A Minute With
Sarah Coleman

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Sarah Coleman. I am an illustrator who works with ink on paper. 

Why do you like working with ink?

One of the reasons I like working with ink so much is because it allows for true spontaneity and idiosyncrasy. There are many unexpected things that can happen when you take the top off a bottle of ink. As a medium, ink invites warmth, autographic authenticity and creates space for emotion and movement. The finished product is something truly authentic, a one-off and bespoke. The little happy accidents that occur are often really what makes the final piece special.

How do you approach a new project? 

When I start a job, I go in on the paper and start making marks, sketching out with the ink, and sometimes without a pencil.  I try to get a feel for the job and see what happens. Sometimes the final piece emerges on the first go.  Other times, there can be many rounds of revision before a project is complete. 

Tell about your process and tools.

Although the creative brief for a specific job may require blue ink, there are many shades of blue. While working, I will often try many blues. I frequently mix multiple shades to get a specific color. I also use water when I need to make a paler version of an exisiting color. 

Since I use very hands on tools, using a specific brush is often very important. Further, the choice of pen nib is important as well. I frequently use four or five different nibs for a single project. 

Can you speak to the process of digitizing your work? 

As soon as the work is dry, I will put it on my hi-res A3 scanner and create a digital file. After digitizing,  I can combine existing assets and manipulate the work to make the finished product.

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