It’s crazy how there is so much talent in the world that you’re bound to miss it if you blink. The next best thing can be right in front of you and you’d never know it. Taking a closer look behind the scenes we’ve met a young creative who has been killing it with his photography while creating a fire brand in his free time.
For those that are not familiar with you, who are you and what do you do?
Well for those who don’t know me, I’m Sam Fitzpatrick, also known as Fiveamsam. I’m a 20 year old kid currently living in Chicago. I consider myself to be a designer as well as a photographer, specializing in many things such as 35mm photography, graphic design, fashion design, videography, and much much more in the digital art realm. Along with photography, over the past few months I’ve put the majority of my focus into my brand, FIVEAM. I use FIVEAM as a creative output for my ideas when it comes to designing clothes. If I have an idea for a garment or a hoodie I’d like to see myself in, I just go ahead and make it.
When did you start doing photography?
I first got interested in photography in 7th grade. I would borrow my moms DSLR and go out to take skate pics of my friends. That christmas I got my first camera, a basic Nikon D3100, and from there I really started getting into photography. Every weekend my friends and I would go out and shoot photos. In my freshman year of high school I really started getting into fashion, much of my high school photography was fashion related.
What made you get more into using film?
I started experimenting with film photography in my freshman year of college. I wanted to experiment more with different kinds of photography, and I felt most digital photos all looked similar. Eventually my love for film photography overtook my digital work, and now I mainly shoot film. Personally, I switched because I just liked the look of film over digital. The colors come out more vibrant, the film grain gives it a unique look, and at the time it wasn’t something you saw much.
You seem to be connected to a lot of creative minds. How did you get into the creative scene?
When I first moved to Chicago in 2016 I didn’t know anyone within a 500 mile radius, so it was pretty hard getting into the creative scene. I would just go to every creative event and party in Chicago that I could to network with new people. Another big help was instagram; I could meet with other creatives all over, not just in Chicago. Along with this, my best friend Owen (@owenvrogers) lives in NYC, so I’ve met a ton of people in NY through him and from travelling there all the time.
Where did FIVEAM originate from?
As for the name, there’s not really anything special about it. People always ask me where it came from with stuff like “are you always up at five am?”, but the actual source of the name is pretty simple, FIVEAM = 5am = Sam, my name, so I guess you could say my instagram username is Sam Sam. At first FIVEAM was more of a multimedia company, where I combined my skills in photography, graphic design, videography, etc. but now its branched out into more of a clothing brand, which still uses the many of the same skills.
Did you teach yourself to design clothes or do you have some type of schooling for it?
For a while I considered majoring in fashion design, but I stuck to graphic design instead. Pretty much everything I do is self taught with the help of youtube tutorials. I hand make everything myself in my apartment from start to end, which can be a lot of work, but in the end it’s definitely worth it.
Some of your photography is in Vogue thanks to Kristopher Kites super dope jewelry collection. How does it feel knowing your work has been viewed by such a large audience?
It honestly feels great to finally have my work out to a much larger audience than just my instagram following. Those underwater photos are some of my favorites I’ve ever taken and it’s a great feeling to be recognized for them by such a notable publication such as Vogue. When we were first doing the shoot we expected the photos to do well on instagram and twitter but we never even thought about the potential of Vogue and other publications, it still seems unreal.
What’s the story behind that shoot? It seemed to be very well executed.
Well Kris and I had been planning a shoot for the jewelry for the longest time, but the hardest part was thinking of a theme that would stand out from any other shoot. We eventually thought of doing the shoot underwater. We luckily had a location already, a friends rooftop pool in Chicago. There wasn’t too much planning for the shoot, we kinda just hopped in the pool with the jewelry and took some photos. At first the whole shoot was supposed to be on 35mm, but halfway through the shoot water started to leak into my underwater camera. We had to come up with a quick fix on the spot so I ended up just using my iPhone X, so yeah those photos were all shot on an iPhone. You really don’t need an expensive fancy camera to get good pics, only a good eye.
What are your plans for FIVEAM in 2019?
I already know 2019 is gonna be a crazy year. I plan to put much more of my focus into designing clothes and other stuff. I’ve been working on a small collection these past few months and I can’t wait to show everyone the pieces I’ve designed. Hopefully a release coming in the weeks along with a pop up shop here in Chicago. Also in 2019 I hope to do more garments designed by me, since I have a ton of ideas I want to execute. Unfortunately, I like to keep my prices low and affordable, but when it comes to custom designing things, the production cost can get pretty pricey. My goal is to find a good balance between quality and affordability.
Who are some brands/creatives you want to work with this year?
I haven’t really put any thought into doing a collaboration yet and I think it’ll be some time before I do any official collabs. Of course it’s been my dream since I was 14 to work with Virgil Abloh, but that probably won’t happen this year. As for collabs, I think I’m just gonna see where the designing takes me and who/what I end up collabing with, though, some of my favorite smaller brands out there are Homesick, Guitar Boy Archive, Dystopia, Alcatraz, Half Evil, Absent, and many, many more that I’m super excited to see what they put out this year. I know this year is gonna be a crazy year for not just me, but everyone out there and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store.