For this artist, a personal passion to help Kauai eateries has turned into a business

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:10 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:17 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For income, artist Samantha Scamen edited photographs for a real estate photographer on Kauai.

And then the pandemic hit.

“All my income basically went away, because the majority of his stuff is vacation rentals. So no vacation rental photography was needed during the pandemic,” she said.

To pass the time, the wife and mother of two dusted off an old skill and dabbled with watercolor work and digital art. But she had no idea what it would lead to.

“It’s been really amazing. I can’t believe it,” she said.

To draw attention to Kauai’s struggling small businesses, she launched a campaign called Kauai Restaurants ABC. Each day, she posted an illustration on her Instagram page of a Kauai eatery.

“I started with A, then I went to B and C and went through the whole alphabet, just to promote a sense of community and trying to help each other out in a tough time,” she said.

Her act of kindness struck a nerve. People liked the idea and they liked her art. Many were willing to pay for custom illustrations.

“I was like, ‘Hang on a minute. People are into this, and I’m good at it, and I enjoy it,’” she said.

A small business was born. Scamen’s Left Right Design produces prints, cards and stickers that are sold online and in stores. She gets orders from all over the U.S.

“It’s a goal of mine to have all 50 states. Currently, I’m at 36 out of 50,” she said.

She has also filled orders for her artwork from her native Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The list keeps growing.

“It’s all Hawaii-inspired,” Scamen said. “I have endless inspiration here through nature and the animals.”

Scamen’s latest project is a sticker series that educates visitors about Hawaii’s wildlife.

“Each sticker on the back also has some information detailing exactly what the laws are regarding endangered species. So it’s more than just cute art on the front,” she said.

Scamen said she’ll never go back to her other career. She’s having too much fun with this one. You can see her artwork on her Left Right Design Instagram page and at her Etsy store.

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