FK talks to Sarah, a Sydney artist behind the beautiful Flossy P. Sarah also recently debuted her work at the Sydney Finders Keepers.
How would you sum up the style of your work?
Little doodley illustrations? More precisely, portraits of uncommon beauty, with elements of nature woven in.
What is your background and when did you start illustrating?
I studied fine art at COFA (UNSW College of Fine Arts) and created very conceptual installations, nothing at all like what I do now. It wasn’t until about 8 years afterwards, when my brain had had time to recover from the overdose of the conceptual, that I began to doodle. It took me a few years of drawing to get back in shape (so to speak), that was about 5 years ago now.
Although my illustrations are a world away from those initial installations, each of my drawings still carry some metaphor or concept.
What or who do you find most inspires your work?
Usually it’s me really noticing something. I may have seen it before, but it’s the moment that I really notice it properly that catches my attention. Then I feel inspired to encourage others see it too.
What do you love about living in a small town on the north coast?
Some days I love it more than anything, and some days I miss my old hood in the inner west of Sydney something terrible. But then something will happen (like seeing a whale shoot up out of the ocean, or having a teenaged check-out chick be delightfully friendly) and I’ll feel good all over again.
It’s also all the nature, the dramatic landscape, living so close to the beach without the hassle of parking, the unpretentious down to earth people, the general friendly chattiness, and the staunch pride and supportiveness of the small community.
Describe your creative process.
It involves lots of thinking, headspace and contemplation. Then once I feel like I’ve come up with something vaguely smart, I’ll start sketching out some very rough lines to get my ideas from my head onto the paper in a way it makes sense. Composition is important to me, so I’ll work on that until I’m happy; happy enough to commit it to the “fancy” paper.
What advice would you give other illustrators wanting to follow a similar path?
It’s really difficult not to get swept up in the latest fad. But I find the works that most people like of mine are the ones unlike anything else. To do that, you’ve just got to stick with your own thing and be patient.
What has been your favourite project/exhibition and why?
Every new project is my new favourite. I can’t help it, new things are exiting! But retrospectively it would be hard to beat some of the commissions I’ve worked on. They are usually commissioned to mark a special occasion for the person and their family, and I get to be part of that, in a removed but intimate way.
The Finders Keepers Market was also amazing. I don’t usually get to see people look at my work. So that was a super nice.
What can we expect from you next?
We just bought our first house, and I’ve subsequently become obsessed with décor… so I my next projects will be all about taking my illustration onto objects; pillowcases, teacups, soapdishes, etc.
There are also some secret-squirrel conversations happening at the moment with some big-wigs… they mentioned a colouring book! That’ll be fun.