Hello everyone! Today is a chance to meet another of my creative online friends - this month it's the colour-loving and rainbow-tastic Sarah Coey! Sarah's art literally lights up my Instagram feed as well as sharing snippets of her life in Scotland. I'll let her tell you more about herself and her creative life...
Hi! It's lovely to have you here, can you introduce yourself: What’s your name and where do you come from? What do you do?
I’m Sarah. I’m based in Stirling, Central Scotland and I’m an abstract artist, content creator and all round rainbow and colour enthusiast!
What’s your personal definition of Creativity? What does it look and feel like in your life?
For me, creativity is about finding a way to express your personality, happiness, thoughts, dreams and soul in a way that others feel inspired and happy when they see it. Art and creativity should inspire and make the world a brighter and happier place, and this is one of the best things about being a creative! I want others to look at my art and feel uplifted, dreamy, energised, and positive. I also think that being a creative extends to other aspects of my life. For example, I look at everything in an arty way. I’m out taking photos on a nature walk of colours I like, views that are beautiful. I look at buildings and admire the architecture and the street art if I’m in town. I think being creative is a way of looking at the world and exploring it in more than a one dimensional way.
(I love this definition, thank you Sarah! Personality, happiness, dreams, energy and inspiration are really important parts of creativity for me too!)
Photos from Sarah Coey
Apart from in your work or business, how do you let your creative side out to play?
I loooooooove photography although I’m not the best at capturing amazing views. It doesn’t stop me trying! I take photos of everything and even if they are just for me to look back over I enjoy it. I love cooking and making up recipes (although I’m a dreadful baker – never accept a cupcake from me. It's likely to kill you haha!) I also love clothes. Not necessarily fashion trends but using clothing as a way to express myself.
(Baking warning duly noted! I'm always in awe of anyone who loves experimenting in the kitchen as this is one area where I'm extremely unadventurous, but I'm totally on board with playing with clothing for self-expression, and taking photos of everything!)
Have you always felt creative? Have there been times when you’ve struggled with it?
I really struggled a few years ago when my very illustrative style that I’d honed for years was no longer bringing me joy. I did very decorative black and white illustrations interspersed with text and colour pops and I was so BORED. It became formulaic and I had absolutely no joy from creating. I went to university desperate to paint and came out drawing. I finally gave myself permission to not draw and just to paint – no matter how crap I thought it was! And after a few months of awful work, struggles and doubts a new style started to creep in. I was pregnant at the time and I felt that my creative drive had never been higher. It was the start of something new and I am so happy I gave up those black and white drawings.
(It can be so easy to get drawn down a path that doesn't feel right to us through the education system and with the pressure to look towards a useful career, so good for you for giving yourself that freedom to explore and develop your style in a way that you clearly love!)
Photos from Sarah Coey
Where do you find inspiration? Who or what do you look out for?
I find inspiration everywhere but I try really not to look for it amongst other artists that do similar work. I think it’s important to enjoy other art but not to look at it competitively and so I don’t get too obsessed or bogged down in “what everyone else” is doing. I look for it in colourful travel photos, or develop my own art pieces. I often just wait for ideas to come along. There is nothing worse than forcing creativity! I also love This is Colossal which is a blog that features really weird arty ideas that are absolutely amazing!
(That's a great tip about avoiding the comparison trap even if you want to appreciate the work of others in your field, and to look at areas that seem totally unrelated but often help the ideas flow)
What top three tips would you offer a nervous creative?
I would say…
Ignore everyone else. Who cares what they think anyway? What do YOU think about your work? Is it done? Are you happy? Does it bring you joy to look at? Don’t stress how many “likes” or comments or whatever people give you. That’s not too important. If you create something you LOVE and you are happy with then that's the main thing!
Find your own unique voice. This can be literal as in how you present and speak about your work (are you quiet? Introspective? Positive? Political? Etc etc etc) and do that! It's natural to want to follow the crowd if everyone else is chatting about things in a certain way. But if it's just not you then figure out how you would chat and do that instead. It can also be symbolic to your work. Find a style and creative voice that NOBODY else has. Polish it 'til it shines! There is only one of you and you’ll create the most amazing things if you try :)
Don't stress about the numbers. Seriously. Social media is a tool but it’s not a mark of how well you are doing. Numbers are evil – buh bye evil numbers!
(These are amazing, thank you! Doing what you love and having the confidence to develop a strong and unique brand and voice are so important I think - the passion and positivity then shine through for everyone else to see!)
Where can we find you online?
I have a rainbow-tastic website: www.sarahcoeyartwork.com
(Thank you so much Sarah, it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the blog and I wish you well with everything you've got coming up in the next few months, and congratulations on your wedding last weekend!)
I hope you've enjoyed reading this Q&A, and I'd encourage you to go and check out some of Sarah's links - her Instagram account is one of my absolute favourites, and her shop is packed with rainbow pieces to suit all budgets! I look forward to introducing you to another amazing creative soon, but for now - have a fabulous creative day!
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