Help our followers get to know you. What does a typical day in the life of Marjorie Sarnat involve?
I like to get up early when the house is quiet, greet the dogs, have some coffee, and begin sketching and inking. My favorite days are those when I can work through the day without having to stop, and I can immerse in the subject matter.
I live in Southern California with my husband, daughter, son, and two golden retrievers, so there's often much activity swirling around.
When did you first become interested in illustrating?
I was born loving art, and can't remember a time when I didn't spend my free time drawing and painting -- as well as drawing pictures when I should have been paying attention in school.
What are your favourite things to draw?
My most favorite subject has always been the human form. I spent hours as a child drawing ballerinas in elaborate costumes, and paper doll figures with their wardrobes. People, funny creatures, and intricate patterns were (and still are) beloved subjects of mine.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Even mundane things such as a box of buttons or a tree trunk have fascinating patterns, colors, and shapes, and can spark flight of imagination.
All things nostalgic enthrall me, and my extensive collection of books and ephemera from the mid 1800's through the 1930s are a major source of inspiration for my art.
Masterful works of a wide variety of artists including Klimt, Rembrandt, Miriam Wosk, Van Gogh, Margaret Ely Webb, Mark Rothko, and ancient and folk artists around the globe continue to influence me.
If you weren't an illustrator what would you be?
I'm interested in art and creativity in education, and have written three books on fine art and two books on creative thinking. I have a fine art website and blog (Art Studio Secrets), and another website for encouraging creativity in education with a blog (Raising a Creative Genius). I enjoy painting, teaching, and writing. And I’ve just started a new blog for colorists, “Marjorie's Coloring Journal.”
Why do you think adult colouring books have become so huge?
People everywhere are stressed these days. Engaging the hand and eye by coloring is so engrossing that you actually go on a mental vacation.
Not everyone loves to draw, but adding color to a drawing allows for personal expression and the opportunity for artistic growth. You can make statements with color you cannot convey any other way. Every colorist brings his or her own vision to the coloring page.
What does your working environment look like?
It's a cocoon made up of pens, pencils, paints, a desk, a light box, thousands of vintage books, stray beads, baubles, and little figurines popping up everywhere.
Do you listen to music when you work? If so, who/what?
I usually don't listen to music because it infiltrates the mood of my work. If I'm working on Christmas themes, especially in the summertime, I might play carols. But normally I listen to talk radio, which becomes a lulling "white noise" to me and helps me focus.
What are your favourite things in life?
Family, friends, flea markets, used book stores, museums, vintage paper dolls, old movies, and doing anything creative or crafty with family and friends.
Finally, please give 3 words that describe your work.
Whimsy, Patterns, Nostalgia.