For Sam Ballet it all starts in his sketchbooks, no matter how small. It is where he can capture his nocturnal scribblings for a later (but highly desired) moment at his drawing table. However, letting others peek into his sketchbook does not happen by chance.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Sam: "My biggest inspiration are my dreams and nightmares. Next to my bed, on my bedside table, I have a sketchbook. The smallest idea or image that still vaguely haunts me, I start sketching. Sketching in the dark does not produce the best results right away, but such scribbles help me get started drawing when I am in my studio. Then I check which colours are interesting, or which details I remember I can elaborate on. I also look a lot on Instagram. I unconsciously remember a lot of that stream of images. In doing so, I do avoid looking at other artists, because then I feel like I quickly start copying. Sometimes I do flip through an artist's book like the one by Ben Sledsens or Sam Dillemans."

When did your interest in drawing begin?
Sam: "I studied Painting at KASK, but after my studies I only finished two paintings. My love for drawing, on the other hand, grew, especially thanks to artist Sam Dillemans. I noticed that working with pencils brought me back to my childhood. I always had it available. Besides, you don't need such a huge studio to draw. Unless your name is Rinus Van De Velde (laughs)."

Do you often look back at old sketchbooks?
Sam: "I find it difficult to go through old sketchbooks. I see my sketches as preliminary studies, which I rarely or never develop further. I mainly use them, even if only for a split second, to get back to that image again. In the beginning, I added some colour, but I stopped doing that and now I limit it to scribbles with loose notes that only I can read."

When do you prefer to draw?
Sam: "When my little daughter is sleeping (laughs). I'm more of a night person. Only at that moment does the inspiration come. It's also more fun for me to get back into my drawing rhythm in the evening via my sketches. It's a nice way to relax."