Artists ~ Chad and Sami Michael ~ Providence

Artist’s name: Chad and Sami Michael
Etsy Shop name: WhatBoxCreations
(Sami is currently working on building a What-Blog)
Twitter: @ChadatWhatBox
Chef Sami Michael- @BumbleB_tch
(Kinda bare, still figuring out Pinterest)

1. Tell us about your work
We believe that Chaos prevails over order, every time, and we bring that point of view to our work, We enjoy finding ways to challenge the established order and create something new.

My primary tool of choice is airbrush, I feel it allows me to create at the speed of thought. However, I will can work with just about anything I get my hands on.
While Sami does paint and draw on occasion, most of her work is in the kitchen. She is currently focused on developing a line of spice mixes and dry rubs, tentatively named What?Dust.

Our goal is to, after eventually gaining enough of a following and clientele, open an art based cafe. A place where we can truly share the best of ourselves and our passions with the community around us.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
The name for our business came from a quip I made one day, about thinking so far "out of the box" that I had forgotten there ever was one, "What Box?" The name was in a way cemented in our minds once I drew the first sketch of our (?) shield logo.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
Well, I suffer from a terminal case of creativity, and Sami has a lifelong passion for food. Together we had the idea of a art centric cafe, and everything clicked. Suddenly we had a new goal to aspire to, it was time to focus and begin working towards it.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
True inspiration hits us like a brick sometimes, and we feel an almost unnatural desire to create something new.

A concept for a new painting will flash into my mind, and once that seed is planted, it grows. The ideas grow and grow until finally the need to be put on canvas.

A similar process happens with Sami, an idea for a new combination of flavors, textures, high notes, and low will flash in her mid one day, and be on our table the next.

True inspiration is a beautiful thing.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
I live to create art that demands people look at least twice. For example, the birch wood magnetic dividers on my motorcycle, or the color splashing off of billiard balls during an opening break. I also love finding new and creative challenges. Pushing my abilities and skills farther.

Sami loves to toy with flavors. One way she does this is with home made spice mixes, but another thing she loves to do is make sauces. There is rarely a meal served at our home (Lovingly referred to as "Que Casa") that is not served with a sauce that not only brings the meal together, but brings a new feeling to the dish, feeding the soul as well as the body.

6. What’s your best seller?
Honestly, even with a new found and growing following on Etsy, my best seller is myself. Rather than purchase existing artwork, many people have come to me for commissions. I have crafted custom pieces for people all over the globe, and each experience has been wonderful.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I was born and raised in Rhode Island, having only spent a few years of my childhood in Maine, and a few more is Massachusetts. Sami came here for college, and has been here for seven years.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
My favorite things about Rhode Island are the memories I've built here. The friends, the struggles, the landmarks. The first WaterFire, and watching that grow into a beloved tradition. My wife and I met at a club downtown. We were married in Providence City Hall.

9. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
If you want to create, then create. Don't wait for permission. Don't worry about the right or wrong way to make art. Share your talents. If you don't know, ask! If you don't want to ask, experiment!

Did you know that if you spray rubbing alcohol onto watercolors it creates a strange reticulated effect? It looks amazing. That's something that most people would have never thought to try, why not?

10. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Please follow us on our social media pages. Even if you can't purchase some of our work, we are always thrilled to know that you appreciate us and what we do. The links may be posted above, but they can also be found at


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