Sara Boccaccini Meadows//Textile Designer + Illustrator// Brooklyn NY
Sara Boccaccini Meadows is a textile designer and illustrator, originally from the north of England. She takes inspiration from nature and the tiny details in her everyday surroundings to create unique and quirky prints and illustrations. She works with a variety of medias including watercolor, gouache, markers and fine line pens and starts her design process by making small studies in her sketchbook or journal. Check out her website or Instagram to see more of her amazing work.
1. I began my #CraftWithConscience series as a way to simultaneously promote the work of other makers and to discuss the complicated issues surrounding creative inspiration and developing ones’ own visual vocabulary. The internet is an ever growing fixture in many artist’s lives and businesses, could you talk about the role the internet plays in your artistic and professional life?
The internet has been an amazing way to grow and market my business. Sites like Instagram and Tumblr are great to curate visual stories of design process. I often share inspiration found from foliage, art and details from my surroundings, anything that inspires me and sparks the creative process for a new project or design. Often I follow with work in progress images of my paintings and illustrations, then a final piece or product. I think it is such a good platform to get your art out there and the feedback i've received has been so positive. I try to give myself time away from the internet whilst i'm painting, exploring and collecting new ideas, it can also be a distraction and time waster, it's sometimes hard to get the right balance.
2. Where do you find inspiration for your work? Do you work from life or from images and in what ways has the internet and/or social media impacted your design process?
I find the majority of inspiration from nature. I go on a lot of hikes and like to explore botanical gardens in every city. I tend to collect little bits along the way- a rock, branch, leaf, flower then draw my findings. Sometimes it's from a photograph or memory.
I tend to use the internet more for client projects, especially in the initial stages when we're deciding on color and subject. Pinterest is amazing for this!
My recent personal work has focused more on the political climate in the world and has driven me to more figurative illustrations. It's been a challenge after not studying figures since my school life drawing class almost 10 years ago. But I'm quickly developing a style again and enjoying the diverse opportunities that are coming up. I'm particularly passionate about helping with issues that surround woman and plan on focusing more on this going forward. News sites and magazines like National Geographic are great sources of inspiration for these more recent works.
3. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are popular places for artists’ to share their own work. They also act as public visual archives, often leading to creative work by others that walks the line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘infringement.’ Have you encountered copies of your work online and how does it affect you? What are your strategies for dealing with it?
I have encountered a few paintings very close to some of my work but I try not to worry about this too much. I've found a lot of people are interested in my process which I'm happy to share, it's nice when I'm tagged in art inspired by my work which can sometimes look very similar but I know it will always be slightly different and hope that aspiring artists will use this to develop their own style. However, if I was to see my work stolen by a brand I'd be upset. I know this happens a lot and it's so sad that independent artists/brands have to deal with huge corporations ripping them off.
4.Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?
I think just do what you love and don't force it. Things often develop naturally and if you're passionate about something that's a great start for success. I'm still working out the "business" side of my creative practice but I would advise getting a little help when you can, if for example, accounting, isn't your strong point. Also, talk to other creatives and help each other or bounce ideas- I find this SO inspiring!
5. Do you have any favorite blogs, artists, or Instagram accounts that you’d like to share?
I have a few so here's some of my favs!
I absolutely love Design Sponge and always find inspiring features, Grace Bonney is an inspiration and I love that she uses her platform to talk about important issues.
Design Matters is a series of podcasts presented by Debbie Millman, it has wonderful interviews with all sorts of creatives (including Grace Bonney) and keeps me focused and inspired whilst working.
India Hobson has the most amazing colour/photography Instagram that's so beautifully organized. A lot of her work is shot in my home town and makes me so happy to scroll through if I start to miss the north of England.
Bodil Jane is a Dutch illustrator I first came across when we both designed a series of posters for interior company Oh My Home (@ohmyhome). Her illustrations have serious girl power and her style has such a unique, feminine quality.
I'm always so inspired by beautiful embroidery and adore your work and patterns (obviously, haha), I love that it's available to everyone with your monthly pattern program. @lockhartembroidery is another stitch inspiration- her work has a lot of 70's inspired details and she often works on denim and creates incredible sketch style stories-all hand stitched!
Makers Movement is a new magazine based out of Canada. I love how beautifully curated and thoughtful each issue is and they support lots of new, independent brands.