Stalked: Sarah Smart, Illustrator

15 April 2015

Illustration is an intriguing artform that is getting ever more popular by the day. With big brands incorporating it into their latest advertising campaigns and adorning lavish event invitations with it, everyone seems to be getting excited about this some say archaic artform. Sarah Smart is the very talented illustrator that has an impressive client list such as; Harvey Nichols, Stella McCartney & Instyle, as well as Olay and ITV. I caught up with her for a walk along the river Thames to talk art and fashion, and where illustration is set to go in the future. 

Why did you decide to become an illustrator? 
They say do what you love and love what you do. For me that's always been drawing. From Fashion Wheel at an early age, skipping sport for the art room at school and then studying Illustration at Uni, it's fair to say I've always loved and gotten lost in it. I tried out jobs in magazines after leaving Uni but wasn't satisfied and so always went back to the drawing board (excuse the pun!)

When working for the big brands such as Harvey Nics, what inspires your designs? 

Retro Illustration is a huge inspiration for me, especially from the fifties. I'm always referencing back to the work of Hilda Glasgow and René Gruau. I love tearing images out of magazines or looking through Pinterest or beautiful blog such as The Coveteur where I stash images and reference back to them when I need them.

Fashion illustration is as popular than ever at the moment within the fashion industry, where do you see this art form going in the future? 

Animation. I'm seeing the biggest Illustrators now starting to animate or add movement to their drawings through GIFs which is something new for people to get excited about. As well as experimenting with GIFs, I've just started an animation course myself which I'm really excited about. I think we will be seeing more of a photography and illustration mix where the two art forms work together to compliment each other. And I hope to see more Illustration in shop window displays! Everyone has seen the mannequins and beautiful photographs, people want to get excited to go into a store, see something eye grabbing, much like the illustrated Hugo Boss 'Love Story' by Parisian illustrator Angéline Mélin. (this is also one of my dream commissions!)

How would you describe your personal style? 

Contemporary and fashionable with a vintage inspired edge. 

 What artists and fashion designers do you love that the moment?

I think Clym Draws is doing some really exciting things at the moment, it's great to see Jason Brooks and Megan Hess start animating their drawings and I just love the constant inspiration I get from those I follow on instagram. Erin Peston has a beautiful style and I adore the animated video she did for Victoria Beckham 'Fashion is GREAT Britain' video.

Where do you eat in London and where do you shop? 

I love the laid back feel on Orford Road in Walthamstow and love nothing more than weekend brunches at Eat17 with my husband, Arthur. Down the road, Sunday drinks are excellent in the Nags Head where they have a live band play and I also love Sumo Fresh (japanese food) in Wanstead. 

I'm on the computer a lot for work so I naturally tend to shop online (very dangerous!) and am always checking out &Other Stories, NW3 and Zara (Chloe & Sophia Webster are my guilty window shopping pleasure). When I can, I will visit second hand and vintage shops, ideally just outside of London where you can find some real bargains.

Five items you can't live without? 

My Grandmother's gold locket (you might be able to see it in the pics!), my inks, my sketchbook, tea on tap and my husband.



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