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Meet Sara Swan’s Art in Silverlake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Swan.

Sara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been an artist virtually all my life. I never seriously considered any other path or career. I began as an illustrator, creating images for magazines, newspapers and book publishers. Following that was a decade of figurative work. I used pastel on paper to create large images of fashionable women in lavish dresses and vintage swimwear.

Fifteen months ago, I changed direction. I started to create small abstract paintings. 2017 was my year to loosen up and get comfortable with abstraction. Now I am working much larger, including a series of paintings that are 36×60 inches.

I believe that abstract expression comes from the heart and spirit, rather than the mind. Allowing the art to just happen instead of trying to control the outcome is my biggest challenge but is one that I enjoy. I also want to elicit curiosity and emotion from the viewer. Always seeking dynamic composition, I work with both oil and acrylic on canvas and linen. Vivid colors, high contrast and wide brush strokes characterize my paintings.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being an abstract artist is a big departure from how I was trained in art school. I was taught to draw and paint in a very realistic and detailed way, with every line, shadow and highlight rendered perfectly. The techniques I learned were a great foundation and were important for the field of illustration but made it difficult to paint intuitively. Learning to not overthink my paintings is an ongoing challenge.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Sara Swan Art story. Tell us more about the business.
Abstract paintings for private homes, offices and public spaces.

I promote my work daily on Instagram and Facebook. I also enter my art into juried competitions and group shows. I have a solo show coming up next month in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. I’m always looking at new opportunities, from traditional galleries to more unconventional spaces. For example, last month I was featured in an art salon at a private home in Pasadena. Getting my art in front of people who might want to exhibit or purchase it is a challenge that I’m embracing more and more. I also have a shop on my website, where many of my smaller paintings are available.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I was lucky to not only have a family that supported my desire to be an artist, but also to have the opportunity to attend Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Looking back, I cherish my time spent there, it was one of the toughest yet best experiences in my life. It laid the foundation for everything that has happened to me professionally since then.

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