We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Starling and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, why did you pursue a creative career?
One of those pressures we have as we are approaching adulthood is figuring out what we want to be when we grow up. Well, I’m still figuring that out! I have been in the corporate world for 10 years, working a high-stress supply chain position for about 4 years. I’ve always enjoyed creating and working with my hands- whether it’s a painting, a doodle, some delicious cookies, or something else entirely. I have a need to just make things. My corporate job is demanding and with all that 2020 brought us (and let’s be honest, 2021 was no walk in the park either!), art took a backseat for a good 18 months. I came extremely close to giving it up entirely, then something shifted in my mentality. I started creating again, rediscovering what I love and what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. Every moment not at my “day job” is spent on art- thinking of new ideas, experimenting, putting myself out there and seeing where I land. I could fail epically, but if I don’t try now, then when? I love what I do and being able to share my passion with others. I’ve met some pretty amazing people along the way and can’t wait to see where this next year takes me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My primary medium is encaustic- beeswax and tree resin. I started working with this medium about 7 years ago after taking a class in Chicago, then became obsessed with it after moving to Colorado in 2016. The medium itself is very fluid; you lay the melted wax down in layers and fuse it all together with heat (my choice is a torch). It’s just FUN. My current body of work is primarily abstracted landscapes. Most are from my head- I lay down paint until something forms and don’t stop until I’m satisfied. The depth and texture you can create with wax is truly unbeliveable. Recently I’ve been working from images I’ve taken during trips which has been a new challenge. Working from your head allows you a bit more freedom and room for mistakes, but working from images is almost more difficult. I have to remind myself that perfection is not what I’m after, it’s the process and capturing the essence of a place.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ooo boy this is a fun one. My best friend HAS been here a couple of times and we do like to have fun! Day 1- let’s grab dinner and drinks at Linger- the rooftop is a must if the weather is nice? After that we’d check out Avanti if we’re up for a more upbeat vibe, or grab a drink at Green Russell in Larimer Square if we are opting for a more laid back atmosphere.
Day 2-??: We’d obviously have to make a trip to the mountains, but first we’ll run over to Hooked on Colfax for a cappuccino. Breckenridge is always fun if you don’t want to travel too far from Denver, and you can easily spend a few days in town. There is hiking nearby, good drinks at Broken Compass Brewing, and some fun local restaurants.
We’d end with a couple more days in Denver. My favorite galleries in Denver include Space Gallery, Abend, and K Contemporary. A couple other local favorite restaurants are Angelos for some delicious Italian comfort food, and Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey for the best damn street tacos and margaritas!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am extremly fortunate to have the best support system and cheerleaders, but I think a major source of my inspiration came from my grandfather. He was a watercolorist and would always send me handpainted postcards of places he’s traveled. I remember sitting with him in their home, pouring over pages of National Geographic magazine and drawing the animals with him. He’s no longer with us, but I really think he’s the one that jump-started my love for art at a younge age. He loved nature and exploring everything about the world, and I hope to express that in my work as well.