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ODOC administrative assistant brightens lives as an airbrush artist

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla -- For a tattoo artist, the body is canvas of possibility. But Samantha Robb- Piñeiro doesn’t use needles and ink. She said, “I like the creativity. I like that. I’m not hurting anybody. I’m asked, why don’t you do this for real? I don’t like needles. And I don’t like pain.” 

The DOC administrative assistant unleashes her creative side at weekend festivals, comic book conventions and tattoo expos. Samantha said, “It’s not unusual for me to paint a Jedi or decorate a Klingon, something along those natures. Most of the work I do looks like a real tattoo so I have a lot of people who either test drive a tattoo, fake out and freak out their families. I had real tattoo artists coming to me, that’s airbrushed? Yeah, It is.” 

Her interest in airbrush began with simple face painting as a rural librarian more than a decade ago. 

Her husband, DOC Captain Bill Robb, saw Sam’s potential and gave her the encouragement & equipment to pursue her passion. She said, “I call them my guns. He was my gun slinger. I would say hey I need this color. He’d pop it on and hand it to me and I’d keep going.” 

The potpourri of colors contrast the sometimes black and white world of Employee Rights and Relations where Samantha has worked for almost 3 years. “This isn’t lighthearted work. There’s a lot of serious situations you’re dealing with. It’s nice to break away from that.” According to Robb- Piñeiro, “This is my silly time. It’s my fun time. It’s something I enjoyed with my husband. I’ve met a great deal of friends. 

It’s those friends – and Samantha’s work family who loved and supported her through life’s most difficult season. She said, “It becomes a community. So much so, that when my husband passed, he had a brain tumor and he passed in 2016. This community got together and did fundraisers, events for my husband to try and make his life as comfortable as possible. That’s always really touched me. These people pulled together like that Just like my DOC family. They did what they could to take care of us in his illness. It’s nice to see those two worlds come together. “ 

Samantha’s world now revolves around touching others with that same generosity, warmth and kindness. It’s her colorful tribute to the man who ignited her love for life, art and the department of corrections. “I love my tribe, my DOC tribe and my creative, kooky, artistic tribe. We can’t do anything without the people around us. If we don’t have that tribe and support system network of people, we are a lonely little island in the middle of nowhere. I would rather be a chain of islands.” She said, “Life hands you some interesting curve balls. There is always something to live for if you know where to look.” 

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