This week, Boneshaker Press brings you some one-on-one time with Sara Burke in San Luis Obsipo County, CA! You can find her portfolio here.
What’s your background?
I was raised in a home that supported my artistic endeavors. My mom, an artist herself, always made sure that I had pencils and crayons to create with when I was little. I think this has helped me pursue my dreams as a professional; not everyone is lucky enough to have such supportive parents as I have.
What got you interested in the arts to begin with?
This goes back to my mom again. She would draw me pictures to color, and when I was a little older I would start drawing my own pictures. I drew a lot of Pokemon and Sonic the Hedgehog!
When did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?
I have always been drawing for fun, but I decided that I wanted to be a professional when I was a teenager. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.
Do you remember your first piece of art you were really proud of? The one that made you say yes I am an artist!
It’s hard for me to say since I feel like I do that with every art piece I create! I started drawing a lot of my original characters back when I was 17 or 18, and this was the first time I put a lot of thought into something that wasn’t fan art. I would say around then is when I felt my real artistic persona developing!
Do you collect anything?
I collect Copic Markers and art books! Also, to a lesser degree, My Little Ponies.
What sacrifices have you made on behalf of your art career?
It was really hard, but I stopped playing video games so much and put myself on a strict “diet”. Sometimes I slip and start playing a game again, but I realize it’s the biggest time suck for me, I’ll spend hours playing a game and have to will myself to stop. It’s easier for me not to play any games at all.
Do you ever feel like giving up and doing something else? If so, why and how have you overcome that feeling?
All the time! But, even if I get really frustrated and stop drawing for a few days, I can’t stop. It’s in my blood, my identity. Everything I take in is filtered by my love for art. Media, nature, stories, people….it’s all art to me. I’ll always come back to it.
What themes/ideas do you pursue?
I find myself drawn to stories with lots of well-developed platonic relationships and tons of action. I love trying to convey movement in my artwork, so of course I love a good action film or game. Stories with adventure and drama are the best!
What is your dream project? If there were no time/money restrictions what would you create?
I have been developing a graphic novel for a very long time. I’ve written the entire script out, but it needs to be heavily edited. Fingers crossed I can start on it soon!
How do you know when you have achieved success?
Making enough money through my art to be living comfortably and to be able to afford to travel a little bit. Or, just a faster internet plan. The little things matter!
What was your first step towards being a professional?
Paying money to take art classes online. It was the first time I’d ever spent serious cash on developing my art and it was a big step for me.
What is the most vital/indispensable tool in your studio?
My Cintiq! I have had it for almost a year and it’s easily the best thing I’ve ever owned. I draw so much easier and faster now!
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Xavier Houssin, Jamie Hewlett and Yusuke Murata. It’s really hard to only choose 3 though!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I can’t remember the exact quote, but my mentor Chris Oatley would say, “Choose your artistic battles” which I felt was really eye opening. I guess it boils down to “work smarter, not harder”. Another great one is “Choose, or life will choose for you,” said to me by Derek Kosol. I think of this all the time because I am a very indecisive person!
Would you eat the moon if it were made of spare ribs?
No, but I would if it were made of ice cream.