My name is Sarah Yates and I’m originally from Blackburn, in the North West. I completed 'A' Levels in English, Sociology and Art at College before going onto do a Foundation Course because I couldn't decide between Illustration, Fine Art or Graphic Design and this course enabled me to choose Illustration because it suited my style and interest the best. I chose Illustration because I felt it was more suited to me than Fine Art. I also feel that Illustration allows me to explore variations in composition, pictorial communication, visual metaphors and sequential imagery from a story, poem or brief. It opened doors for me with regards to entering live competitions such as Macmillan, Penguin Design Award, Folio Society and other external ones in the local area of Lincoln and nationally, for example New Designers 2014 and 2015, and Art Escape 2015. I won Art Escape 2015 and the prize was to exhibit my first solo exhibition at Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln.
In my Degree, I enjoyed the challenge of responding to and illustrating current themes such as a climate change magazine article within the Editorial module, as well as illustrating a front cover for Jeanette Winterson's Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, for Penguin Design Award 2015. In other areas, I have done numerous paid and voluntary workshops, been a student ambassador for the University of Lincoln, gained a bursary from the Enterprise Scheme at Lincoln and been a student helper for the National Art and Design Saturday Club throughout 2014-’15. I have also produced a wall mural / lead workshops for a local NHS Recovery College and an NHS Art Group. In my spare time I enjoy reading both fiction and non-fiction, I have just finished To Kill A Mockingbird, and enjoy gaining inspiration from poetry and Photography and Design Books, such as: The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher and Ways of Seeing by John Berger.
I enjoy working in watercolour, collage, print making and pen and wash. Last year I received a summer project to draw and paint 100 faces, all with different expressions and styles therefore drawing and observing people’s faces helped me to refine my portraiture skills. I produce art work to learn what styles, subject and media work best for different subjects, and consequently I used some of this knowledge to lead a recent Portrait Masterclass at a local infant school. During my practice I have been encouraged to make things three dimensionally as well as draw and paint in 2D. For example, in response to William Blake’s poem The Schoolboy, I was set myself the challenge of making a thaumatrope to illustrate the bird and the cage on opposing sides, the idea taken from the line: ‘’How can the bird that is born for joy Sit in a cage and sing?’’ and combined collage with lino printing for a series of posters to depict such detail, all of which responded to the joy, playfulness and discipline of this famous piece. As a practicing artist, I have been, and continue to be, inspired to work creatively with text to produce art work and responded to: The Treasure of Abbott Thomas by MR James, The Upper Berth by Francis Marion and The Tale of the Empty House by EF Benson, all for the Folio Society competition 2014. It was this creative challenge which allowed me to further pursue my interest in printmaking and I produced an etching combined with watercolour for the Treasure of Abbott Thomas.