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Sarah King


Written by Jessica Allan
29 Friday 29th January 2010

Sarah King is a recent graduate of Brighton University. She has since been working as a freelance illustrator and designer. Inspired by science, space, animals and myths, Sarah's illustrations are intricately beautiful and bursting with words.

There is a bold and unique use of text in your illustrations which make them very original. Where do your words come from and how did you come to include text in this way?

The words come from a range of sources, depending on the project. It is often factual, or information based, but also personal. I think of the type as the illustration, as opposed to using text and illustration separately.

When you left university what plans did you make for the future in terms of working as an illustrator/designer?

Booked a flight to New York and put together a portfolio.

You are part of a collective called Evening Tweed. How did this collective form, and are they friends from university?

We all studied at Brighton together. We formed Evening Tweed to help each other out, occasionally collaborating on projects.

When did you get your first commissioned job and how?

My first commission was illustrating and photographing fruit for the packaging labels for a Canadian Cherry farm. It came after some work I did in 2007 for the magazine Graphic:12 with the theme 'customise' which spread through design and food blogs.
A lot of your images seem to have been created using a black fine liner. Do you have a favourite type of pen you use?

Rotring and Faber-Castel drawing pens. Occasional pencils.

Is drawing from life an important source for creating your images?

It really depends. I do a pretty equal amount of drawing from life, drawing from my head, and referencing from photographs or books.

What advice do you give to those looking to start a career as a freelance illustrator?

Set up a website, so much is done through the internet now. Letting people know you exist is the first barrier, so exhibitions, emailing and sending postcards/prints etc helps a lot.

Do you find that illustrators/graphic designers alike stick together and help each other, or is the industry too competitive for that?
I'm not sure I would want to be part of an industry so competitive that people stopped helping each other out. Many more exciting things happen when illustrators and designers work together.


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