Before Fun-A-Day 2021 begins, we thought that it would be great to introduce this year’s team. These are the people behind the social media posts, graphics, emails, blogs and all the creative planning and facilitation that makes Fun-A-Day the wonderful and exciting project that it is.
First up is Samantha Sheriff. A many of you will know, Sam has been the main driving force behind Fun-A-Day for the last 5 years and she is here today to tell us a bit more about herself and what her role involves. You can also follow Sam on Instagram and see more of the work she produces on Etsy too.
1. Please tell us your name and what role you play as part of the FADD team?
My name is Sam Sherriff, also known as @sambaxterart. I’m a multi disciplinary artist, and I’m the head coordinator for Fun A Day Dundee. I wanted to become more involved with FADD after I participated in 2015. I felt welcomed, encouraged and free to create anything. I didn’t worry about whether it was keeping in with my usual style of art and I had lots of fun!
I’ve been coordinator since 2016, and for two years ventured it alone. It was great to receive feedback and work with volunteers to shape and grow the project, but now that it’s more popular and has over 100 people taking part each year, I’m so grateful to have an amazing team to help me deliver FADD to the public. My job is general management, lots of spreadsheets and emails, as well as overseeing projects and the team. In previous years I was able to spend days hanging FADD exhibitions (when numbers were small), but these days it’s all delegating! It’s exciting having so many people involved, especially participants in the exhibition stages. It feels like an ever changing creative family!
2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your own creative practice/work?
I support children during the week academically and in the arts, and am a freelance Fine artist. I’m inspired by nature, and a lot of my artwork features animals and the natural landscape. I’ve worked in photography, plant sculpture, installation, drawing, painting and collage. At the moment, I’m working on colourful abstract paintings, as well as animal portraits. My base for making art is at home in the countryside. I love being able to have a space in the comfort of my home to work on projects as it always feels cosier and there’s no travelling involved! I have a passion for public projects and have been involved with many arts events/ workshops in Dundee. I spent some time working at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, and always felt so relaxed and inspired teaching and working within that environment.
3. What have your own FADD projects looked like in previous years?
I’ve done colourful paintings, drawings, and sketches. This year I’d like to try some 3d work as well as 2d. I’m always inspired by the projects people work on every January. I personally find it easier to work on a theme/material and then take each day as it comes, not making too many rules on what the subject matter will be. In 2015 I picked up the acrylic paints after a couple of years away from them and had a lot of fun creating silly paintings!
4. What inspired you to not only take part in FAD, but also to become part of the organising team?
When I heard about FADD on Twitter from friends at Uni (DJCAD) I remember being particularly taken with the looseness of the project. I loved that you could pick anything you wanted to do and that it was purely for fun! Once I participated and felt so welcomed, I was excited to help out organiser; Becca Greig the following year. After that, I was so inspired and taken by all the participants and their projects, I wanted to continue sharing the fun and to encourage anyone and everyone to take part.
5. What is it that you love most about FADD?
Celebrating all the creative projects and the participants behind them! It’s great being able to follow these varied projects all month and getting to have discussions about anything artistic. It’s really rewarding seeing the personal and creative achievements of participants, through a project that I manage. There are times where there’s a big workload, but there are so many special moments and celebrations that make up for this. I also love the networking element of FADD. Thanks to Instagram and social meets we’ve had, there’s a welcoming and friendly community made up of previous participants and those who follow along/want to join in for future years. It’s a great hub for socialising, being inspired, and for peer learning.
6. Do you have any other hobbies, interests or fun facts that you could tell us about yourself?
I enjoy walking, particularly in the countryside and have a passion for cooking and baking. I used to bake cakes in a cafe, and love to make homemade dishes at home, sharing them with family. I always like to make a big chocolate cake for birthdays, and enjoy documenting it all on my Instagram: @plantpower0.