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Sarah Allen Beautiful Birds

May 4, 2020

Instagram has been a great source for finding new artists and designers for me lately. I’m forever (mentally) OOO-ing and AHH-ing at the wealth and range of people’s creative styles and talent. I am taking part, on Instagram, in the #artistsupportpledge which was created by the Matthew Burrows Studio for artists to have a platform from which to sell their work.

Here’s some of my latest work before it goes off to be kiln fired today. Fingers crossed that the fire gods are in a good mood lol

I have more ceramics and Illustration work available for sale on there right now and you can find me by clicking here. Please remember to follow me @fishinkblog so you can see the latest work and blog posts that are happening weekly. Thank you to everyone who has helped support my work and has made a purchase lately too, it all helps enormously.

Today’s guest Sarah Allen, inspired me from the moment I first spotted her beautiful birds on Instagram and from there on in, I was hooked !

Sarah lives in Austratlia and works in a marvelous studio where she breathes in nature and creates her own beautiful version of it. I tracked her down and she was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

What’s your earliest memory of spending time doing artistic pursuits ?
I was always drawing and crafting as a kid. I remember taking great care in lettering fancy headings with my Derwent pencils in primary school. I was always making something but never gave creativity much thought as something serious or as a career option as I didn’t know anyone who was a professional artist.

When did you first realise you had developed a definite style to your work ?
Around 2014, I decided to change careers and become a professional illustrator. I started taking courses with Make Art That Sells, taught by Lilla Rogers. The courses are fast-paced and you produce a lot of work in a short amount of time.  After taking several courses and working on developing my folio over three or so years, I began to see my style emerge.

Which other artists presently inspire you?

So many that it’s hard to name a few. I’m a huge fan of Yuval Zommer’s non-fiction picture books. His series, “The Big Book of Blue” … are fun, vibrant and filled with interesting facts. I love them as an adult and would have loved them as a kid. Other artists that I’m currently inspired by include: Miroco Machiko for her unique drawing style and distorted shapes, Makoto Kagoshima’s amazing decorative ceramics, Ophelia Pang for her beautiful abstracted patterns and colour sensibility, and Anne Bentley who draws people and plants in such a unique, stylish way.

Do you have any plans to expand into other ranges, such as gift wrap , textiles etc ? I think some of your prints would work really well in these areas.  
Thank you, Craig!  I had the pleasure of seeing my art on gift wrap for the first time earlier this year.  I’d love to design more for this market area and have plans to expand my ranges. My gift wrap and cards are available through Earth Greetings.

Your love of Nature is clearly an important part of your work and all that you create. Where do you see your work going in the next few years ?

The natural world always inspires me. Australia just had the most devastating bushfire season on record and we have a huge list of threatened and critically endangered species. I feel that it’s really important to create art about the species we have on this planet in this extraordinary moment in time. No matter what I create, I hope to make beautiful things that bring people joy. If my work can also educate through delight, then that would make me very happy.

Do you have a particular colour palette that you work to or just a feel for colours that work in any particular line or collected product range ?
I tend to gravitate towards greens and yellows and need to make a conscious effort to mix things up. I love experimenting with how colours play off each other and the moods that can create. I think there are benefits to sticking to colour palettes for bodies of work and creating collections.  To date, I’ve tended to jump around a bit more than that but I’d like to explore working in collections some more.

Which is your most favourite item ?
I think the Regents Honeyeaters image is my favourite because it’s where I hit upon subject matter that I care about, expressed in a way that seems really me. Visually, it is a culmination of colour, transparency and crisp shapes that are common throughout my work. This piece is also one of my first bird drawings which led me to draw a bird series which, in turn, led me to write the text for a picture book. I was lucky enough to get a publishing deal and I’m currently working on the illustrations. The book is due out at the end of 2020.
Sarah is no stranger when it comes to creating books, she has a fair few under her Illustrator’s belt already.

She has also decorated buildings !

She also has an eye on the food and drink market. Take a look at some of her stunning retro-flavoured artwork below.

Sarah says:- “Since becoming a full-time illustrator, I’ve mainly focused on illustration commissions and children’s book work. I’ve always loved pattern though, and I’d love to see my art on textiles and homewares too. I hope to make more time for experimental, personal work because that is where my work seems to evolve the most”

Beautiful work, full of life and energy. Thanks again Sarah for answering my questions, the best of luck with your new book.

You can find more from Sarah on her Instagram account or website.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2020 10:02 am

    How gorgeous and joyful! I love the little echidnas 🙂

  2. May 5, 2020 6:41 am

    Great to see such a large amount of her work together!

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