Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Sara McNally: I've been collecting and crafting words and images to try and make sense of the world for as long as I can remember. I've dabbled in many forms of artistic expression, but I'm always pulled back in by the power of words. I primarily use typography, wood engraving and letterpress printing as my mediums.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
I carry a sketchbook and a fountain pen wherever I go, and I jot down all my ideas - good or bad. Later, I read what I've written and choose the best ideas to create as cards, art prints, or other items. Most of my work is then letterpress printed on an antique printing press in the studio space that located in our Fishermen's Terminal brick and mortar store.
Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
My inspiration comes from my life and the lives of the people I love. Both our struggles and joys fuel the words I have to share. My goal with my work and my life is to make the people who read my words feel supported and a little less alone.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I love reading memoirs, taking quiet walks in Discovery Park, and eating meals and having conversations with interesting and honest people.
Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I can look back at all the work I've made over the years and remember what I was thinking and feeling at the time. Much of my work serves as a continual reminder of truths I have trouble holding onto. I often write the things my heart needs to hear, and hope that those truths will ring true for others as well. Everything I make is special to me, but I like that it's ephemeral. There's always more to create and set free in the world. The sharing is my favorite part.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
My struggle with anxiety/depression, my experience with infertility, and the loss of a dear friend and employee to cancer last year have all been important in fueling my desire to show support to people who are struggling and be honest about my own experiences. We learn empathy by telling our stories and listening to other people's stories.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I'm releasing a series of 12 honest, encouraging postcards in early February. I'm also finishing up writing my first book that I plan to self-publish this summer.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Half and half and some raw sugar, usually re-heated throughout the day as I flit from task to task.