Taste of Streep is a peculiar, witty, and pretty random Instagram-account-turned-internet-sensation started by Samantha Raye a year ago. It started with the Brooklyn-based artist creating a collage of Meryl Streep sitting on a pink doughnut stroking a poodle, and the internet took care of the rest. The account, pairing the collages with hilarious captions, blew up and has garnered over 183,000 followers on Instagram. Just like that, Taste of Streep has taken a life of its own offline. Tapping into the sticker business and organizing themed movie screenings in Brooklyn, Samantha's future is bright.
Where are you from?
West Palm Beach, FL
Where are you currently located?
What brought you to NYC from Florida?
I went to a performing arts high school in South Florida and ended up studying drama in college - so New York was the next step after graduation.
Artists paths are pretty non-linear. Can you recall for us what your path has been like?
I was very involved in visual art as a kid, my grandmother taught me how to paint and sketch. When I got a bit older I was more interested in performing, so I started auditioning for little community theater productions. It’s really difficult trying to pursue a career in the arts. It can be so discouraging. New York is not an easy place to live when you’re feeling shitty about yourself. And all because of what someone behind a table at an audition thinks of you. The past year has really been a breakthrough for me. I started taking classes at an incredible studio in Manhattan and I am working as a designer to support myself. I want to barf this sounds so cliche, but once you stop caring what other people think and create for yourself, and I mean truly put every fiber of your unapologetic self into a piece - that’s when the best things come about.
What is your favorite Meryl Streep movie?
A Cry In The Dark
When did Taste of Streep first start?
January of 2016
How did it come into being?
I love digital collage work and found that most of the time my subject matter either revolved around food or celebrities.
Is it just run by you or a team of people?
Tell us about the moment you literally decided to start an account about food-based Meryl Streep collages.
The actual moment? I was laying in my bed one Sunday morning and started writing down potential Instagram handles for the account. A few months before I made the “She-Devil” pink doughnut collage and people loved it. So I thought why not run with it? What followed the pink doughnut was the avocado toast, followed by the samoa. I’d say those are the three that started it all.
Did you imagine it would become so successful?
Haha not in a million years.
How has your following reacted to your account?
The internet is kind of a scary place, but surprisingly the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. It’s pretty amazing.
How has Instagram worked for you as an artist & entrepreneur?
I mean, everyone has a phone…so the fact that my artwork/account is accessible to literally anyone worldwide in the palm of their hand is incredible. If it weren’t for this social media platform I wouldn’t have an audience or any of these opportunities really.
How has ‘Taste of Streep’ moved beyond the internet?
Every few months I team up with a local dine-in movie theater and host a “Taste of Streep” movie night with drinks, dinner, trivia, and give-aways. They’ve been so much fun…and again, so overwhelmingly positive. It’s surreal.
Is the sticker business a lucrative one?
Yeah I think that stickers, patches, and pins are all having a *moment* right now.
Why do you think so many people connect to your account?
Well the combination of Meryl Streep and food is both peculiar and somewhat fool proof? If that makes sense? Haha everyone loves Meryl Streep…and everyone considers themselves a foodie now these days. I also think it makes people ask “why?” quite a bit…and mystery is always so attractive.
Has Meryl noticed your collages?
She was interviewed for WSJ Mag this summer and it actually got brought up! From what the interview says, she laughed a lot about it. She also said I need a job. Which was kind of funny. I work 3 jobs and dedicate most of my free time to creating. But - at the end of the day I really want to be an actor more than anything. So yes! I do need a job - preferably in a theater or in front of a camera.
When is your next Taste of Streep movie screening and where can we buy tickets?It’s actually next Thursday, February 9th! We’re screening Postcards from the Edge in honor of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.
What are your future plans for Taste of Streep?
Not quite sure yet! Actually, I’m working on a new party concept for Taste of Streep with a friend of mine that is a brilliant chef. So keep your eyes peeled in March