Today we welcome Sarah Edmonds for the first time. She’ll be joining us this Sunday at Brighton Open Market for our final fair of the year. Find out more about her…
Please introduce yourself and your brand….
I’m Sarah Edmonds, an illustrator and designer based in Worthing. Originally from South Wales, I grew up on a farm and my love and curiosity for the natural world very much inspires my work today. I previously worked in arts education, but when I moved to Sussex three years ago I took the plunge and began to build my freelance career as an illustrator. I have recently taken on a studio at Colonnade House, a new creative hub for the arts in Worthing. Alongside my work for clients such as children’s publishers and museums I create a colourful range of illustrated gifts which I sell in shops and online.
How would you describe your style and your creations?
My designs mostly start life in a sketchbook, when an idea comes to me out and about. Once I’ve developed this a little further, I then work using a combination of dip pens, ink, watercolour and crayons alongside my trusty wacom tablet and some digital wizardry. My style is quite versatile and there are often wobbly edges and rich textures, alongside crisp colours and hand drawn typography to give character and charm to my work. My colour palettes are often inspired by mid century children’s books and I’m fascinated by their rich history and printing techniques.
As for the content, there are a lot of puns, alphabets and birds featuring in my designs, and I have a huge amount of fun creating them!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoy throwing myself into the design process and the surprises that often occur along the way. I’ve usually got an idea of how I’d like the design to look, but making the time to play with mark making and different compositions is really valuable for developing and refining the work.
I’m often juggling different projects and I’m currently working on a children’s book and some new illustrations alongside the Christmas rush. I love being my own boss and dividing up my time between the different areas of my work. At this time of year it’s great to get out and about at markets and shows, meeting other artists and makers and showcasing my work to the public. I always keep an eye out for the reactions to my work from passers by, and it’s a valuable way to get instant feedback! Several of the longer term projects I’m working on can’t be shared online for a while so it’s great to have that dialogue with customers and find out what makes people tick.
What can we expect to find on your stall at The Fairy Tale Fair Brighton on December 11th at Brighton Open Market? And are you looking forward to taking part?
My ‘For the Pun of It’ collection of rude birds and cheeky charts has grown this year – there are a few new designs, and there are also tea towels for the first time which I’m so excited about! These will take centre stage on my stall, along with tote bags, prints and greetings cards. I’m so looking forward to taking part and currently planning the display, awaiting a final order from Stampa (my lovely printer) and putting the finishing touches to my packaging. My stall is going to be very colourful and eye catching, and there’ll be something for everyone’s Christmas shopping list!
Do you have a best seller?
It varies, but right now the Tits and Cocks bird charts are selling extremely well as prints and tea towels! Customers love the combination of the cheeky and educational content and they are popular gifts for gardeners, bird watchers, parents, siblings… basically anyone who has a sense of humour and enjoys the great outdoors! My ‘Insectabet’ design – an A-Z of bright beetles, bugs and butterflies – has also been very well received, and this too can be found across all of my different products.
Do you have any plans or ambitions for the future?
I’ve got a growing list of designs that I’m planning to produce next year, as well as developing my work in children’s books – watch this space! My partner is an animator so one day in the future we hope to collaborate on a larger scale project or even set up our own studio together. I would love to travel with my work some more and encounter the arts and illustration scene in different cities and cultures – I find it very refreshing to take a step off of your own turf, so to speak! Three years ago I spent the summer as a resident artist at a cultural organisation in Sweden and so hope to find another opportunity like this one day.
Do you have a motto or inspirational quote?
One of my Dad’s mottos is ‘Get it bloody done’. He and my Mum have always been a great inspiration to me, working hard at running their own business so perhaps I was destined to prefer the freelance road! I often think of this quote if I’m having a creative block on a project, or about to go into an important meeting. It reminds me that although planning is valuable to a point, it’s about just getting started and stuck in, even if doesn’t go as expected straight away. It’s good to embracing the unexpected, enjoy experiments and have the courage to think on your feet.
Then a slightly cosier quote, for when it’s time to wind down (and I love dogs!):
” Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. But inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.’ – Groucho Marx
What part of Christmas do you enjoy the most?
My Grandad’s festoon lights are one of my prized possessions – they’re all different colours and there’s something very magical about putting them on my tree. Christmas for me is about spending time with family and friends, making food together with lots of laughter! I also enjoy the week after Christmas – a little hibernation after all of the excitement, and before the new year begins.
How can we find out more about you?
Portfolio website: www.sarahedmondsillustration.com
Etsy Shop: www.sarahedmondsmarket.etsy.com