Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Bean.
Sarah, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Looking back, the fact that I ended up being an artist makes sense; I always loved arts and crafts in school and doodled in class constantly. But at the time, I wanted to be a million things before being an artist: journalist, Sanrio store manager, actress, chef, and even paparazzo.
In my last two years of high school, I took art classes for fun. The classes were so chill — we had assignments, but exploration and experimentation were the focus. I had been accepted to Cal Poly Pomona, but I had no idea what I wanted my major to be. My art teacher, Mr. Cahill, suggested I majored in art, which was the first time anyone had encouraged me to pursue art as a career. It sounded a lot more fun (to me) than hospitality or business, my first two choices, so I went with it!
Luckily, it ended up working out and I (now) know I’m where I should be. It wasn’t always so easy, but through encouraging teachers, professors, family, friends and people in the industry, I’m learning and growing into the artist I’m meant to be!
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Professionally, I’m a graphic designer. I work on packaging, social media, printed materials — basically whatever the toy company I work for needs!
But my own art is kind of just whatever I feel like creating! I illustrate a lot, design products and sometimes will brand fake companies for fun. To do all that, I work mostly on Adobe Illustrator, Procreate and good ol’ pencil and paper.
I find inspiration in everything! Sometimes I’ll just walk in Target or Daiso for branding and character design inspiration. I’m also constantly scrolling through my Instagram feed for inspiration; artists like Allison Black, Andrew Kolb, Cale Atkinson, Chris Lee, Gabby Zapata, Nellie Le and sooo many more are always sure to get those creative juices flowing!
In every piece I do, I hope it makes people happy. I think that sometimes people just need to smile at something silly.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
I think becoming an artist is easier now in terms of attaining skill and learning techniques. Artists have access to more resources, free and otherwise than ever before with YouTube, Patreon, Skillshare, etc. so going to school isn’t as necessary as it may have been in the past.
That being said, I think non-artists translate the attitude of “anyone can be an artist” to mean “because anyone can do it, those who do shouldn’t be paid appropriately”, which simply isn’t true!
I really love the art community in Southern California because everyone is so supportive: people are constantly helping one another by buying from other independent artists, letting each other know about new job openings, and just being really encouraging. Sometimes though, it feels like we’re all swapping the same $20. I think that if non-artists valued independent goods as much as artists do, we’d all benefit. Other than emphasizing and funding the arts in schools, one way to do that is to integrate independent artists in large retail stores (particularly in fashion) and paying them for the work they produce.
Another wonderful way to encourage artist growth is to share their work! A simple retweet, comment on a post or sharing their business card can really help your local artist! On that note, now is a great time to thank VoyageLA for highlighting independent artists: thank you, VoyageLA!
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
For primarily graphic and product design work, my portfolio site is the best place: www.sarahbean.art.
To see all that and other random doodles, I’m @sarahbeanart on all platforms, though I use Instagram the most!
I can be found at events or on my Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/sarahbeanart) which is a great way to support me, but I also always really appreciate when people message me to just hey! I’m always looking to grow my circle of artist friends and social media has been a great way to do that.
- Website: https://sarahbean.art/projects
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahbeanart/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahbeanart