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Sarah Edmonds

As a child

I was born on a farm on the Welsh borders and from an early age had an appetite for exploring and a love of nature. I knew the hedgerows, trees and landscape by heart, and would spend many weekends roaming the fields with my friends, family and usually a dog or two! This inspired a vivid imagination and I was drawing and writing stories throughout my early years.

As an adult

I studied English Literature and Cultural Criticism at Cardiff University. After graduating I lived in Cardiff for six years, working in arts education. I also took a few evening classes in screen printing and life drawing and spent this time playing and developing my style and creative skills. In 2013 I was offered the chance to spend the summer in rural Sweden working as a resident artist for Kultivera. There I worked on a number of self initiated projects and decided to make the leap into the freelance world. I moved to Sussex at the end of that year with my partner Matt, and now we live in Worthing. Over the past few years I’ve created illustrations for museums, national parks, festivals and publishers and I have also delivered creative arts workshops in schools and communities. When I'm not in the studio I spend a lot of time pottering around the garden, riding my bike and baking. I love to travel and my sketchbook is always packed!

As an illustrator

I work on the top floor of a shared studio, a stone’s throw from Worthing seafront – I can actually see the sea from my desk! I create my work using a combination of hand drawn and digital techniques, and there is a strong link between the two. My favourite materials are chunky crayons, ink and more recently my iPad. I’m both a morning person and a night owl, and like to get to the studio as early as possible! In the afternoon I sometimes take my mug of tea down to the beach for a change of scene and keep me on my toes. I also like working in cafes and public spaces, particularly if I'm brainstorming or reading and need to escape the computer screen. I am a keen people watcher and eavesdropper and sometimes a small detail seen across the street will spark a new story or character idea. I am a big fan of wordplay, and alongside my commission work I produce a collection of nature-led pun designs, available on cards and gifts, online (www.sarahedmondsmarket.etsy.com) and in shops. Books: A Dylan Odyssey (Graffeg, 2015) - illustrator All About Maps (Sandu Publishing, 2016) - Contributor FORTHCOMING: Build Your Own Discovery Globe (Walker Books, 2017) - illustrator My RSPB Nature Craft Box (Walker Books, 2018) - author/illustrator

Ten things we didn’t know about Sarah Edmonds

  1. I have bright curly ginger hair, which as a child was my nemesis but as an adult I've grown to love it, it has a mind of its own and is great for storing pencils in. It's a close relation of my favourite colour, orange!
  2. Favourite food - I love toast! With peanut butter, jam, beans, honey – so many options and all delicious.
  3. Fear – this is quite surprising for a farm girl, but I used to be TERRIFIED of stinging nettles. I fell in a huge bush of them as a toddler, and although I am getting better at being near them they still make my toes curl!
  4. I've been type 1 diabetic since I was 7, which is a full time commitment but doesn't get in my way. I've usually got a good supply of snacks in the studio, for when my levels need a little boost!
  5. I love dogs, especially my family's sheepdogs George and Lad. George is obsessed with cats and Lad is a telly addict, he particularly likes Westerns.
  6. Party tricks – Fire Poi spinning and tap dancing – but not at the same time!
  7. Favourite film – Drop Dead Fred.
  8. Favourite bird – the Secretary bird. They have the longest eyelashes of any creature and their name comes from the quill like feathers poking out of their head.
  9. I used to have a pet sheep called Sophy.
  10. I was stung by a small jellyfish when I was 13 off the coast of North Wales.

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