DHS Visual Art Alumni Spotlight

Sarah EdsonSarah Edson
Year Graduated from Dedham High School -2012
College-Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Major-Illustration-Junior Year
Career-Illustrator

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in art? What are you doing now? What are you hoping to do in the future?

I have been interested in art for as long as I can remember; I’ve always been drawing. There was a time in high school when I stopped making art almost entirely, but one day my sister bought me a new sketchbook and I felt the need to get back into the swing of things. Sketching trees is what got me back into art during this time. Now, I am an illustration major at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Looking towards the future, there are many areas of illustration that interest me. I am most interested in children’s books, music posters/ album art, and editorial work.

What is your preferred medium and why?
Lately, I have been exploring new mediums but still always come back to watercolors, pen and ink, and graphite. I find these materials suit my emerging style the best and I generally enjoy working with them the most. Watercolor allows me to be more expressive and somewhat messy while graphite and pen/ ink allow me to keep designs tighter and are great for cross-hatching. I also like to work with oil paint on occasion, but the dry time often deters me from using this too frequently.

Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what attracts you to that person’s work?
Carson Ellis is definitely one of my all time favorite artists. Her work is extremely inspiring to me, recently influencing some of my own work. Overall, her images are incredibly beautiful and quite decorative. Somehow seeing her work makes me feel at home. I feel like I see the world in a similar way that she does.
http://www.carsonellis.com

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
A lot of my inspiration comes from everyday life. I always have a sketchbook with me and draw throughout the day. I  even write down bits of conversations I hear in passing that sound kind of funny, but that I think would make a good image. Other artists, both students and professionals, continue to inspire me not only stylistically, but push me to make better art in general and keep me moving forward.

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? How did it turn out?
This semester I decided to take an illustration elective in book arts; this was one of the best decision I have made. I am absolutely in love with making artist books, not only the illustrated content but the actual book itself (binding, making book-cloth, paste paper, ect.) If I had not stepped out of the usual/traditional classes we take, I would have never found my passion for making books; I would never have known I was good at or even capable of constructing a hand-made book.

Any advice for DHS students in regards to art or college?

In my time at MassArt, I have found that…

  • color choices can really make or break a piece (a trick I use to check if a piece is working is to photograph or scan the art and turn it into a grayscale image; If the values are too close together the image will be hard to read and may be a mid-tone gray)
  • If you mess something up, don’t worry. Think of it like this: it’s just a piece of paper! Keep trying.

If you are a DHS alumni and would like to be featured on the site, please contact Maureen O’Sullivan at mosullivan@dedham.k12.ma.us

About dedhamfinearts

Site for the Fine Arts Department of the Dedham Public Schools.
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