I have been meaning to publish today’s post for a very long time. Around a month ago I met up with Melbourne artist Sara Jane Lightfoot for breakfast. I’ve known Sarah for some years now. I studied Textile Design with her at RMIT, and not only is she a gorgeous and kind lady, but also a very talented Childrenswear Designer, and Artist.
I was flicking through instagram a little while ago when I came across one of her watercolour paintings and had to snap it up before anyone else got their hands on it. And so we met up for some much-needed catching up and an insight into her studio space, inspirations and dreams.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you into painting illustration?
I live in Northcote with my boyfriend Eugene which I love and work in Hawthorn as a children’s wear designer which I also love. I really love kids graphics and illustrations I never grew out of loving picture books. I started painting and illustrating to practice and to try and develop my own style so that I can hopefully create my own children’s book one day.
How would you describe your work?
At the moment I’m aiming to create really colorful bright illustrations that are calming to look at but are also fun and cheerful.
Can you give us some insight into your artwork? What mediums do you like to use and why? Do you plan each artwork or do you work more intuitively?
I love using inks and watercolors because the colours are vibrant and I love the fluid look. I generally make a very rough plan for colours, though while painting it becomes far more intuitive and I never know how the end illustration will look until its finished.
What inspires your illustrations and designs?
Everything! Nature, fashion, textiles, photography. Pinterest and instagram are great places to find inspiration too. so many beautiful images at your fingertips.
Who are some of the people who inspire you and why?
Graeme Base.. he needs no explanation he’s just amazing! Sign of the Seahorse is my absolute favorite book. The creativity and imagination in each illustration is phenomenal.
Charley Harper, he has such a beautiful and unique style. I love animal illustrations especially stylistic ones like his.
I also love the work of Melbourne illustrator Emma Leonard. Her drawings are breathtakingly beautiful and so relaxing to look at.
If you could create an artwork for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Id like to ask David Attenborough if he could be any animal in the world what would he be and then paint a portrait of him as that animal. That would be rad fun.
Also Katy Perry! ha ha. I just love how colorful and fun she is. she would make a fantastic character in a picture book. maybe with a longer skirt and cape though.
What would your dream project be?
A children’s story book! the dream! It’s what I’d like to be doing full-time one day. that’s why i started drawing and painting regularly, so i can practice practice practice.. one day ill find the time to put something together and it’s going to be rad, can’t wait!
Your favourite place in Melbourne?
Victoria street, Abbotsford is pretty rad. Any street with Pubs, Pho and a Daiso has to be good.