Enjoy the delightful portfolio of artist Sarah Jean Holt, who creates complex stippled pen and ink drawings. See more of her art on her website.
I grew up in the very average suburbs of a very average time. My childhood was a happy one, filled with crayons and sidewalk chalk. I was always encouraged to be creative, and always supported in my artistic endeavors.
I did not, however, figure out how deeply important the artistic outlet was to me until my early thirties. It was then that I realized art was where my heart was. It was where my joy and calm resided. I jumped into this beautiful world and haven’t looked back.
As a self-taught artist, it was very important to me to create something that could be enjoyed by all. I wanted to share illustrations that tickled the fancy of the public, and produce something that would hang proudly in offices and living rooms.
I am one of the few artists that find absolute joy in the stipple technique.
Stipple, for those who are not familiar with this term, is the use of dots to create an image—it is literally the drawing of one tiny dot at a time.
I love this time-intensive, detail-oriented work. The texture and depth never fails to fascinate me. My technique has changed over the years, and I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade, but I’ve never strayed from the use of dots.
My source of inspiration isn’t soul rending or profound. It is simply notions or ideas that pique my sense of humor or a concept that I can spin and twist and play with.
My subject matter ranges from elegant barn owls to tattooed manatees. I have completed an Alice in Wonderland themed series, a Star Wars tribute and played with Steampunk elements. Most of my work is centered on nature and its animals. I try to convey personality and emotion as well as my own brand of quirky humor.
About a year ago, a sweet woman came to visit my booth at an arts festival. She approached me after spending quite some time looking at my work. Emotional and a bit teary, she asked if she could hug me and said that the world needed more of what I created. She spoke of whimsy and magic and thanked me for my time and what she considered bravery in showing my work.
This was the most profound and emotional moment that I have experienced as an artist. I was so completely touched by her reaction. I’ll always remember her words and response to the illustrations I had pour so much of myself into. And I will forever strive to capture the whimsy and the magic that she saw in me.