Interview with Sara Barnes

Welcome Sara Barnes today, the lovely lady behind the wonderful Blog “Brown Paper Bag” and an illustrator and artist herself.

Her work has a touch of fairy tale – sometimes more of these dark and gloomy ones – and involves collage, painting as well as stitching.

Sara, who lives in Baltimore, USA, talked to us about her inspiration and work – and her favourite taste of chocolate.

Read on, please:

Why and when did you start making art?
I have made art for as long as I can remember. Drawing and painting has always been apart of my life, and as I grew older I realized that I wanted to pursue it on a more professional level. I don’t think I would feel like myself without the act of creating.

What kind of art do you make?
I am currently interested in collage/mixed media work, with emphasis in embroidery. I make art that plays on texture and subtle tonal changes. Content-wise, I create images that have some sort of tension in it, mostly focusing on human relationships.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from cautionary tales, folk stories, fairy tales, and as of late, social issues pertaining to the environment and food consumption, as well as expansion (cities, populations, etc.). Public radio is a big way that I keep myself informed and thinking. My job is near a library so I am constantly taking trips and picking up books that range from Indian Court paintings to modern day design.

What does your usual workday look like?
I have a non-creative, 9am to 5pm office job, so I work on art in the evenings and on the weekends. Weekdays I run my art blog, Brown Paper Bag, which focuses on works on paper (and more!). I spend the early mornings and evenings working on personal artwork. Over the weekend I try to focus my energy on doing things I love. This involves not only art, but baking and running!

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
A perfect Sunday would be one where I can sleep in, lazily answer all my emails in bed, and spend the afternoon with my art, and cooking a favorite meal at night.

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
I prefer milk chocolate. If it has hazelnuts in it, I love it even more.

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
My favorite artwork (well, one piece!) is by Amy Cutler titled “Tiger Mending”. I liked it so much I got it tattooed on my thigh!

Whom should we interview next?
I love the work of San Francisco-based artist Mia Christopher. She is a real sweetheart too!

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose? Sarah Applebaum is making some super fascinating work right now. I would love to chat with her.

What is your philosophy of life?
As cliche as it is, I say just be yourself. You’re only going to be able to have meaningful relationships with others if you take time to know yourself and to recognize who you really are.

Thank you, Sara!