After a “tough two years” at a boy’s grammar school and one more in Brighton City College, Sarah Maycock arrived at Kingston University to study Illustration and Animation. Her work, with its painterly details and canny knack for character, is an excellent amalgamation of her meanderings between the fine art and illustration studios back in Brighton, and a very special ability for obsessive mark making “mixed with total order.”
Kingston posed her the opportunity to “take charge of my artist’s temperament with some nice shiny briefs.” And she certainly channelled that nature into quite a number fascinating projects. Examples being a book of Dungeness drawings and some accomplished sketchbooks showing her to be a quick and able reportage illustrator, while a book on animal similes reveal an extraordinary explanatory power to the hasty lines and use of colour. Lovely stuff.
If your portfolio was on fire, and you could only save one piece/project, which would you choose, and why?
It’s too big to fit in my actual portfolio, but it would have to be the Bear painting I made for my final exhibition. I stood/sat/lay/crawled on the paper to paint him, so he and I are quite intimate now.
If you could collaborate with another artist/designer (or a number of artists/designers) to make a piece of work, who would you work with and what would you make?
I don’t know if this is a project as such, but I would love to play the drawing game, “Consequences” with Hieronymus Bosch, Egon Schiele, Thom Yorke, and Henri Matisse (to name a few, this list changes every time I try to think about it). The quality of drawing, conceptual thinking and surreal imagination would be mind blowingly inspirational. All condensed into folded drawings of figures. And maybe Denys Fisher (the man who invented Spirograph) so we could make an incredible painting machine.
What was your finest moment at art school?
Three come to mind. I was recently invited to Ken Garland’s studio, that was brilliant. Or the end of year show at the Red Gallery. It felt like my first “real” thing. I worked with several others on the identity, which was a huge responsibility, but such a good experience. I think it’s given me a taste for art direction. Oh, I also invented the term “tug of war seesaw” and used it in the conclusion of my dissertation.
We believe it was the Jonas brothers who once said “we’re the kids of the future.” How, if at all, do you relate to that?
I don’t feel like a kid anymore, I think I have aged about twenty years in the last six weeks or so. As for relating to the Jonas Brothers, I’d rather not. I have a real thing about men who look like they preen their eyebrows more than I do.
Can you give us ONE prediction about you and your work for the next year?
I will move home for a little while and work in the local pub, which will be a reminder that the world doesn’t (always) revolve around paper gsm and colour space and pagination, all the while exploring my interest in portraiture and paint.