Today we’re joined by Sara. Sara is a phenomenal visual artist who does a lot of illustrations. She also dabbles in a few crafts, but illustration and designing stationary is where her passion lies. She’s also going to be running a conference session in London about archaeology and the history of gaming (which was signal boosted on this site a few weeks ago). It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I do illustration and comic strips and I design stationery. I sometimes wander into graphics or various sewing projects but I’m mostly an illustrator.
What inspires you?
My friends ^_^ usually my best work starts with me thinking of something I want to draw for someone and then getting so excited I can’t stop till I’ve got in down on paper. The thought of how happy it will make them sustains me. Aside from that, the artists who really inspire me are often comic artists and colourists. There’s something about how economical comic art has to be and how much it communicates that I really love. My favourites are probably Erica Henderson, Fiona Staples, David Aja, Ed Brubaker, Matt Hollingsworth, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Adrian Alphona.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I always drew as a kid. My mum drew too and she took me to the park to draw one day and did the whole ‘draw what you see, not what you know’ lesson and from there I was hooked. I mostly drew from life when I was younger because I wasn’t confident about having a style of my own but eventually started experimenting. I was always imagining the inventions or clothes or stationery or musicals I would design. I had big dreams! I really got into stationery when I was a teenager and discovered Artbox (the South Korean stationery brand). I loved the idea that you could have something so small and simple but the details and colours and the character in the designs could make it really beautiful. In stationery simple images with a lot of personality work the best. I’d say that alongside being an inventor, author and philosopher, being an artist is one of the first things I ever wanted to be.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
I guess I use a lot of block colours. The symbols I use on my personal work are a blue postbox with teeth and a flying apple with an eyepatch but they don’t really show up in stuff I post online…
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t worry about developing a style and sticking to it. It’s ok to be trying something totally different or using things you’ve seen other people do. Your style is a side effect of all the people’s work you’ve seen and imitated and absorbed bits of and rejected other bits of. It will just happen without you noticing it. The link is you. If you’re doing it, it’s your style. And don’t just be passionate about art, be passionate about other things, learn about them, get excited. That’s where the ideas come from.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual and aromantic!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not in art because I mostly work with people who are my friends already. But I have in my day jobs. I’ve met people who took it as a challenge, someone followed me home from work once trying to convince me that having sex with him would change my mind (that was hella scary… if someone does that to you, call the police!). Other people were perfectly nice in most ways but just flat out failed to believe me. Most people are lovely about it though, if slightly confused! Usually my reaction is just to stay cheerful but firm. If people try to speak over me or deny my experiences I keep explaining and don’t let up.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we’re not queer enough!
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Sometimes it feels scary not having a map in life, even if it’s freeing at the same time. Other people seem to shape their lives around their sexual relationships so much and doing your own thing without all those rules to follow can make you feel pretty lost. I still find that scary so I can’t say for sure it gets better but I can say there are a lot of us and we’re all getting through day by day and making a future by living it even if sometimes we can’t look ahead and see our future clearly. Even when you’re lost, you’re not alone. Everything you are is real.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Sara, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.