by Inigo del Castillo in New Illustration on Saturday 22 February 2014

Unknown to many, Samuel Silva is a lawyer by day, and a talent hyper-realist artist at night. In his spare time, he creates these ballpoint pen drawings you’d otherwise mistake for photographs. We interviewed him recently, and we talked about his growth as a ‘hobby artist’, his work-hobby balance, and his favourite subjects to draw. [read our original post about Samuel Silva here]

How long have you been creating artworks with a ball point pen, and how long did it take before you reached this kind of hyper-realistic art mastery?
Contrary to what the vast majority of people think, including other artists and even specialists, I have been drawing with ballpoints, in this kind of semi-serious way you see now, for the last three years, more or less. I have been drawing with them for much longer, since I was in school, on the back pages of my exercise books, but it was just rapid classroom sketches, nothing realistic at all, mostly just silly cartoons.

As it turns out, doing those helped me learn some things about the medium and some methods I came up with then, I still use them today. Of course that having started drawing at the age of 2, real recognizable animals and objects, not just random lines like most 2 year old children, and having gone through all known mediums before even trying pens helped me a lot in understanding their nature as a potential medium.

Honestly, I do not think at all I have complete mastery of the medium, I am still experimenting with it, and evolving, I have only been drawing with it in a semi-serious way for a short time, I am planning improvement for future works.

How do you balance your work as a lawyer and your hobby as an artist?
I don’t. Like with any other hobby, if you have time for it good. You feed your hamster, or you water your bonsai, or you change the water in your fish tank… I draw in my free time, not all my free time obviously, too boring.

What’s your favourite subject, and how long does it usually take you to finish each one?
Well, I definitely do not like to draw streets and cities, not because I can’t, but because I find them the most boring thing to draw on earth. I like organic natural drawings, about landscapes, animals, people, I’m all about natural beauty, not man-made