“So are you a Photographer or a graphic designer?”
(I have been asked this question what feels like a million times since I began design school)
I am an Artist. I am a creative. I am a human enthralled by communication.
Photography is a medium I use alot. I became comfortable with it early on because my parents were photographers. I used to rip pictures out of magazines (specifically my grandmother’s discarded national Geographic’s) and hang them all over my walls. I modge-podged them to my bedroom door (much to my mother’s dismay).
I was drawn in to the images where so much emotion and feeling were communicated through the eyes, or a feeling was drawn by the landscape filled with fog, or sun, or pouring rain.
In design school I learned how to research the hell out of any given topic, compile tons of back ground information on, say an old forgotten Norse Mythical Deity, in order to subtlety market a company with that shared name.
Then I found I could use anything that matched that research to communicate my message. I experimented with drawing, typography, painting, collage, vector art, screen printing, photography, and pretty much everything under the sun. Portland State was pretty awesome in that I feel very versed in many different mediums and types of design.
Later on in my career as an artist I found myself pretty lost. I kept trying to fit myself into one box or another. Designer or Photographer. Shortly after hearing a wonderful speech by Photographer Sue Bryce, where she encouraged us to “find our true meaning by finding our word” did I realize what and who I was. Sue said we all had a purpose, a word that had surrounded us and described what we were striving to be, and it had been with us our whole lives. I realized my word was Communicator.
This is almost like a joke to me. I have always had a hard time finding the right words. I stumble more often than not when speaking. It’s like I can never find the right words or I trip over them in my mouth. They all collide together and I seem spastic. I often will fall short in a conversation only to find after the person has long since walked away what I “should have said”.
The type of art I make helps free me from that word block. When I have time to think, research and process, I do very well with words. I can deliver a well written presentation or create a fantastic blog post. But better yet, I can convey emotion through a photograph and convey the feeling of friendship and community in marketing for a car show.
It’s my calling, my purpose. I work at it every day because its good work. Work I love.
Work I will do whether I get paid for it or not.
The best job in the world to me.
I am Sarah and I am an artist.