Samara is a graphic illustrator by the name Pepper Anne, and a roller derby queen by the name Lady Trample. She creates and she destroys. She has just graduated from Whitecliff this month, and is already keeping busy with freelance jobs for various clients. She’s a killer cool chick with vintage style and keen determination.
1) Your derby team, Pirate City Rollers, won the 2013 National tournament. Congrats!! How long have you been skating, and what does it take to be a champion skater?
I am coming to the end of my second season as a derby skater. I picked up skates about 2 months before joining Fresh Meat (training squad), and trained in underground car-parks with my awesome best friend for a few months while completing the Fresh Meat course. It helped having friends to push you, and my fiancé even got on skates to chase me round the asphalt and make me faster. Dedication, commitment and communi-skating (lame inside joke) are three things that are required to be in a top ranking team like PCR. It really is about teamwork though; without my team, I’m nothing.
2) Who are the three most inspirational people to you?
I take inspiration from many different areas, firstly Estro Jen who is the queen of ramp and park skating as well as an amazing Derby skater and business owner. She is as close to fearless as I’ve ever seen and has such a wicked style and freeness about her skating that makes me swoon!
My second inspirational being would have to be Olivia De Berardinis, an internationally renown pin up illustrator who really leads the way in modern pin up illustrations. Her range of versatility is what I admire most, and she knows how to translate the beauty that she sees in the models perfectly into her illustrations.
My final inspiration would have to be Drew Barrymore, not only did her movie ‘Whip It’ help explode the sport Roller Derby to where it is today, but she’s just such a wonderfully kooky character. How could you not take inspiration from someone who takes that much enjoyment out of life!?
3) I really enjoy your illustrations! Tell me, what book/story would you most like to illustrate?
I am currently working on a book illustration right now, which is a mixture of Japanese and Western styles, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge… But my dream illustration job would have to be a modern twist on The Ugly Duckling; probably something in human-form with delicate pin-up-style illustrations.
4) You’re a bad-ass derby chick and and talented illustrator now, but what did you first want to be when you were a kid?
When I was young I really wanted to be a vet, but only to save animals, never put them down (which I find ironic now that I live in a house stuffed with gorgeous taxidermy). But from about age 6 until I finished high school I really wanted to be a fashion designer, but my ‘get in there without a plan or pattern’ strategy soon turned out to be my downfall. I do however still enjoy getting behind the old sewing machine for a jam or two on occasion.
5) Where is your favourite place to be in NZ?
Anywhere with a river (preferably) or a beach! I’m a total water baby and love the opportunity to go for a dip, or even better, a wakeboard. All my family holidays included a batch or cabin either at a lake or river (Tarawera, Orakei Korako, Lake Arapuni and more) and I used to love wandering off to find all the natural hot pools and hoping between them and then jumping off rocks into the much cooler lakes.
6) What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
I don’t think my family has any Christmas traditions as such (other than the stuffing of faces with delicious Christmas treats). My mum does however still provide us with stockings filled with awesome useless junk that we love getting every year, including but not limited to Sweetened Condensed Milk, Oranges, Squirt Guns, Hangover Pills (introduced in the last few years) and other such goodies.
Blood, sweat, guts and a creative mind. That’s what Samara is made of.