Sarah King is a multi-talented free spirit. She’s an artist who weaves her art through snowboarding, surfing, all mountain adventuring, and living the dream. Her art has been featured on Jamie Anderson’s boards for 8 years now, starting with Jamie’s first signature Gnu model. She has been able to perfectly illustrate Jamie’s love for her environment, whether it be her Tahoe home, her spirit animals, her favorite trees, her guiding principles, or straight up fantasies. Jamie’s board plays an important role in her success as a snowboarder, and the art reflects her balanced approach to life and contest dominance. The two are similar in that if there is something new they want to learn, they dig in and explore with passion and totally unique perspectives.
With Sarah King, we are all inspired to live our own best dreams, with the ebb and flow of the seasons, and respect for our environment.
When I first talked to you, you were setting off on a rikshaw adventure. What was that all about?
Me and two friends from the UK went to India, to drive an auto rickshaw from Kochi in the south up to Gangtok in the north east. It was a long, slow, beautiful and chaotic journey.
When did you first realize you were an artist? Did you see a clear path to succeeding with it professionally?
I’ve always loved drawing, although there wasn’t a clear path to success. I studied Graphic Design at university and it wasn’t until 3 months before graduating that things started making sense.
How did you find your way to Whistler, then Tofino?
I knew I wanted to spend time in the mountains, so first went to Big White in BC in January 2011. In spring I went to Tofino for the summer to attempt to learn how to surf – didn’t do too well! I moved to Whistler that October, and ended up staying there until 2016. In June 2016 I moved back to Tofino, and have been here since then with no plans to leave (unless it’s to travel and snowboard).
How much is your art influenced by your love for snow, surf, and the environment?
Almost all of it, unless its a commission that isn’t related. Recently surfing and shaping has become a big influence, I love how skateboards, surfboards and snowboards can be works of art as well as amazing functional objects.
How would you define Free Spirit? Do you see yourself as one?
Someone not tied to the ‘normal’ life. To make spending time with friends in the outdoors a priority. Surfing especially embodies the free spirit. I suppose I am, working freelance has enabled me to be one!
What are some of the other projects you are working on? What’s your favorite medium to work with?
I’m really enjoying working with wood at the moment, burning in designs. And pen and ink will always be a favorite.
You have spent a little bit of time with Jamie, but even before that, you have always been able to capture her spirit in your artwork for her boards. What is your process, how have you been able to tap into her spirit to bring these graphics to life?
Just to go with the flow, every board we have done has changed so much throughout the design process and developed in to something not completely expected. I love this process, and it’s always exciting to see where the designs go.
You do a lot of work with text in your pieces. Where does that inspiration come from?
My father was a writer, some of the books he wrote are a big inspiration to me. I’ve always enjoyed writing and words, drawing them is a great way to use them, add thoughts and create new textures.
What is next for you? What dreams have you yet to live?
Get better at surfing! Shape more surfboards. Build a house. The long term goal is to spend winter in the mountains, and the rest of the year in Ucluelet on west coast of Vancouver Island.
Sarah King work has an Unreal portfolio. It can been seen in Vice, BBC, The Guardian, Oprah Mag, SF Museum of Modern Art, NY Times, Politico, WA Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and National Geographic.