19 year old local Melbourne artist, Sarah Ujmaia, has drawn attention from various parts of the world for her incredible photorealistic artworks. One of her most famous pieces to spark online recognition is a portrait of singer/songwriter Archy Marshall (King Krule). Many have been admiring her drawings for quite some time [from social media platforms such as Tumblr and Instagram], but only a few have gotten to know the artist behind it all. So it is definitely high time to give Sarah the spotlight she deserves.
Why do you think art is considered as one of the most important things in life?
Sarah: This is so tough to answer, I would have to say it is important because it is a form of thinking and the ability to practice it when you find passion in it is beyond fulfilling. It’s allowed for so much development in society and culture and life would be incredibly dull without it (for me anyway!).
Who/What are you most inspired by right now?
S: Right now I am most inspired by strangers, really good colours, blue, unfamiliar places and sounds, Garden City Movement’s music video to the song “Move On”, Gabriella Bowden, envelopes, the moon, and textures in hair.
As a young, up and coming artist, what does it feel like knowing that people from all around the world admire your work?
S: It’s pretty strange, I’m sort of oblivious to it and I never really think about it at all. Receiving this email to do this interview kind of made me aware that there are people scattered around the globe who know who I am and have seen my work and it’s a really nice, kind of warm feeling! It’s so lovely to have people show interest in things you make.
S: I think photography is a good way to spark ideas within me because I am someone who generally uses photography as a tool to create a drawing. Also just little things like increasing my sensitivity when I’m listening and looking. Small details can always spark large ideas. Going to galleries helps sometimes. As does listening to music and just scrolling through the net and coming across art that other people have made. You just have to stimulate your brain with something to move past them I suppose and just keep putting pencil to paper even if things that come out are crap.
How would you describe your art? How does it stand out from other artist's works?
S: I guess a lot of my works is to do with people. I wouldn’t really say it’s photorealistic, but it probably falls somewhere in that field. I think my work draws attention to detail in hair, and the role of light and shade in imagery. I’m not so sure that my work stands out from other artists’ yet; I haven’t really developed a style that is distinct to me. I like working on quite large scale but also on really small, intimate scales, so maybe in the future I might be known for something to do with that. Who knows!
S: I think the toughest part is that you can sometimes feel like you’re only making the art you’re making because you know it’s what the assessor wants to see. And in doing that, you lose a sense of pride in your work because it’s not art that you wanted to make. But I think that’s a part of learning about the art industry. I think deadlines are also a huge struggle because they force you to comprise your standards.
How do you choose people to draw? Is there a specific face or expression you look for in someone?
S: I like drawing a person’s portrait if it has any or all of the following: good lighting, interesting hair, strong facial features/angles, shut eyes, open eyes, hands, interesting colour, facial hair, good creases in clothing, and interesting patterns.
Lastly, what is one art material you cannot live without?
S: Woodless Compressed Charcoal Pencil in 6B from Cavalier. Even though I haven’t used one in ages!
Check her out on: Tumblr | Facebook | Instagram
- Reign Gonzales
P.S. Thank you to the lovely Sarah for taking the time to send us her answers and her artworks!
all photos courtesy of Sarah Ujmaia