Location: Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Give us a brief description of you and your work.
I'm originally from southern Wisconsin and I began my creative career as a Color Stylist for Walt Disney Feature Animation. For the past decade, I've worked as an independent fine artist. I celebrate the world around us by creating original cityscapes and landscapes. My cityscapes are visual diaries of cities I've visited, including locations like New York City, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Milan, and many more. My landscapes focus on the gorgeous Pennsylvania mountains and woodlands around our home. In essence, I'm a country mouse who also enjoys the city. I work in soft pastel, dried sticks of pigment applied over textured grounds, and in oils on linen. I sell my artwork at outdoor art shows throughout the East Coast and online through www.sarahpollock.com.
How would you describe your style?
I see the world with "the volume turned up." Although I work in a realistic style, I heighten the color and contrast of my subjects for added punch. I'm very interested in the play of light and shadow, and the harmony of color in my subjects.
What's your goal as as artist?
It may sound a little cliché, but I try to live the dream. I always dreamed of being an artist when I was a young child. I couldn't see myself as anything else although I worked some other jobs in animation and web development before I reached a point in my life when I could pursue this dream. At the time when I decided to become an independent artist, I resolved always to work hard to make my vision happen so that I would be at peace in my heart that I was making good use of my talent and giving myself the best chance to succeed. I never wanted to be one of those people who reached a milestone birthday late in life and then looked back with regret and said to herself, "Oh, coulda, woulda, shoulda." None of us have a guarantee on tomorrow. We only have today to make our dreams happen.
From where do you draw inspiration?
I wholeheartedly believe that there's beauty all around us. We just have to keep an open mind and allow ourselves to see what's out there. The right light can totally transform a subject, taking the ordinary to something exceptional. The question is, will we slow down and give ourselves the opportunity to recognize inspiration when it presents itself to us?
What do you think is the most important influence in your art?
Well, this may not sound very lofty, but here goes: Hard work. I grew up in the upper Midwest in the late 70s and 80s. There was an ethos that you make your own luck in this world. From this foundation, I've always believed in the importance of continuing to learn new things and of challenging myself. I think it's really important to continue learning throughout one's life. If you reach a point in your creative work where you feel like you're comfortable and you totally know what you're doing, then you're doing something wrong. I learn by exploring diverse interests and I add the ideas gleaned from these interests into my artwork. For example, just this past year I added oil painting to my artwork. It's a fun new challenge, like learning a second language, and I'm enjoying the process of realizing my ideas in this new medium. I'm a geek at heart, so I love to read, to explore new places, and to pick up inspiration from quirky sources.
Why do you chose to show your prints of your artwork on Plywerk?
My cityscapes are contemporary subjects, and Plywerk's bamboo blocks are a perfectly modern way to present these subjects. I dub my artwork prints on Plywerk as "City Blocks." They offer my clients an elegant way to easily put a pop of vibrant color on their walls without having to deal with conventional framing and presentation.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your paintings fresh?
I try to keep my balance in this world. Independent creative work can be totally consuming because there aren't defined work hours, regular paychecks, and coworkers to buoy you during off periods. Many a musician and artist have lost themselves in an unhealthy way to their creative pursuits. To prevent burnout, I carve out time to spend with my family, I exercise (fairly) regularly, I explore other interests through books and classes, and I give myself downtime to just veg out and listen to music or stare off into space. Then when I get back to my easel, I'm able to give my ideas my best effort.
What was the last full album you listened to?
"Lost in the Dream" by the War on Drugs. Awesome tunes.
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
The first thing I would do is give my parents a good chunk of the money as a gesture of gratitude for everything they did for me when I was a kid. Then I'd take the remainder and use it to travel around the world, with Istanbul, Turkey as my first destination.
If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
Did you keep your eyes on the prize?
What sound do you love?
When my husband finds something utterly hilarious, he laughs so hard that it's difficult for him to catch his breath and I refer to this as his "supersonic" laugh. It always makes me smile to hear that.
Win a Sarah Pollock Print on Plywerk
Post a comment about Sarah's work below and you will automatically be entered to win one of her images on our 3/4" bamboo Plywerk! We’ll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early September to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist! We’ll ship it anywhere in the US for free.