Gina Mei
Updated Mar 13, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

We can’t get enough of Sarah McKay’s super amazing portraiture. Her art is a hyper-realistic graphic dream with a twist, and her subjects — whether pet or beloved pop culture hero — always stand out on gorgeous, bright, colorful backgrounds. The New Englander, based in Phoenix, spent time in the military and doing construction, but recently decided to become a graphic designer — and we’re so very glad she did! (Side note, she has a cat named Artoo and wants a dog named Detoo, and we can’t get over the cuteness.) Basically, her stuff is awesome; which is why she’s our Illustrator of the Week!

Find out more about Sarah and her art below, and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.

No pressure, but describe your art: I’m primarily an illustrator, and I enjoy doing painterly styles or flat vector shapes. If I paint, it usually ends up a little more realistic.

What inspires you to make things: Wordplay, visual jokes, things that trick the eye, and nature

Your favorite thing(s) to draw: All animals.

Medium of choice: Acrylic paint.

The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: I’ve always drawn pictures, but I started taking it seriously when I was about 23.

Proudest achievement so far: My time as a Seabee in the US Navy was a lot of hard, good work, and I’m glad I did it.

Music you listen to while you work: Currently I’m on a Safia/Hozier kick, but I often resort to Muse, Coldplay, or Dropkick Murphys.

Your most prized possession: My family trinkets. Medals, photos, jewelry, and other things. My Macbook is also my most essential thing. It lets me do my job!

Your personal hero: My grandfather. He was also a Seabee (construction worker) in the Navy, and remained a thoroughly kind man despite a lot of hardship.

The last thing to make you giggle: The host of the 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars, saying “donut” instead of “donate.” He was tired!

Current project(s): I’m a full-time student at The Art Institute of Phoenix, so I have a lot of projects, always. My main one right now is a fictional company I’m creating that offers a meetup website service for women hikers only. I’m developing its brand, aesthetic, and things like apparel and advertisements.

Check out Sarah’s amazing phone cases via Casetify — they’re an exclusive partnership with HelloGiggles! For more of her work, check out her website, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Dribbble.