Sam Leach : I am the author of my own story – RMIT University


I am optimistic. I am cheerful. I am focused. I am a father. I am Sam Leach, and I am the author of my
own story. When I’m painting, I get to focus on a idea
for an extended period of time and that is a rare privilege – and what I like is that
when I am painting I can pursue it for as long as I like. I was never in the arty group at school and
when I finished I went on to do a bachelor of economics, and went into the tax office,
but after a while in there I thought that’s not really for me. I was imagining leather bound books and mahogany
wall panels tables with a glass of Brandy at the end of the day, but that wasn’t what
it was all about. Eventually my artistic side won out. The more I learnt about painting, the more
I wanted to learn. It made me want to find a serious art school
with a good reputation that was flexible and in a good location. RMIT provided the perfect environment for
me to become the artist I am today. It was the experience, the feedback, the mentorship… It was incredibly valuable. Through my studies I received a scholarship
that allowed me to travel to Holland, Germany and the UK and make very valuable contacts
and speak to other artists. In 2010, I won the Archibald prize with my
portrait of Tim Minchin. In ten years time if I’m still practicing
as an artist full time and finding it as enjoyable and exciting as I am now I’ll be very happy. I also intend to go back to RMIT and begin
my PhD. I once thought it was impossible to make a
living as a full-time artist. But with RMIT’s help, I am.

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