Interview – cycling photographer / illustrator Sam Dunn

Sam Dunn is an illustrator and photographer who lives and works in London. She has a passion for cycling which has influenced her work and even led her to collaborate on a jersey design with Milltag. She was kind enough to share some of her snaps from the Red Hook Crit with us and talk about her inspirations.

What role does cycling play in your life?

Cycling is a huge part of my life – if i’m not drawing, I’ll be cycling. It helps me get out of my working mind state and I think it’s important to try and fit in some time outside during the day, otherwise I’d be sat at my desk for 12 hours without many breaks.

What kind of bike do you ride?

I have four fixed-gear bikes and one bmx. Two of the fixed-gears – the Dolan Pre Cursa and Fuji Feather – are currently just frames without parts on as I can’t fit them all in my room if they’re built up!

The other two that I currently ride are my Condor Lavoro and custom pink Dodici Special. The BMX is a 2011 Wethepeople Reason that I found on eBay at a great price, I mainly use it as a shopping / commuting / city bike when I need to lock up, or for gentler rides in summer, just cruising around.

Where’s your favourite place to ride bikes?

Although London is really busy, it’s still great for riding around, its so much quicker to get to places and there’s always something to see on the journey. I love London’s many parks, so I’m usually riding around there doing laps of the park.

Any amazing bike-related experiences you’ve had?

One of the most memorable is the London Revolution ride this year, an organised event over 2 days with a camping stop overnight. it ended up being 200 miles and I did it fixed with over 10,000 ft of climbing. It was the hardest ride i’ve ever done but I’d love to do it again on a road bike.

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You photographed the Red Hook Crit when it came to London, what was that like?

It was amazing to watch as we’d all been waiting for it to come here. I’ve always kept up to date with Red Hook when it’s happening in other cities, but never managed to visit it, so when I heard it was here I knew it was a perfect opportunity for photographs. 

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What inspires you, in your illustration work and your photography?

Load of things! For illustration, I guess it’s just everything condensed inside that comes out through my work. Traditional techniques, skateboard art, wood cuts, album covers, folk art, nature etc. For photography, I've finally been able to get a Canon 5D this year, so I’ve started doing that as another creative outlet. I love photographing cycling events and hope to continue with this as another endeavour while still focusing on illustration. 

Favourite bit of work you’ve made?

It’s really hard to pick one, but some of my favourites include the stuff I’ve done for Little White Lies, the Daniel Radcliffe portrait and the Porco Rosso piece as well as the new stuff I just recently finished for Skull & Heart.

Thanks, Sam!

All Images. Sam Dunn, 2015. Check out more of Sam's work on her website.