Sam Siegel learned how to sell paintings in the digital age

Sam Siegel figured out how to sell paintings in the digital age

Sam Siegel, 29

Co-founder, Sams Original Art

Life Story: Sam Siegel was diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder as a kid growing up on Vancouver’s west side and, as he puts it, “never had much of a shot at school.” He ended up working at the Jericho Tennis Club’s bar after high school for about nine years and became addicted to fentanyl.

“I had surgery and was prescribed oxycodone, which I really liked,” Siegel remembers. “So I tried to buy it on the street and started hanging out with the wrong people when eventually I couldn’t get it anymore. They said, Try fentanyl. I was like, The stuff everybody is dying from? Who in their right mind would want to do that? And my friend said it was the same thing as oxy, just even better.”

Siegel was later admitted to a recovery facility in Nanaimo. “Went there a few times, every time after I would relapse, but I kept working the program, going to meetings,” he says. He’s been completely sober for about three years.

In that time, Siegel, always a talented artist, partnered with his dad, who had recently sold his entertainment company, and his uncle to launch an art gallery in Kitsilano to sell Siegel’s landscape paintings of Vancouver and its surrounding areas. Things started slow, but Siegel began figuring out SEO and kept tinkering with ways to bring people to the site and the gallery.

“I was spending on advertising, boosting Instagram posts, running campaigns, making sure I always had something new to share and getting back to absolutely everybody, even fellow artists wondering what brush to use,” he says.

Bottom Line: Siegel started seeing serious growth in the middle of 2020 and had his biggest month yet in December, hitting just shy of six figures in sales. His paintings have also found homes beyond where they’re based, with customers in places like Hong Kong, France and Kentucky.