We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Delos Reyes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think in a way, all of us who have chosen creative careers are risk-takers by nature. Risk taking is an essential part of survival for people who, like me, feel the need to break generational cycles of living up to the status-quo.
Eight years ago I was an undergrad dropout who lived in my car. I slept in a Mazda 626 in a Lowe’s parking lot most nights. I was so down on myself for not having graduated college like the rest of my friends, and I just kind of wandered through life working to live. I planted my roots, got a place to live shortly after, and was working consistently, but not towards anything and not in an industry I cared about. I met the person who would eventually become my spouse and felt supported enough to make a change (thank you Bryan!), so I took the leap and decided to attend portfolio school at The Creative Circus in Atlanta.
I was intimidated at first (I didn’t even have my own laptop before enrolling and edited all my work on my Galaxy Note 5!), but before too long, I was ready to push the boundaries of my work a little further, and I wound up discovering my love for motion design. From there, the content creation developed, and two years later, I find myself standing in a hallway full of doors to opportunities that are just beginning to open for me.
I took risks to explore what is still an emerging industry (content creation) while in school, forging my own path somewhere between photography, design, and creative direction. And, finally, I take risks every day as a professional creative by putting my work out there as my authentic self, knowing full well that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea or shot of whiskey.
My art is very much a reflection of my surroundings. I grew up with my Filipina mom, and later as a teenager moved in with my dad who’s family is mostly from the American South. From my early experiences with racism (from growing up in rural North Georgia) sprang my passion for activism and social justice, and my need to see underrepresented people at the center of artworks that show more than just oppression.
Besides that aspect of who I am as an artist, my subject matter is also very reflective of the things that make me “tick” like my love of the paranormal, sci-fi, cartoons, movies, video games, and music.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a content creator, I’m proud and lucky to be able to say I’m a professional creative by trade. I work with brands and artists of all kinds to create content that not only helps unify their social media presence, but is also bold and expressive.
All of my clients are unique– they inspire a lot of my personal projects. It’s an amazing feeling to have my creative passions fed by what I do for a living.
Social media content creation can include everything you see shared by a brand or artist’s social media that promotes a specific campaign or the brand as a whole, depending on the goal, so this means my scope of work covers a lot. I have produced social media campaigns for local businesses that included everything from animated GIF loops, styled photoshoots, and Instagram Story polls to testimonial videos.
Recently, my favorite types of clients are musicians and bands- I have recently been working more with these types of artists, making visualizers, designing promo images, and even producing music videos.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is such an amazing city for music, food, art, and culture so you have to experience at least a little bit of each before leaving.
For music, we would go to a show at the Earl or 529. Atlanta has a huge metal scene that has a special place in my heart.
For food, there’s no shortage of good eating from Eats on Ponce to Soba in EAV, but probably my favorite spot will always be Elmyr. It’s the best dive in Atlanta and the staff there are all rockstars.
For art, I would take you to a drag show at Mary’s to watch some of the most unique and talented performers I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing or to an artist market at a local park.
And last but not least for culture, we would dance out a**es off at La Choloteca- sweating and vibing with the community that I love so much.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out the Queer BIPOC creative community in Atlanta as a whole, but specifically some artists I’ve gotten to work with who have helped me create some particularly impactful pieces would be Tia Jackson (AKA Miss He), Ting Tran (a queer Chinese American activist and artist), and Bryan Timbs (AKA Jackie Lation).
I’ve collaborated with all three of these artists on different projects and they’ve made the risks I’ve taken to get here worth it.
Models (in order of appearance) Tia Jackson Jennete Jackson Hanna Pak Degradations (Band)