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We Can Create profile: Sara Blake

We Can Create profile: Sara Blake
We talk to New York-based illustrator, designer and art director Sara Blake about her imminent visit to our shores.

Creative agency The Church made a bold move when it announced this year it was cutting its ties with design event Semi- Permanent—which for the past seven years had actually been pretty permanently on the calendars of creatives across the country.

But leaving Enzed’s creative community without a healthy dose of art, design and creative technologies inspiration was never on the cards: the agency has launched its alternative to Semi-Permanent, called We Can Create. And you could win a free pass; we've got two tickets to give away. Click here to find out how to enter.

Much like its predecessor, the two-day event will pack in 12 of the planet’s top creative thinkers and doers. Highlights include legendary concert poster revivalist and art toy maker Frank Kozik; digital practitioner Tomas Roope from London’s Rumpus Room; and New York-based illustrator, designer and art director Sara Blake. We asked Blake about her imminent trip to New Zealand.

What do you most want to do when you get to New Zealand?

Anything that involves seeing nature, countryside and animals. I'd love to venture out and do some hiking, exploring and outdoor activities. Based on pictures I've seen, you have one of the most visually stunning countries on Earth. I can't wait to see in person.

Your top three ingredients for creative success?

1. A healthy supply of good music.

2. A clear head, usually obtained by a pre-drawing-session run.

3. Love. Love for making things and building something for the long term. And love for more fleeting revelry in just making something outside yourself in the moment. Sometimes I almost feel it's like playing with sparklers. You make a gesture and for one short moment it feels completely novel and exciting. You have to repeat it over and over to get it back.

You make the combination of hand drawing and digital art look easy, but in the advent of computers and digital design technology, do you think is there a danger art in the freehand form will diminish?

I'm not too worried about freehand going away. I think there will always be artists like me who just can't work any other way. It's not something intentional, I just think naturally there will always be folks who find their niche
here and other people who take notice and can appreciate it.

Over the years I've actually been leaning less and less on the computer and getting more and more requests for originals. I think that says a lot about the interest in the hand-made. While the computer is just another tool and I don't think it diminishes a quality of a work of art in any way, I think there is still a sense of wonder and awe around physical objects that an artist has touched and worked on first hand.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on so far?

I always have a hard time with this question. I think the answer will always be the last project I worked on, or the one I'm doing now, no matter when you ask me. I don't get very attached to things I make and I'm never quite satisfied. I always want to look forward to the next piece and hope that it will be better. So the last project I touched is probably closer to that vision than the one before it or the before that.

When: Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August

Where: Auckland’s Aotea Centre ASB Theatre

www.wecancreate.co.nz