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Sarah Kieley Illustrator, animator and adventurer !

May 21, 2014

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Sarah Kieley describes herself as an Illustrator | Adventurer and is an animation Student at Sheridan College in Toronto Ontario, Canada. Her work, for me has a style that sits comfortably with the likes of Laura Wood , Melanie Allag or Meg Hunt, but with a studious eye for detail and accurate representation. Sarah kindly told me what makes her work different.

Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself, how you came to be studying the course you’re on, what do you think of it, what are the best/ worst bits and where do you hope it will lead you to ?

Well here goes : )  Initially, thank you so much for featuring me, it is very exciting to be here ! 

I’ve always loved art and movies since I was little and at a very young age, decided I wanted to study animation. It took quite a few years to build up the required skill to get into Sheridan College’s Animation program, but it was well worth it! I will be going into my second year this fall. I wouldn’t say there are any “worst parts” of what I am doing but a lot of hard bits are really just dealing with personal anxiety and balancing being in school full time, working a part time job and doing my own art on the side… as well sleeping once in a while ! The best part of going to Sheridan, is the fact that I am learning what I love to do, while being surrounded by so many amazing talented artists I am happy to call my friends!

I am hoping that studying animation will allow me bring stories to life and share them across the world, I can’t wait to make films! Because the course I am taking covers so many wonderful things, I think it will allow me to pursue my love for illustration as well as animation.

You can see how Sarah studies her subject matter in great detail, spending hours of work, in realising how a certain sky appears or what a hand/ foot would look like in any certain position.

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I notice that you spend a fair amount of time studying anatomical drawings of the figure / animals, or painting skies and nature etc How important do you feel this is to being able to illustrate your work ?

I think drawing inspiration from real life is a very important thing, whether its nature or life drawing or just drawing people on the train ride home; it allows you to really transform and stylize anything you want if you understand the basics of how it works. You just have to realize how magical the world can be.

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Can you tell us how you came to develop your own style ? where your colours originate and ideas for different pieces ? Are you a little bit of a sci fi gal on the quiet lol ?

When it comes to my own style I am still far away from getting to where I’d like to be, but it is getting closer every day. I find inspiration at different art conventions as well as online.  Tumblr and Twitter are actually great tools for finding and connecting with other artists all around the world. I like to experiment with different colour schemes, I often reference some of my favourite graphic novels to find colour schemes that suit the piece. I really like portraying a warm cozy feeling to my drawings. I am more than a bit of a sci fi girl actually, ha ha, thanks for noticing.

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You appear to use a sketchbook quite a lot, are you encouraged to do this or is it just a way of working that you’ve come to like ? what are your fav materials to work with and how would you rate digital v paint when creating illustrations ?

I have always used sketchbooks. I love to use smaller sketchbooks so I can carry them around with me, you never know when you will get an awesome idea or see something you have to sketch down. I use a wide variety of media including gouache, watercolours, graphite, printmaking, home made paper, markers as well as some collage and digital of course. I really love using photoshop to do sketches and illustrations. It’s a lot of fun to play with brushes and colour schemes as well as animation. I think it is a great tool and it is lots of fun to use. (That does not take any love away from using traditional medium however, I love both : ) )

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Do you have a piece of work that you are most pleased with ? is there anything that you would find dull or boring to illustrate if you were commissioned to do so ? What would be your dream job ?

As for a piece of work I am most pleased with, I am really happy with some of my boat sketches from a recent layout portfolio I did, as well as some of the animated illustrations I have been putting up recently. Honestly I am just happy to receive commission requests at all !  My dream job ? ……now this is quite the question. I’d like to open my own animation studio/bakery, as well as write and illustrate my own graphic novels. If I can keep doing art until the day I die, I will have lived a pretty wonderful life !

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Who do you admire in the art world who might stimulate or inspire you ?

There is way too many to name but here are a few ! One of my favourite graphic novelist/ illustrators is Luke Pearson. His work is so warm and cozy and really magical.  I got to meet him in person this last weekend and it was so amazing. I am of course inspired by the animated works of Ghibli and Laika studios as well as work by Tomm Moore (secret of kells) and Genndy Tartakovsky(samurai jack).

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I am currently working on some comics as well as a webcomic with a friend of mine who is a writer! So keep an eye out for those!

Thank Sarah, we will !  Many thanks for taking part in the Fishink Blog and the best of luck with your future baking-animation studio, perhaps you can one day have a small cinema showing your own animated films, but with the best cafe for home cooking, ever tasted ! Mmmmm  do save me a seat ! : )

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2014 12:51 pm

    What a talented artist, I love her little characters and would love to see them in a movie one day! Here’s hoping!! X

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