Artist: Sara Burgess
Sara speaks with a (slight) English accent. She refers to herself as Sah-ra, because that’s what her parents named her. She’s lived roughly one-third of her life in the UK, one-third in Canada, and the last three-thirds, ten-tenths, or whatever, in America – where she’ll stay for the remainder of her life, and probably beyond.
About fifteen years ago, Sara put an x-acto blade to an unfinished sketchbook. She liked the silhouettes, the relationship between positive and negative space – still does.
Today, she draws and then cuts, slicing thousands of lines until a story emerges – seeing and planning for what stays versus what falls away. She says things like, “your brain has to think of what remains” (very wise). She’s meticulous and calculated, some might say, downright crazy.
She, like you and I, didn’t realize that people still practiced this tradition. She remarks on how it’s refreshing to see someone put a lot of time and patience into something – so few of us have time and patience anymore.
In case you’re wondering, her hand cramps before her eyes get tired – a lot of people wonder that. She loves how unequivocally non-digital this craft is. It’s the opposite of technology. It’s raw, simple, soft, tangible and breathtaking.
On top of all this, she has real-deal credentials: She studied printmaking at the University of Victoria and received her MFA in Illustration from San Francisco’s Academy of Art College. She’s designed product lines (table linens, dinnerware and bedding) and has worked as an illustrator, animator and graphic designer in the UK, US and Canada.
Today, Sara develops new things using all of the above: products, ideas, homewares, and so much more stuff that she hasn’t yet realized. Her clients include IDEO, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Levis. She also has exhibited her print and cut paper artwork in the UK, US and Canada and teaches at the San Francisco Center for the Book.