Sarah Webb is an illustrator and visual development artist. Currently residing in Alaska, she graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Illustration. Her work is available at artofsarahwebb.com, and on Twitter at @bearsarered, and she is currently working on the webcomic Kochab. She provided art for October's "As Tender Feet of Cretan Girls Danced Once Around an Altar of Love," by Julian K. Jarboe.
This interview was conducted by email in October 2017.
Tory Hoke: As an illustrator, how did you get where you are today?
Sarah Webb: Graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in illustration has helped my work and my knowledge about the industry, but I’d also recommend taking advantage of online resources. Tutorials, meeting peers, and posting my art online have helped me find work and figure out what work I want to make.
Tory Hoke: Your style blends traditional storybook illustration with cinematic compositions. How did you develop this style? What experimentation led you there?
Sarah Webb: I think that’s an effect of the work that I’ve been appreciating in the last few years blending with my roots in more typically realistic art—concept art, photography, movies. I’m always trying to find a balance between fun, expressive, stylized art and realistic light, color, and compositions.
Tory Hoke: Tell me about your motion illustration, "Watchful, DWC." How did you go about executing it? How do you exhibit it?
Sarah Webb: This piece was commissioned by the small press Dandelion Wine Collective (DWC), for the kickstarter campaign of their new anthology!
I’ve been seeing a lot of illustrators adding some animation to their illustrations in the last few years. It can feel unique and eye-catching. So much work is exhibited online these days, and animation adds life to the digital presentation—even though this piece was intended for print, the animation added to the finished illustration.
Tory Hoke: What inspires your creations? What effect do you hope to have on your viewer?
Sarah Webb: I think I’m most inspired by narrative work, strong sense of place, and finding the fantastic things inherent in everyday life. I’d like to bring viewers that same sense of wonder and tell the kind of stories that I’d like to hear more of!
Tory Hoke: What is the art community like where you are?
Sarah Webb: I just recently moved back to Alaska after studying in Baltimore for four years, so I’m still feeling new to the art scene here! At the moment, I’m sustained by the online art community.
Tory Hoke: What other artists inspire or interest you?
Sarah Webb: Too many to list! There are so many great people doing interesting things in so many fields. This week, I’m thinking about Tove Jansson and Gigi D.G.’s comics, and Yoriyuki Ikegami’s paintings.
Tory Hoke: What would you like to see more of in contemporary F/SF art?
Sarah Webb: I’d like to see more fantasy and sci-fi work embracing diversity, both in its creators and in the characters and influences that make up that work.
Tory Hoke: What's your dream project?
Sarah Webb: I feel like I’m currently working on the dream project! For the last year I’ve been creating a fantasy webcomic that focuses on two girls lost in an abandoned, frozen palace—one trying to find her way home, and the other trying to fix the home that’s fallen apart around her. The first few chapters are currently available to read at http://kochab-comic.tumblr.com!
Tory Hoke: What's next for you?
Sarah Webb: I’d love to continue working on fantasy narratives that are particularly inclusive of queer and female audiences—whether that’s in comics, visual development, or illustration. Anyone interested can keep up with my work on Twitter or at my online portfolio.