While life can be pleasantly surprising at times, it turns out to be plain cruel at others. We spend years meticulously planning the trajectory of our lives, and it still unfolds at its own pace and in its own way. A great example of such an unexpected turn was the pandemic, which subsequently brought the whole world to a halt. In the midst of all the chaos, however, the art economy bloomed in an unprecedented manner. Artists all around the world came together to represent what seemed to be the greatest tragedy in recent memory, with love and faith. Even more special were the individuals who found their calling in the arts. TikToker and artist Sammy Gerb’s story is one such instance.
Once, during the pandemic, Sammy was at her best friend’s house for a game night. She saw a giant 54-piece 2×4 Jenga set which she thought would look cooler if it were painted. She decided to paint it such that the dare/prompts for the Truth-and-Dare round would be hidden on the underside of each piece. She painted the set for the game night and it was a complete success.
Inspired by the fruit of her labor and the response she received, Sammy decided to pursue art to distract herself from the everyday gloom brought about by the pandemic, and also help other people feel less isolated. She started posting videos of her artistic process on TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube – soon managing to blow up on TikTok where she now has over 1.7 million followers and 43 million likes on her videos. In addition, Sammy regularly sells her artwork on her website. With a repertoire of over 600 pieces, she has managed to send her art off to people all over the world and across all 50 US states.
Sammy’s art is original and refreshing. Her palette is symbolic of her youth-oriented themes and is therefore personal and avant-garde. Her content, on the other hand, is unique, easy to follow, and relatable. She does voice-overs in her TikTok art videos with stories from her life that her followers can relate to.
The Tiktoker believes that art should be a means of fostering love and empathy. It should not be snobbishly gate-kept with standards and restrictions, but instead be open and free-flowing. She says, “most of my paintings are based on ideas I get right before bedtime, the weirder the better.” Sammy continues, “the goal of my art is to inspire others to dream and create. I firmly believe that anyone can be an artist.”
In addition, Sammy is a full-time vet and regularly donates to charities and organizations. She believes that only through persistence in the face of adversity and challenges, the whole of humanity can inch toward progress together.