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Sarah McMenemy Illustrating pop-up city life

November 7, 2014

Sarah McMenemy grew up in London. During her teenage years she was asked by a family friend to draw their house as a memento as they were moving away. By word of mouth she was soon receiving similar commissions and ended up drawing many of the fine houses in North London.

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She studied at Chelsea school of Art and Brighton University where she graduated with a degree in Illustration.

On leaving art school she started working for many of the architectural, beauty, home and financial magazines based in London. As a result of this exposure she went on to work with top design and advertising groups and has enjoyed a great variety of commissions from prestigious clients and opportunities to travel around the world. A notable job came from London Underground to create a permanent installation of eighteen full height panels lining the platforms at Shadwell Station on The East London Line. Her reportage illustrations portray the richness of The East End, from pubs, market stalls and tenement blocks to majestic tall ships, and Hawksmoor Churches.

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Below is one of her commissions for luggage company Delavaux. There’s a great ‘upbeat’ feel to the characters and situations.

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There’s a lovely series of pop out city guides adorned with Sarah’s illustrations. How fab are these, available to purchase here.

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In recent years Sarah has also been working on Children’s Books. Walker Books in London, have published two books, both written and illustrated by Sarah as well as the ‘Bonnie’ series of reading books which she has illustrated, written by Bel Mooney. Knopf at Random House in New York have published three of Sarah’s picture books written by respected American authors. She gives talks and workshops to schools and libraries about her work and has book signings at children’s bookshops.

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I asked Sarah what she has been working on most recently and how she develops her wonderful style.

” I was working earlier this summer on a new project designing a set of tableware, dinner plates, platters etc. It was based around a classic Hollywood Movie. This was something I had always wanted to try and thoroughly enjoyed it. Another interesting project was to create scenes from around the new development at Cambridge Station, showing how it will look when the building work is finished. I’ve just done a couple of images of restaurants for The Sunday Times to illustrate the AA Gill restaurant reviews. “

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” I create the finished pictures on paper using gouache, ink and some collage. Then I tidy them up, make minor adjustments and any corrections in Photoshop. A lot of the enjoyment of being an illustrator, for me, comes from the process of painting and drawing on paper. I use the digital part of the process as a final tuning tool.”

Lovely work Sarah, I can’t wait to see what is coming next, good luck for the future and do keep us posted.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2014 8:38 pm

    All lovely work as ever.

  2. November 10, 2014 10:51 pm

    I really like the freshness of her work, with her color-washes and all. Her illustrations make life look like so much fun…

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