Sam McConnell Interview

Oumlil: As an artist, how crucial is creativity in leading a fulfilled life for you? How does creativity manifest itself in your day to day?

Mr. McConnell: I think as a creative person it’s kind of just something that you feel innately, that you need to do something, to create something, to be a part of something that feels inspiring, creatively fulfilling. You know, a lot of us have to manage things to pay the bills and things that you’re passionate about. But yeah, if it weren’t for those things I don’t know how I would live. How it manifests in my daily life? I try to curate things in my home, in my life, what I wear, the company that I keep. I like to be around people and things that inspire me, things that I find exciting and new

I love that answer. I always say to people that I need to make like I need to breathe. It’s something that I have to do. What is it that drew you to filmmaking in the first place?

I grew up kind of an awkward, gay kid in Utah in the nineties and I stumbled upon Sundance film festival, which at that time was this small indie festival and you could go get a ticket any time you wanted and for the first time I saw the world open up and I saw all kinds of different people being reflected back on screen and it was just the most exciting thing I ever experienced. I’ve loved film ever since.

Other than film, is there any other medium of expression that you use?

Yeah, somewhat. I’m super into photography. I mean films obviously a visual medium so sometimes I experiment with stills. Music is also hugely important to me. I listen to music all day, anytime I have down time I’m listening to music, and that kind of fuels my days.

Do you believe that, like art, style is an essential part of self expression? And do you believe that it’s important for yourself and for other people to have a personal style, or at least to try to find something for themselves?

Yeah 100 percent, I think that’s true. I think what you wear is definitely an extension and an expression of who you are and your taste, what you find beautiful or interesting. For me, I think I have sort of an understated style, and I like that. I usually wear basics, blacks, neutrals or solids. But then I like to always have a little something, like a detail, something that makes it look kind of special and unique. These pants I’m wearing are my favorite pants and they have this sort of cool detail, and it makes me feel great wearing them.

Where do you draw your inspiration from: in general, in your art, in your style? What inspires you the most?

Honestly I mean New York City, and other cities of the world. Just walking down the street and crossing paths with all different kinds of people speaking different languages, smelling different foods, a place where you collide with art and theater and culture.

What was it about Oumlil’s garments that drew you to them?

I have loved his clothes for years and years, and to me there are two things that are super special about the clothes that he makes. One is the quality of work, how it’s made, it’s always going to be an impeccably made garment. And secondly he always adds that something special to each piece that is thoughtful and clever and unique, that makes you feel great wearing it.

What do you think is the value of having clothes/garments/outfits in a style that you think is somewhat indicative of your personality, rather than just wearing clothes for their functional purposes alone?

Personal style and fashion, I always get a bit nervous in that area because I’m not a huge fashion guy. I don’t have a closet full of huge labels. But I do think personal style-how you move through the world, especially as a creative, taking meetings or trying to get certain projects off the ground-everything that you present is part of a package so your personal style is absolutely just an extension of who you are.

How do you reconcile your American ways with this European sensibility that is often associated with people who dress well? It’s as though when you look great, people will say that you have a European sensibility.

Well I think it’s true. There is just something about European style where they are just impeccably dressed. America, maybe since it’s a newer country, has a much greater emphasis on street-style and edge or even comfort sometimes. It flies here more than it flies in Europe.