Continuing on with Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back – here’s Sarah to tell you a little about herself and her work…
First of all, who are you?
Hello, I’m Sarah King and I’m the papercutting artist behind Apple Seed Paper Cuts, and the author of ‘Papercut Landscapes’ (published by Search Press). I live on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, surrounded by the sea, and when I’m not at my day job, I spend my time sketching pictures which I then cut out with a craft knife and turn into colourful papercuts inspired mainly by the British coast and a little bit of countryside too.
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
I wanted to be an actor, or a vet, or an archaeologist, or a graphic designer, or a teacher… as it turned out, I tenuously touched on most of those things – I was a cover teacher for 11 years in a primary school where I often taught art lessons; my sea-glass collection could possibly pass as archaeological finds; and in my fundraising career I did a lot of public speaking. However, the closest I have come to being a vet is taking my cats to see one, so I don’t think that counts!
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
Not funny but at least interesting … Something that I was not expecting to happen as a result of being an artist was being asked to write a book about what I do. I was approached out of the blue by Search Press and my first response was “Are you sure you want ME to write a book? I’m not even a ‘proper’ artist!”. They reassured me that being self-taught doesn’t mean you’re not a proper artist! I had 9 months to write the book and create all the artwork. It was published in 2019, and was also one of Martha Stewart’s 9 Books to Read in 2019!
What is the hardest part of being creative?
Answering this question is pretty hard! Is it the ideas, and not having time to try them all? Or the stagnation and uneasiness you feel when you haven’t created something for a while? What about the nervousness of showing everyone your creations for the first time? Or the creative wall that hits you at exactly the wrong time? And if you’re selling, the demands on your time of keeping up with social media and paperwork! Being creative definitely has its ups and downs!
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Spend time finding your style and nurture it, make the most of it, develop it and don’t try to be your version of someone else. Your style is what will set you apart from other artists, so love it and others will too.
What subjects inspire you?
I’m a naive artist inspired by the coast, which is where I feel most at peace and have many happy memories, so much of my work has big blue seas and little boats, lighthouses and caravans. People often feel that they recognise the imaginary places that I create, and I think it’s the sense of nostalgia that a cheery seaside scene brings.
I also use my own photos as inspiration – this is a photo of Mousehole, in Cornwall, which I turned into the colourful papercut below.
Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)
Helen Musselwhite is one of my favourite paper artists based in the North West of England. She creates stunning, colourful 3d paper art inspired by the countryside. Most of her work now is commercial, and I admire that she can take a brief and translate it to something that is beautiful but equally recognisable as her style.
I also love the work of Angie Newin who is a British printmaker working in lino cuts, wood engraving and screen printing, inspired by natural objects from the Norfolk coast and Scottish Highlands. I love her colour choices, and the way she applies colour gives movement to her work.
Kate Lycett is an artist based in Hebden Bridge. Her work is influenced by architecture and her surroundings and she often paints patterns into her landscapes. Her drawings of stately homes are so precise yet have a softness that makes them relaxing to look at.
Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?
I like travel poster artists of the art deco period, such as Roger Broders. I like the colours, the clean lines, and the art style of the period.
Prince, 1958-2016 – I grew up with his music, he was a brilliant songwriter, musician and performer.
My final choice is all medieval stained glass window artists! I’m fascinated by the intricacy of the designs and the hours of work that must have been involved in creating the finished pieces, from making and colouring the glass, adding painted details, to physically installing them!
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
This piece, featuring two stripy caravans, went on to become the front cover of my book, so it will always be special and never for sale!
What was the last piece of art you sold?
One of the most recent commissions I sold was this layered, topographical map of the Grand Canyon. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this piece, researching the maps and choosing the colours to represent the landscape.
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
I love cheese, especially blue cheese, but it doesn’t love me, so the best type is lactose-free!
Twitter – @AppleSeedPaper