art studio: sara singh.

Finding purity in the editorial illusions that bring fashion week to the masses is a challenge. Illustrator Sara Singh highlights the depth in the performance art that is the fashion industry. Drawing inspiration from cities and everyday people, Sara transforms the beauty of community into engaging watercolor snapshots of runway subtlety. Reflections on both her signature technique and creative process are discussed in my interview with the artist.


NAME: Sara Singh | HOME GROWN: Born in London, raised in London, Stockholm, and Florida. I currently reside in New York and Stockholm. | DAY JOB: Illustrator | DREAM JOB: Illustrator, artist


COFFEE OR TEA: tea AND coffee | VINTAGE OR COUTURE: vintage everything | SUCCESS OR FAME: success | SILVER OR GOLD: I think it's fine to mix them. No rules. | APPETIZER OR DESSERT: Oh, I don't know. Appetizer. | SUMMER OR WINTER: Summer in Sweden because New York is far too hot and sticky. And New York in winter because, although cold, it's at least sunny! | MILD OR SPICY: Spicy. | NO REGRETS OR NO FEARS: I have no real regrets, I think. Fears, yes. But I try to deal with them. Biking in NYC was something I feared, but once I started biking it took just a few weeks and now I'm addicted to it.    

Q & A.

JRL:  You have several illustrations that depict two subjects. These images seem to represent a familiar duality on how we view ourselves. How does who we are verses how we want to be perceived play into your inspiration?   

SS:  I didn't realize I have this 'duality' theme in my work. But I do consciously want to add depth and expression to my drawings. I want a deeper, darker psychological mystery to live in my work.

JRL:  The watercolor technique creates the opportunity for an artist to create beauty in sadness and mystery in the obvious. Incorporating this raw human emotion into your fashion illustrations gives the women on the runway a voice - what are they saying?   

SS:  I don't know why watercolor became my medium of choice, but I think it has to do with the fact that I can't control it. The water and paint float around on the paper mostly as they please and dictate the results. I guess I like the fact that chance is involved in creation.   

JRL:  Choose one city and one color to name your autobiography.   

SS:  Can it be an imaginary city? I'll have to imagine a name for it. The color could be blue-green, like oxidized copper. All of my friends live here in this one city instead of spread all over the world. It has everything one needs – big city vibe, old architecture, pristine beaches…

JRL:  If your self-portrait could be translated into a current runway collection, who are you?   

SS:  Today I'm the Spring 2014 Maison Martin Margiela collection. Tomorrow I'll be Céline.  

JRL:  What's more important to you as an artist – accuracy in your depiction or a reaction from your audience?

SS:  I feel like I am both the artist AND the audience while I am working on a project. Generally I don't think accuracy in depiction is important. What IS important is to evoke a specific feeling / mood / action. First I have to convince myself that I've expressed this. Only then do I feel comfortable showing my work to others. I do a lot of 'bad' drawings. But sometimes, in a different context, those are the drawings that are more interesting. The rough and unrefined drawings feel somehow more soulful and pure. I've often found artists' sketches of a proposed work more interesting than the final piece. The process of creation itself is interesting. It's rare we get a glimpse of the process.

Image credits: Illustrations created by and provided courtesy of Sara Singh.

Prints of Sara's illustrations are available for purchase at Wonderwall and Stampa.

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