Lindsey Sagar

Lindsey Sagar

Lindsey Sagar Interview

Lindsey Sagar

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something artistic as a career.  I excelled in all lessons of artistic design throughout school and college and this led me to enrol onto a Graphic Design degree, which I got a first-class in.

After my degree I was looking for a position that was creative and fun and never set out to become an illustrator per-se.

In 2010 a position was advertised for a greetings card designer with Hallmark cards which I applied for. As part of the interviewing process I was asked to design a couple of cards. Thinking back to the designs at the time I’m sure they were pretty terrible but I did everything to make them the best I could. After a long interviewing process, I eventually got a call to say I had been a successful candidate. The interview feedback was that my enthusiasm and eagerness to learn got me the job. As you can image I was really excited.

At Hallmark I worked alongside lots of talented artists who were happy to share their knowledge and skills with me. They were amazing people and helped me to tap into my natural skills as an illustrator. After three years the department I worked in was being made redundant. Thankfully though, at this point in my career I felt I had gained enough experience to try my hand at freelance work.

Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

I have a first class BA degree in Graphic Design. The design course covered a wide range of areas including illustration. I particularly love this aspect of design the most. 

Which books from your own childhood really stand out?

When I was little I was obsessed with fairies, magic and nature. The books that I remember most were the Victoria plum stories. The illustrations are so charming and whimsical. I loved Victoria’s flower hat and the sweet way she connected with all the animals. 

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Which project has been most instrumental in developing your personal style?

During lockdown freelance projects were on a downturn so I took the time to start developing some of my own ideas and personal style. I filled lots of sketch books playing about with mark making and collage.   As the world grounded to a halt it gave me the opportunity to tune into what really mattered and I started a daily practice of ‘feeling grateful’. This would put me in a really positive mood and so I came up with the idea to try and convey this message to children.

After months of experiments I emailed my ideas to several publishers. Eventually I had a response from Caterpillar books who loved the idea. They commissioned me to write and illustrate four board books, which were - thank you for my world, nature, body and the animals.

This was the first set of books that I have illustrated and written myself of which I am most proud of to date.

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Take us behind the scenes and describe your studio / workspace.

Firstly I am very lucky to have a really BIG desk and BIG Apple Mac and Wacom tablet. I love having lots of space around me. Above my desk are three notice boards. Pinned to these are lots of bits of artwork that I really love. I try and surround myself with anything to remind myself of my own journey and success. 

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Outline your dream project.

I would absolutely love to work on a big picture book and on some more author illustrated projects. 

Do you have a favourite soundtrack you listen to when you’re working?

When I have a deadline or really need to concentrate I will wear my noice cancelation headphones and list to my instrumental drum and bass play list or movie sound tracks on Spotify. I really need that high energy tempo to keep me focused. I cannot listen to music with words as I find this too distracting. 

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

Is try not to compare yourself to other artists. I often look to Pinterest and instagram for ideas and inspiration but sometimes if I see something particularly amazing I’ll have a feeling of jealously and ‘I’m not as good as they are’ so I will go into a negative head space. I was explaining my feelings to a friend recently and a quote came to her mind which I now have on my board above my desk which is  “Comparison is the thief of joy.” by Theodore Roosevelt. When she said this I though yes this is so true! Every time I ‘compare’ it doesn’t feel nice at all! Now I will try and  limit my time I spend ‘mindlessly’ scrolling on Instagram. If I do catch myself in this feeling I will put my phone away or turn to my own instagram to remind myself about all the lovely work I have designed. 

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