Unlike Banksy, street artist Sarah Boese’s identity is not a kept secret. And we should be thankful for that because that means we can hunt her down and ask her a million and one questions about her impressive artworks! Find out more about her favourite gallery and what drives her in our latest Artist Spotlight interview.
Q: Hello Sarah! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I’m a local illustrator and emerging street artist. I grew up here in Adelaide and studied at Uni SA. I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor degree in Visual Communication. Because of my work, I get too much screen time and keep very odd hours. I don’t get enough time outside but I try my best to maintain a balance.
Sarah’s tiger, created for the Little Rundle Street project
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: People and stories. If I am stuck for inspiration, I browse the work of other artists; the internet has made art incredibly accessible. Music is also very inspiring for me but if I need more substantial and focused sources of emotion, I watch a good movie with fascinating and moving characters. Also, in the past, certain books have been a great source of inspiration.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: Digital painting is definitely my favourite medium. I have been interested in it since the first time I started desperately trying to paint in Microsoft paint; extra difficult with a mouse! Digital is my preference because it is the most appropriate medium for the kind of industries I want to work in, such as concept art for gaming and film. Aside from digital, aerosol is something I plan to master. Street art and mural work gets me outside and away from the computer which is fantastic. It also pushes me out of my comfort zone; encouraging me to work bolder and larger.
Sarah with her elephant mural created for an Indian restaurant
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Vibrant, often with detailed and polished rendering. Other than that, I feel my style is still developing. However there must be some other qualities about my style that stand out because most people have told me they can recognise my work. I would also like to think my style is versatile as I don’t want to get stuck doing one thing or be pigeon-holed. I want to do everything.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: I almost always begin with research. This is either in the form of reading up on a particular topic or simply scrolling through many images of artwork or photography, this helps me to find a mood or theme that I would like to express. Once I have my head wrapped in the concept and understand what exactly I am trying to communicate visually, I will then begin sketching and produce thumbnail drawings to decide on a composition – I sometimes skip this step if not doing client work. I will then collect reference images and continue developing and rendering the image.
Sarah’s axolotl puzzle, from start to finish
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: Life often takes you in directions you do not expect, which I think is exciting so I want to stay open to all possibilities.
But I do hope my practice brings me many opportunities to work overseas and collaborate with many different people in all sorts of industries. I hope I have built up a solid reputation as an illustrator/artists by then and have more opportunities to work on bigger and exciting projects. I’d love to work for Pixar one day, and if that happens in the next five year that would be incredible.
James Jean, Sarah’s recommended artist. Photo credit: Justin Pratt
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: James Jean. He is so incredibly talented and his work is so imaginative. His artwork has deeply influenced my technique and the way I approach my work, especially when creating artwork purely for self expression. His imagery is often surreal and I love the presence of oriental, primarily Japanese, influence in the majority of his work. Check him out, his artwork speaks for it’s self.
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: Le Musée d’Orsay, in Paris comes to mind as one of my favourites, it was small compared to the immensely large collection of The Louvre, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not too big, so you can walk through it leisurely and not miss too much. Also the building itself is converted from an old train station, making it a very unique gallery with an interesting history and open ambiance. You also get a really cool look at the inside of a giant silhouetted clock face which makes for very cool photos.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
Q: If you could have a superhuman strength, what would it be?
A: I’m tempted to say flying, however I will go with Teleportation; free travel for life.
– Masya Zabidi