Sarah Thulin is a talented illustrator and digital artist. She describes herself as an ‘Illustrator, Writer/Poet, Music Lover, Dreamer’.
Tell us a little about yourself. By day I am Sarah Thulin: mild mannered illustrator, but by night I am SarahCulture: mild mannered illustrator on the internet! When I’m not making art you can most often find me inhaling stories in all formats, and playing with concocting my own, as well as being crazy with my wonderfully crazy family. I do graphic design in addition to illustration, and am an all around art nerd.
I love your brand and logo. Tell us about your approach to ‘selling’ yourself as an artist. Thank you very much! My logo actually originated when I was thirteen or fourteen if you can believe it. I had learned about a beautiful writing system called square word developed by the artist Xu Bing. It’s a sort of a visual code that translates words written in the roman alphabet into art reminiscent of Chinese characters. I used the system to compose a character for my name and began to sign drawings with it. When I started getting more serious about art I knew I needed to decide on a signature; I experimented with a few other things, but quickly found that I liked my square word chop best. As far as “selling myself” goes I don’t know that I have any carefully planed strategy, but I do put time, effort, and thought into marketing my work. I like actively putting art into the world and I try to have consistent quality to my work and to its presentation when I do. I try to integrate my brand into the presentation; I find this creates a sort of a visual “package” that makes my work more memorable as a whole.
Tell us about the tools you like to use both traditional and digital. For finished pieces I mainly use watercolors and Photoshop, as well as some acrylics and a little illustrator. I use watercolors because they appeal to my sense of color; I like how using them you can layer two vibrant colors and see both of them at the same time. I also discovered that using one of those sketchbook water well brushes I’m able to add nice, clean, brightly colored line work to my paintings, which has been an invaluable tool. As far as Photoshop goes, I use it in nearly everything I do. All of my sketches go through a scan, Photoshop, print, draw over, and repeat process before I sit down to do the finished painting, whether it be traditional or digital. Even after I’ve “finished” a traditional painting I often make several digital tweaks. I’m a big believer in the “fix it in Photoshop mentality, personally, I find it frees me up to take the risks I need to make my painting better in the long run. I also like doing more heavily digital work, but I always try to bring a traditional element in. I do my line work with a brush pen then scan it and lay in color in Photoshop. I often play with multiply, soft light, and overlay layers to add some dimension and interest, but when it comes down to it I tend to like things pretty flat and simple.