MPW.72 / 2020 Painting and Loving in Small Town Missouri by Tristen Rouse
Tristen Rouse
Team Chapnick

Story Summary

Samantha Cox was just a few months into a new job when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Then she was furloughed. At home with no job to go to, she turned to an old comfort — painting.

She started by assisting a friend on a mural before taking on her own projects. A mural she painted along the main strip of Marshfield, Mo. drew her some attention. Soon, she realized that her paint-splattered side hustle could become her career. When her former employer called to tell her the furlough was over, she politely said that she would not be returning. She is now a full-time muralist.

Samantha paints while looking after her other passion — her son Bowen, a six-year-old that she currently homeschools. Long days at her paint sites mean long days away from him, although a tight and joyful embrace begins each evening when she arrives home.