Sarah is an artist and sign painter based in Richmond, VA. If you're local, you've probably seen her letters all over town. She recently moved into a new studio space, so we stopped by to catch up and hear about what she is working on.
Where are you from? Where are you now and how did you end up there?
My background is in illustration, and I received my BFA in Communication Arts from VCU in 2014. When I left art school, I was completely unenthused with making art on a computer. So when I discovered the craft of sign painting, it felt like a natural fit for me because it’s hands-on, involves drawing, and relies heavily on tradition and technique. There’s also a very functional purpose to signage, all of which I found compelling and exciting.
"With sign painting, I’m constantly honing my craft, improving, and catching on to new techniques."
What do you enjoy most about the work?
I really enjoy matching the right letter styles to the particular word or phrase that I’m painting. There are endless styles to choose from, each with their own nuances — it never gets old! I also love the challenge of designing something custom that is both practical and creative. Small businesses make up the majority of my clientele and, being a small business owner myself, I feel a unique responsibility and gratitude when working with them. I have the chance to build lasting relationships within the business community in Richmond, which is another wonderful perk of the job.
"I would describe my style as bright, bold, playful and lively."
How would you describe your style and who or what has influenced it?
I would describe my style as bright, bold, playful and lively.
With sign painting, I’m constantly honing my craft, improving, and catching on to new techniques. I’m always inspired by other muralists and sign painters that are more experienced and talented than me. To name a few from all over that I look up to: Emily Herr of HerrSuite, Ross Trimmer of Surehand Signs, Mickael Broth (“The Night Owl”), Meme of Memer Sweets, Shelby Rodeffer of Finer Signs, Kelsey and Andrew of Heart and Bone Signs, Michelle Nguyen of Signs by Meng…I could go on and on!
What projects are you working on currently? Do you have a goal or dream project?
Currently I’m wrapping up custom signs for the year, and getting ready to stock my webstore for the holiday season. I’m working on a fresh series of “Safe Space” signs, and a new batch of “Ma’am Up” signs too!
"I really enjoy matching the right letter styles to the particular word or phrase that I’m painting. There are endless styles to choose from, each with their own nuances — it never gets old!"
Anything else you want to tell us about?
I love being a ma’am — I love wearing my ma'am gear and everything it stands for!