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My start-up story...

Creating art has been my life long bestie. It’s been my identity as long as I can remember - I wouldn’t know myself without it. I’ve been spending many happy years teaching art in various primary schools around Bayside Melbourne, inspiring the young upcoming talents and cleaning up a lot of paint (I may encourage some pretty messy exploration!). Don’t get me wrong - I love that! I love that I get to dabble around in my area of passion all day. But, for a while now, I have had a really niggling feeling of something missing creatively from my life. I put on a solid show starring my student’s artwork every year at my school, but I have been starting to realise that the opportunity to really give my own creativity some air time is slipping away from me.

Then isolation came along. Yep - I know it’s been a real drag for most and bloody hard for many. For me, it was kinda a blessing in disguise. Any excuse I had ever made about being short on time to start up a business adventure with my artwork was out the window. If not now during lock-down - then when? 

So I bunkered down and went full hermit, in my art studio, for about 8 weeks solid and painted my favourite Australian fauna and flora. I went though so much paint and wine. I felt so happy doing it too, I was so inspired and excited about the possibilities! I’ve always loved drawing and painting native animals and plants and I am lucky to be surrounded by so much inspiration here on the Mornington Peninsula.

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I reached my goal of completing a small collection of acrylics and watercolours that I was happy with right about the time Dan Andrews announced it was time to get back on the beers (with a small group of friends of course).

Now came the unfamiliar part - how do you start a small business with your artwork anyway? Well let me tell you - there has been A LOT of learning. I didn’t even know what a website platform was. Thank god I had my computer whiz bestie to show me! After much head scratching and crawling around on the internet I learnt that you needed an awesome printer to reproduce your artwork. I found Acme Etal and the legend that owns it. Out in our beautiful wine country in the Yarra Valley. Miggsy, (my tech savvy, power tool wielding husband) and I ventured out there, loaded up with artwork and coffees from our fave cafe in Frankston South. I joked on the way up there that it would be awesome if the printer lived in a winery. We finally found the farm - it was in fact, also a winery. We learned he also sold pigs to lots of Italian families around Steels Creek.

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I saw the prints he had been making for other artists, they were really fantastic and I was sold. I entrusted him with my first collection and left full of excitement and confidence that the prints would look really great. I went to pick them up a couple of weeks later and was SO IMPRESSED with the quality of them. The papers and colour reproduction were of such a high quality. I was SO PROUD to see my work reproduced to this standard. So much so, I went a bit sooky and had to wipe a proud tear away .. Get it together Sarah.

As I write this, I am so excited to have launched artbysarah.com.au and I hope you enjoy these happy and colourful prints and original paintings in your home. There have been some super late nights and long days but I am so happy with the results and FOREVER GRATEFUL to Miggsy for his daily dedication to my website and putting up with my tangents of creative thoughts on it.

So here we are - this is my start-up story - thanks for coming on this adventure with me!