I met Sarah back in high school. She is actually my sister's best friend, so I've known her for some time. Sarah has worked for many years in the financial industry, as well as members of her family. So when my sister informed me that Sarah had started her own business as an artist, I was surprised. But not at her skills in the area - you will see, she is nothing short of brilliant at what she does - but in the change of career.
I found myself reflecting on my personal change from the law into design... Whether its acknowledging a passion you've always had or appreciating how you've changed as a person through simply the passage of time, I think its important to recognise that things do change. You evolve as a person, and consequently so may your interests - and there is so much goodness that can come from embracing it. On that note, please let me introduce you to Sarah Tin.
Tell us a little bit about your work. What inspires you? What is your work about? What materials do you use?
I started painting late last year. One day I had a compulsion to buy some paints and canvas and I haven’t stopped. My approach is intuitive and I haven’t had formal training. I believe everyone is creative and it’s a matter of giving ourselves the space and time to tap into it. My paintings are abstract and tend to be colourful and vibrant.
Who or what inspires you?
Day-to-day it’s the people I love that inspire me. Artists who most inspire include Lara Marrett, Dale Frank, Jessica Zoob, Megan Weston, Brendan Huntely and Martine Edmure.
I’m most inspired by my surroundings and the seasons, both of which have a strong impact on my emotions, which channels into my work. In terms of materials, I use acrylic paint on canvas, sometimes with fluid mediums. But now I’m keen to learn some new techniques with spray paint, resin, and ink. So that’s the direction I’m heading. The next few months are so exciting for me with The Grace Space Quadrant exhibition (details below) and I’m taking my first art course in Florence this September.
Any favourites from your current range?
My two favourites are ‘What Dreams are Made Of’ and a larger vibrant canvas called ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. I was so happy painting them and I think that comes across. Both will be included in the Quadrant exhibition. The current range explores the transformational powers of the seasons and how this change impacts on the psyche and creates new beginnings.
Colour is prominent in your work... What does colour mean to you?
Colour is incredibly expressive and has strong subconscious impacts. When choosing colours I don’t think too much about it. So the paintings tend to be quite representative of how I felt on the day. If I use pink, lime, or turquoise it’s a safe bet I was in a great mood or it was a sunny day.
Did you always know you wanted to start your own business? Do something creative?
I always wanted to start my own business, but I didn't plan on pursuing a creative field. My professional background is chartered accounting and I work in a large corporate environment, so art is a huge departure from my comfort zone. But it’s a change I’ll be forever grateful for.
First time start up? How do you plan to market your product? Get your name out there?
Marketing is the difficult part of starting something new. To start with, I’ll generate awareness using online platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and my Etsy store. I only recently got onto Instagram, and loving how easy it is to find inspiration there. Plus participating in the Quadrant exhibition will enable people to see what I do. However from there I intend to let the business grow organically. Marketing is not my strength, but luckily I have a marketing guru in my family, so I’ll be chasing her up for ideas.
In three words what is your design style? Similar in fashion?
Classic, balanced, and comfortable. Absolutely the same with my fashion style. The Italians do it best, so I draw design and fashion inspiration from them.
Coffee or tea? Favourite place?
Coffee twice a day. So many great cafes in Melbourne, we’re spoilt for choice. But my favourite is sharing a home-made espresso with my partner.
Sarah will be exhibiting her current series "Somewhere over the Rainbow" in a collaborative exhibition at The Grace Space from Friday, 25 July 2014. Full details are available here. We wish Sarah all the best in her first exhibition!
Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/sarahtinart
All images kindly provided by Sarah Tin.