I spoke with Sarah Lasater some time ago about her brand name, style and inspiration.
Sarah Lasater is an illustrator living in Washington D.C. Her artwork often offers soft colors and very cartoon-like people to appeal to the optimist in us all.
I wanted to first ask how you came up with your name?
“Sarlis” as a brand name came about as a sort of combination of my names – Sarah Lasater. Kind of lame, but I made it a long time ago and it stuck.
Speaking of how things happen I also wanted to know why you think the colors and shapes you us in your art are so soft. Would you consider yourself a ‘soft’ person or a more abrasive personality? Do you think expression and personality correlate in that way?
I draw people and the environment as a way to express my optimistic worldview. I enjoy calm, peaceful settings in the midst of chaotic cities or lives. That goes to say, I’m a pretty intrinsic person that finds comfort in being alone or with people I love, but I wouldn’t say I’m abrasive. I care deeply about how people feel and learning about them. I don’t think expression and personality have to correlate like that, but in my case they seem to. I simply draw the things I think about and enjoy.
And a cliche one; what inspires you? On the average day how are you perceiving things around you and how do you incorporate them in your art if that makes any sense.
I’m always trying to expose myself to new kinds of artists, stories or places, because they seem to inspire me the most. I used to only follow fellow illustrators like myself, but I’ve been expanding that and researching how other artists work, like djs, muralists, industrial designers, etc. – it’s really refreshing. Recently I have been thinking a lot about minimal design and exploring the new city I’m living in.
I was also wondering if you went to art school/ ever took art classes. How did you start doing art and did you always know this is what you wanted to do? Where do you think your style comes from and how hard was it to evolve initially?
I went to design school for landscape architecture as my major and art & design as a minor. LA isn’t directly related to what I do now, but I learned a lot of design skills and programs that I use all the time. I started taking formal art classes in middle school, and continued through high school and college. I enjoyed the craft of it so much that I started drawing on my own and all my influences spilled out. It took a long time to figure out what I wanted to do and how to control that while my style was developing. It’s difficult to start drawing, not knowing what you want to put into the world. But it comes with practice and patience. I just kept drawing because I couldn’t bring myself to stop. After years of this, I’ve finally somewhat solidified my style and purpose. I’ve still got a long way to go though.
Sarah’s work can be found at Sarlisart.com or on her instagram @Sarlisart