After studying fine art at Ohio State University, Sam Hawkins spent five years designing for Artex, a manufacturer of embroidery paints. In 1981 he moved to Columbia, South Carolina where he opened his own commercial art studio. There he caught the eye of the late Gloria Steele, who along with Pat Carson, founded Designs by Gloria & Pat. Gloria and her husband Ken recognised Sam's talent and envisioned his art translated into needlework. They introduced him to the world of counted cross stitch. His first designs were for Gloria and Ken's Cameo Collection.
His education with the Steeles led him to become Art Director at The Finish Line where he produced designs for their line of pre-finished cross stitch products. He later went out on his own as a freelance designer for kit companies, several national magazines and various cross stitch publishers. In 1988 he began designing exclusively for the American School of Needlework. Through his work with them he became one of the best known designers in the world.
In 1995, Sam decided once again to become a freelance designer. David & Charles have published several of his books and he has published designs under his own label and also under Jeanette Crews Designs.
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