Meet Sarah, the creator behind art brand DRAKECEREAL. When she’s not reading Tom Robbins, painting rappers or daydreaming about sneakers, she’s writing about women, art, the Internet and Drake.
How did you get started as an illustrator and writer? Does one come more naturally to you than the other?
Writing is cathartic. I write when I’m pissed off or have unresolved feelings about salty events that took place in my life. When I write personal stories, it allows me process and reflect on situations in a way that I can laugh and poke fun of myself. A few years ago, after I left agency and attempted to freelance full-time, I went through a lot of ups-and-downs, and the truth is: I failed miserably. I’m a terrible speller, I don’t write fast enough and getting paid takes months. Writing is an extremely under-appreciated field and I wasn’t cut out for it so I needed to rethink what exactly I wanted to do with my life.
Ironically, writing is also the real reason I started illustrating. Publications would always use shitty stock photos and I was fed up of seeing my written work with tacky stock photos of women summersaulting into sunsets. One day, I bought myself a Wacom tablet, taught myself Adobe illustrator and then I was suddenly an artist by default. Illustration came so naturally, I was surprised and people seemed to like what I was drawing, which was a relief after my rejection from the writing world. Life is funny like that.
Who is your favourite Raptor? Rapper? Sneaker?
DeMar DeRozen. Common. Cortez.
You're from the west coast. What do you like most about living in Toronto?
In Victoria, the only people who ride bikes are stinky hippies or serious athletes…the hills are insane and you have to be physically ripped to bike up mountains. In Toronto, I like that I can coast down the strip in a skirt, barely peddling, arriving at my destination without a single drop of sweat on my face. Nothing beats lazy biking in the city on a hot day.
What has it been like working as a freelancer? How do you stay motivated?
Money is a big motivator. But mostly, I get paid to do exactly what I’m already doing which is drawing. If you’re not motivated: don’t bother freelancing.
Tell us about your experience collaborating with brands like Nike, Red Bull, and local fav Tokyo Smoke.
I like working with high-minded people. Tokyo Smoke is incredibly special to me because I worked there as a barista in 2016 and met a fantastic group of people there. Alan, Geoff and Josh are the hardest working, most loyal people I know and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with them. They supported me through my freelance failure and I owe a lot to them so I’m happy to show off what they’re up to, they’ve come a long way and they’ve put a lot of time into that baby. Good people doing great things.
You found illustration at a time when you were anxious about your uncertain future. What advice would you give to people trying to find work they're passionate about?
Go ahead and make a fool of yourself.
What inspires you?