Sarah Gibb has a special kind of talent, able to bring a magical mix of classic and contemporary fairytale imagery to live with the stroke of a brush, explains Nohely Gedeon.
She has illustrated work for authors like Jojo Moyes, Catherine Alliot and Holly Webb. Sarah’s illustrations of classic fairytales we grew up with – Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast – pull you in and enchant you with the vivacity and whimsy of the pages.
Sarah brought that same magical energy to her drawing workshop in Rose House. The room was packed and the kids were buzzing, barely containing their excitement, as were the parents. The children learned how to paint a dragon and Sarah shared her top tips to create your own magical world.
1. Always be visually aware
I look at lots other artists’ work and lots of design all the time. And I do look at other people’s children’s books, old books as well. Lots of other artists who’ve done fairytales, I think it’s really good to look at other people’s work. But have a clear idea about what you are going to draw.
2. Look for inspiration outside the box
I’m a very visual person, so I look at lots of other designs; not just fairytales, but design on tea towels or plates as well.
3. Develop your own style
I’ve been drawing for a long time, but I think when you are first starting out, you might have problems with copying other people’s work. When you are young, you start to meet other people’s work and you would like your work to be like theirs. I think you have to keep drawing and then you end up with your own style. I was influenced by other artists’ work but ultimately you can only choose how you draw.
4. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake
You can always change it or go back. Just enjoy it. Make sure you enjoy the journey.