Sarah Ann Illustrations

Who is Sarah Ann?

Sarah Ann Constable
In 1998 in the middle of Wiltshire Sarah Ann Constable was born into her family consisting of a challenging older sister, a traveller of a father and an attentive mum. Protected and loved, her childhood was not dissimilar to that of any other British kid. Always trying to be surrounded by nature and running away with her fantasies such as elaborate daydreams and wild stories Sarah could be a rather exhausting daughter. It was during this time she fell in love with cartoons and especially the joy of Tom and Jerry. A speechless cartoon spoke more to her then the rest and this was due to one key fact. The first week of secondary school Sarah realised she had a disadvantage to all the other children. She couldn't hear her lessons. Whilst not completely deaf her hearing deficiency resulted in many an issue. As soon as her classmates learned of this it became a bit harder during school life. Art kept her going during this time. Starting in class 6 with her two eccentric teachers who favoured the arts over education she learnt about a very famous face. Painting starry night even just for a few hours cause her to become emerged in the world Van Gogh created. His use of brush strokes and how he was ignored at the time he was alive was most fascinating to a new artist. The way he first saw the sky in comparison to all the others during that time was ground breaking. If one day it was possible to lead in such an art movement then Sarah would love to be one of the first within the trend. Mind you that is harder now-a-days. Now artists such as Banksy are the masters of our time and the inspiration behind this generation. This does not mean that the teachings of the famous artists are forgotten, and their work still inspire all of us including Sarah. Picasso's pigeons, Monet's water lilies and Van Gogh's sunflowers were the key lessons during her education.
Now then what is there to say about a girl who has the ideal family life and never wanted for anything. Well like most artists something had to have happened to give this girl the passion to painstakingly draw her soul out on a page. Sarah's Grandma was the inspiration for her love of art. With each visit they would sit round the work surface and she would learn neat little tricks to help manipulate the paints or create clean smudges. Her father's eulogy described Mrs Elizabeth Constable's house as an Aladdin's cave for a child – he couldn't have worded it any better. For a young artist Sarah was surrounded by lavish colours and a new supply each visit. Her Grandma knew the lessons that needed the most practice. Each visit Sarah would sit and roll all her Grandma's ribbons neatly before she could indulge in the latest box of art supplies. This taught her patience – a skill most needed in some areas of illustration as fine details are time consuming and tricky.
Whilst her parents are supportive, they originally were seeking for a more academic path. After a while they learnt that her passion for drawing wasn't just going to be a side line. Constantly walking in on her drawing instead of studying a slight deal had to be struck and steps taken to get homework done on time. This was when she shifted her university applications from geography to illustration and animation. When her Grandma had passed Sarah set her heart on taking her work further and dreamed of studying it at university. The day her unconditional came through for Illustration and animation at Coventry university she was elated. If she could have had the chance to tell her Grandmother, then it would have truly been a perfect moment. The list of studies within the arts were certainly extensive and it took a while for her to find the course that she related to most. Illustration was an obvious choice as a keen book lover and as with many children a lover of Alice in Wonderland meant she was inspired by John Tenniel's work. It formed the bases for her GCSE piece. Deciding to pursue animation was a much longer decision and resulted from her love of working with computers and all animated works. A local to the Bristol area Aardman was prominent in her youth and she took great joy not only in watching Wallace and Gromit but also in learning about the challenges of configuring Plasticine models.

I have spent the last few years running around Bristol with my family on many of the Aardman inspired trails which have been the highlight of the creative calendar because they showcase many unique artworks using one of their very familiar characters each time.

Growing up there was a lack of art brought through in her education because of schools tending to favour the education of all non-media-based classes. This had the impacted of her not learning many of the basics. Arriving at Coventry in 2017 Sarah felt so far behind that it was difficult to see how she could ever stand alongside her classmates as equals. Whilst behind artistically this was the moment, she realised she had something else to offer. Everyone has their own special uniqueness and sometimes it is harder to see but it stands out in the unfinished line of a landscape or the smudges caused by charcoal. Mistakes make art unique and that must mean a weakness can easily become a strength. Embracing her lack of knowledge, she was able to look at the work in their lectures in a slightly newer light. Inaccurate or not her style was, as a result, different. Mixing with artists from all over the globe has a unique way of inspiring each other and creates many wonderful collaborations during the group projects. Getting to submerge herself within these culture for three years will open her mind further then previously. Not only her fellow classmates but her friends created through extensive travels inspire her through their communications and their posts upon social media. Inspired often by travelling she hopes that after her graduation she can take a few months out to explore and learn about new areas. Maybe this will help her to zone in on the specific style she would like to take on through her work in the future. Every culture has its own way of drawing the simplest of shapes as well as unique tools and materials.
Sarah's style is defined as line art. Within this definition the artist uses bold straight or curved lines without any shading but instead with cross hatching to enhance the image. Pointillism also features within her work as it couples extremely well with line art to create a depth within the piece. Often the pieces are small in scale no bigger than A6. These are normally sketched in a random location during a spell of inspiration. An example of this is the few drawings inspired by her American travels in 2017 which depict the Chrysler, Sea turtles and ocean waves. Experimenting with everything from spray paints to charcoal her style is still very much in fluctuation. The current future focus for herself is looking to be a preferred career in either cartoon animation or children's book illustration. In the art world having one label is not a constant and who we are or where we place ourselves changes so often. At current Sarah places herself as a practising amateur illustrator and will consider herself thus until her first paid job.
Everyone has something unique to their art and it tends to stem from our inner self. In the case of Sarah Constable her unique selling point is how she asks what they want – "name three things that mean something to you" – this is how she creates some of her more personal pieces. Her style is identified by the sketchy black line work and often colourful backgrounds created by watercolours. Her work often contains a section of typography which can be either single lines or her poems which inspire future pieces. The combination of words and images is a key part of any future illustrators' life so learning to work with both is a challenge. As of current the aim of the words and the drawings are not always compatible but as Sarah develops through her course the marriage of words and images will become second nature. Creating someone else's vision with the description you are given is hard when that person is unable to connect with the artist. Sarah has always found people feel comfortable talking and engaging with her to the extent where they can go into the deepest meanings. This is due to her being able to listen to someone and respect the limits of how much she can alter her work to suit the story. It might be drawn by her, but it is a vision of someone else and she understands that.

It can be disheartening to work so hard on a vision and someone else come along to takeover or change the final piece. I hope my work will never do that and that no one would do that to me in return.

Every artist dream is of being known by the masses, but the specific thing they wish to be known for is harder to work out. Sarah would love to inspire and nurture the next generation through her art be it on the screen or contained within the pages of a book. The perfect professional brief for Sarah would be one crafted by someone who has a clear vision for their character or book but is open to creative differences. Her dream is to work with someone to create the illustrations for their book. The foundations of characters within books are very strong and clear which means she would hope to create the perfect piece for the writer and as a result is very open to critic and easily adaptable to change the elements because after all it isn't her story. She would just be getting the joy of aiding in the telling of it alongside the author.
So far, her few commissions have been a logo created for a website, a cycling club logo and painting miniatures for a model railway. It is fair to say that the latter tested her patience as each of the small figures were so intricate to paint, however the job was completed on time and very well received by not only the person who commissioned them but the gift recipient. Her hopes for future commissions are much more involved and in-depth. The logos were to aid her fellow students in the past as well as for her own groups and are not an avenue she wishes to continue down in the future. As an unestablished artist at current it isn't wise to turn down commissions when asked but most come from friends who believe they will get them for free. It can be frustrating; however, Sarah knows that at this point getting a name out there will become more valuable in the future. If she can find something that hits the market correctly hopefully her career can take the small leap it needs. Many people now a days operate off an Etsy platform using Instagram to market themselves. As a result, Sarah has revamped her previous art account in the hope of attracting a fan base. This requires time and a great deal of effort to maintain the numbers but through both this blog and her social media platforms it should be an effective resource.

The next generation is growing up in a trapped technological environment – we have to adapt but if we can keep them picking up an actual book just because the cover speaks to them then we can save a dying art form.

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