Donna Sarah, festive illustrations

Posted by Charlie Jones-West on

Donna Sarah is a Welsh illustrator who is currently based in Frome.
We have had a great friendship with Donna over the years, and it’s about time we collaborated!
Her artwork has a natural charm, with intrinsic detail that captivates. The organic hand-drawn style is full of nostalgia and has become a favourite of many local businesses. If you know Frome and the surrounding towns, you may well have spotted Donna’s artwork appear on shop fronts, bars and cafes, event posters and more. Her recent project can be seen on the front page of the Frome Times, depicting what a future, greener version of the town may look like

Hi Donna! Firstly, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and, of course, for adding your fantastic illustration to our shopfront in Frome.

"Thanks so much for having me. I had so much fun doing these windows. It was great to do such an outdoorsy themed design, and it was fun to think about how the products would sit alongside the drawings too."

How would you describe your style?

"My style is definitely naive, fun, playful, but bold! I like focusing on fun, little, everyday details, and I also like to include thoughtful details in my drawings too."

Where do you pull your inspiration?

"I get my inspiration from everywhere. I like celebrating the mundane moments in life, but I also get most of my inspiration from what's happening around me. I love being outside walking with my dog, and this is usually when I think about and come up with ideas for my drawings and briefs I am working on at that time."

How does your approach differ from, say, ink and paper to an entire shop window? Your style seems to work on many scales.

"My drawings always revolve around a confident line drawing, which usually I then colour in, but more often than not works without colour, too, which I think is why I can scale it up or down as needed! I seem to be able to see how the line will turn out just from looking at the space, whether it is a window or a piece of paper. I usually follow a rough sketch or plan, which then I scale up by eye. I don't know how it works, but I am then able to predict as I draw how it is going to go."

How does life compare between Somerset and Anglesey? Do you miss the wilderness of North Wales? It's one of our favourite places to walk and hike in the UK.

"Life is actually pretty different! I grew up in a tiny village called Newborough on the Isle of Anglesey, known for its amazing beach and forest, and Llanddwyn Island. I grew up going to the beach and walking, and this is something I still love doing. However, I love the sense of community that I've found in Frome and the way the town celebrates independent businesses and makers. The walks and scenery in Somerset are totally different, and I do miss the forest and beach in Wales, but I've met the most wonderful friends in Somerset and really love being close to so many exciting things going on."

Do you have any cool projects coming up? Where can people follow your work?

"People can follow my work on Instagram - @donna___sarah. And in the new year, I shall be launching a new selection of Prints for sale - one of which is inspired by the window at Nomad! I will also be taking part in an exhibition organised by South West Creatives in the new year in Glastonbury."

Please come down to our Frome store this winter to check out Donna's artwork and our new season's stock.

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