interview: sarah mcneil
see: sarah mcneil's beautiful works on her blog and her flickr. she's a great artist as well as crafter, you can buy sarah's stuffs at her etsy shop too. sarah has kindly shared with us a little bit more about herself, keep scrolling to find out more.
how did you become an artist?
I always liked to draw and make things. Art school came after high school, then after I finished art school I had trouble finding a "real job" so I figured that art would have to be my real job.
how would you describe your art?
Small, delicate, precious, holdable. At least for now. I'm thinking of breaking out from the "illustrator/artist/crafter" category in favour of the complete opposite, to create something Big and Unattainable, but somehow still inclusive. Perhaps along the lines of Martin Creed's "The Lights Off" or something, with my own style in it still though.
what medium do you use?
Mostly pencils and gouache. Nice paper.
where do you get your ideas?
Hmmm, well I just moved to Canada to be with the man I love, so kind of lot from that. Before that, He was traveling through the US and I was in Melbourne, living in my art studio and sleeping under my desk, slowly reducing my possessions to get down to the essentials before I left the country. That was kind of inspiring as well, kind of a self induced isolation. I could have been more social at the time but isolation is important in my work.
favourite music on your playlist currently?
Songs from TV ads in the 90's.
any books or movies you'd recommend?
A few nights ago I was reminiscing about Russian authors and books that I like. I have been too busy working and "twittering" (damn you internet!) to read very much lately, but Bulgakov is a favourite, and I enjoy nicely illustrated bird identification books too. I used to read a lot of environment and nature books which is why I went vegetarian but I haven't read any for a while so I might need to refresh my memory before I cave in and eat hamburgers again (still can't deal with the idea of bacon though, yuck).
I watch quite a lot of movies, but I think Wes Anderson movies is my (possibly entirely obvious) answer for my favourite. Oh and I love "Lost in Translation". And "Shortbus". I just watched Synecdoche New York a little while ago, and throughout the whole movie I was like "Oh my goodness, this is good. I don't even know what to think but I like it". If anyone has any recommendations for good movies I would like to hear them.
I like people who draw like Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch and Jaakko Pallasvuo, my love of Warhol comes in waves (I think I may be at the crest of one now). I like a lot of artists who create sort of immersive environments with their art too.
describe what would be your perfect day?
Wake up kind of early (for me that means 8, at the moment I have really strange sleeping/waking hours), go for a walk and get some good coffee and breakfast. Come back home and finish a drawing, cheese plate (camembert, cheddar, parmesan, maybe some grilled haloumi, olives, pesto, rocket, basil, honey and grilled pear, perhaps some walnuts, and some spectacularly good ciabatta. Oh and sea salt and cracked pepper too) for lunch. A hike in the hills after that for a few hours, sitting at the top for a while with the wind in my hair and listening to the bird calls and sounds of the valley. After that, off to an art exhibition opening, meet with friends and chat for a bit, then finish the night off watching some bands and eating whatever food I feel like. Sleep peacefully and easily.
if you could reside anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I move around a lot, I kind of would like to go back to Tasmania for a few days to see my mum and dad, and I have this dream of living in New Zealand and starting my own art gallery in the next few years. Oh and I have to go to Berlin soon to see my friends and make some art there and explore a bit. I can't really imagine living in one place forever though.
any future exhibitions / projects coming up?
Why, yes, actually. On the 18th of August there is a tea party/art exhibition opening at Brunswick Bound gallery in Melbourne called "Apocalypse Ahoy!" (sadly, the last exhibition there ever!). I have put two pieces in the show, and there are a whole lot of other fantastic artists with work there too.
thanks heaps for your time sarah, love your work!!