with friends, visiting home, and feeling safer in my normal routine.

In closing, describe or reflect on an aspect of nature that inspires you.

My entire life I've been captivated by water: the feeling on my skin, the variety of colors, smells, and formations. Water is life giving but also powerful enough to carve through rock and stone. And there's some magic in anything that can morph from one form to another (vapor, water, ice).