Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Oh.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sarah. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I’ve been drawing for as long as my little hands could grasp something. My mom often told me stories of how she used to have to ask restaurants for paper and a pen in order to keep little me quiet. “You always zipped your mouth the second we gave you a pen,” she would say. “I always felt bad at restaurants for asking for so many paper mats.” Well, I guess that side of me never left because even high school me was still painting and scribbling all over the walls of my room. Yes, the walls.
I had never really seriously considered pursuing this passion as a career until after my sophomore year of high school and ever since then. I’ve spent the majority of my free time churning out as much art as my sweaty hands allowed. Eventually, all that effort got me into ArtCenter where I’m currently studying motion/design illustration!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There were a lot of moments of self-doubt in high school when I was first debating whether to attend an art school or if I should attend a bigger name academic university. The high school I come from generally has very high academic expectations for its students, and I was surrounded by a community that ate up the misconception that artists do art because they failed their academics. It was a really big blow for my self-confidence at the time, and I remember constantly asking myself whether I was even good enough to pursue the arts. I often thought I was conceited for wanting to attend an art university.
I was lucky to have a great art teacher at the same school, who helped fuel my confidence enough to put my whole heart into what I wanted to do. (shoutout to you, Ms. Sposa!) Looking back now, I wish I gave fewer sh*ts about what others had thought of me and spent that time playing animal crossing instead.
Please tell us about your work.
Most of my works are done in mixed media. I often like to blend together the worlds of both traditional and digital by layering them together into one single animation or illustration, and I always am trying to find new ways to experiment with media. On the side, I also create figurines with sculpey.
People have often told me that my work has this surrealistic quality that makes them happy, and I try my best to own it! My work is mainly inspired by scenes from daily life and capturing the feeling that comes with it, but recently, I’ve been investigating ways to make even these scenes more whimsical. Frequently during my stages of thumbnailing and sketching, I’ll think to myself, “How can I make this weirder?” To achieve this, I’ll oftentimes incorporate animals in or play around with the idea of scale. In the future, I hope to take my animations a step further by getting into the world of film-making.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I definitely wish I had spent less time worrying about what others thought of me. As an artist, it’s really important that you build your own voice and not one that’s been dictated by others’ preferences. For the longest time, I’ve deterred myself from pursuing art because I so badly wanted to be a poster child of all these expectations I imagined for myself.
- Website: sarah-oh.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Twitter: buttmvnch