Samuel Luke

Samuel Luke is an artist working in illustration to explore his transgender identity and comics.

Samuel Luke is an artist and illustrator based in Sydney, currently living on Dharug Country. His works range from digital illustrations and comics to embroidery and quilted works. In his practice, he uses autobiographical storytelling and graphic narratives to discuss the complexities of gender identity through his own experiences as a gay trans man. The metaphor of space exploration is a prominent theme across his works, as his art seeks to provide positive affirmations to other gender explorers who might be on similar paths. He is interested in creating alternative forms of queer and trans representation; from tomboy childhood gender euphoria, to affirming moments of gay trans masculinity.

While Samuel’s art often features outer space as an expansive site to explore his gender identity, his work is deeply intertwined with the intimacy and vulnerability of his personal experiences. His more recent work with embroidery, wall hangings and ‘quilted comics’ are a reflection of the tactility and tenderness of his developing art practice. The transformative process of working with textiles, mirrors his trans experience and journey, as he uses embroidery to demonstrate the connection to and adornment of his trans body.

Samuel graduated from UNSW Art & Design in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours), and has since illustrated projects with ABC News, Adobe, ACON Health’s TransHub, Converse ANZ, Headspace, and Sock Drawer Heroes. He has participated in over 20 exhibitions in Australia and Canada, including recent solo show Gender Euphoria Looks Good On You at Waverley Library and group exhibition Unravelling Queerly at the Australian Design Centre, both as part of World Pride 2023 earlier this year. Samuel will present a new solo exhibition in January 2024 at M. Contemporary in Sydney.

In this video, Samuel chats to NAVA about making the art he wants to see, creating positive queer and trans representation, and learning to say ‘no’ as a freelancer. 


Video production by Atypical 2023.

Photo by Liz Ham 2023.

ID: Portrait of Samuel Luke in his studio. He is wearing a pale pink t-shirt, thin framed glasses and is smiling at the camera. He has short dark hair and a thick moustache. He sitting on a blue chair at a wooden desk. On the table is a folded indigo dyed, tapestry quilt, an open notebook and pens. In the background is a blue carpeted floor, a mix of blue and clear plastic tubs and a pitch angled ceiling. In the foreground is a blue metal frame sitting over the desk.