Slinging philosophy with the “Love Samurai”

Visual Artist, Jordan Norris, goes by the pseudonym "Love Samurai". PHOTO BY RALPH HERNANDEZ | THE SIGNAL
Visual Artist, Jordan Norris, goes by the pseudonym “Love Samurai”.

“Following my heart, showing my artwork to people and the quote that I hold up on that sign is what I felt was right to do.”

Sitting on the planks of the plaza stage, Love Samurai has a message for Georgia State’s students: “What inspires you about life and living?”

At 22 years old, Jordan Norris, better known as ‘Love Samurai,’ sits on the stage in the library plaza for long periods at a time holding these particular words up.

“I decided to write it out on paper and actually ask people. It was like a social experiment I came up with, and I decided to keep coming because I like the reaction I was getting with people. It was very powerful,” he said.


Samurai is not a Georgia State student, even though he frequents the courtyard. He has intentions to either begin his studies at Savannah College of Art and Design or right here at Georgia State University with a major in animation and a minor in Illustration.

“I’ve been working on an anime concept for a few years, and I require animation that school can bring me in order to execute my art correctly,” Samurai said.

Samurai began doing this experiment to encourage students to open up a new state of mind and his goal is for students to think about it in a psychological manner. However, getting the answer to the question from students is not his intention. Instead, simply knowing they will walk by his signs, read them and take away each message is enough.

“What inspires you? Believe it or not, not a lot of people know the answer to that question and know that if they don’t know the answer, they can go find it. That’s why I do it. I do it for self-empowerment,” Samurai said. “I do it to initiate that spark internally. Follow your heart. Your heart will always guide you in the right place. That’s why I ended up at Georgia State.”

With the hopeful impact that he has on Georgia State’s community, the origin of his art and philosophy plays a major factor in how he views life today.

“I was always getting into like, crayons ad coloring books, but I would never color in the actual books. I would always draw my own stuff and finally my mom caught on and started giving me regular paper. So I started drawing from there and never stopped,” Samurai said.


Eventually he began painting, dabbling in tattoo artistry and making graphics. No matter which art methods he focused on, they were all driven by the same final goal and stemmed from the same stimulation in the end.

“I’m inspired by the people that pass by me at school I do this at other places also like Little Five Points and Atlantic station,” said Samurai. “What inspires me are those people who know what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it, and those who show me encouragement and support me from a distance.”

He also incorporates various cultures within his artwork to create an impactful art piece and intensify the inspirational message. Samurai takes aspects from Hinduism, African cultures, and Americanized urban with a hip-hop twist.

“My point of doing that is to show that there’s unity,” he said. “Beauty is unity. All of these things put together is what makes this world such a beautiful place. And I’m not sure what I’m doing. I’m just following my heart.”.

The message of Samurai isn’t complex:we are all one in this world. We should have the understanding of the varied differences, but they should be accepted.

However, in order to succeed in that goal, Samurai wants you to start by loving who you are confidently.

“We’re all brothers and sisters and I want people to understand what love is. That’s why I follow love,” Samurai said. “Once you come into the understanding of self, then you can come into the understanding of others. You’re able to unconditionally love another like you love yourself.”


Showing that materialism should not take the place of self-love is one of the main messages that Samurai is trying to send. He believes that trying to replace happiness with belongings is where people have it wrong.

“I’m not saying that all materials are a bad thing,” he said. “I carry around a lot of material things. It may not have the same significance for other people, but trying to replace that stuff with happiness is where people go wrong.”

Fear and love are two of the only motivating forces we see in today’s world, according to Samurai.

“Either what you’re doing is out of fear or it’s out of love, whether it be for yourself or for another,” he explained. “That’s what I’m fighting against — fear — for my brothers and sisters in this world so they can live their life the way they’re supposed to better.”

Samurai’s Technique:

1. Utilizes various mediums: Samurai develops his art through mixed media and incorporates raw illustrations to achieve this.

2. Introduces Technology to the art: He then puts these illustrations into a computer through a scanner.

3. Software creates virtual product : When uploaded, he completes his work using Photoshop and Illustrator.

4. Combines different tools for finished piece: He uses cheap 8×11 flat canvases for his work with the use of cheap paint scraps to create his final piece.

“I use whatever medium I feel is necessary. I do some photography as well, so sometimes I incorporate some photo manipulation since I know photo design software. I’ll take in those photos and do something crazy with them,” Samurai said.

Love Samurai sits for hours in the plaza in order to develop an overall creation of observation, inspiration and impression.

“There is no right or wrong way to look at my stuff. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. That’s a powerful thing,” Samurai said.

“Following my heart, showing my artwork to people and the quote that I hold up on that sign is what I felt was right to do.”