We’ve been totally, ridiculously obsessed with Sara M. Lyons for longer than we can remember. From her cult-favorite nail decals to her wishlist-worthy prints/buttons/basically everything, the 29-year-old artist, illustrator, and self-described professional weirdo has us fangirling out on a regular basis. Sara’s style is fun, clever, and instantly recognizable—which is exactly why she’s our first official Illustrator of the Week!
Find out more about the amazing Anaheim-based artist below and buy some of her exclusive-to-HelloGiggles phone cases by clicking right here.
No pressure, but describe your art: My illustrations are pretty cute and light-hearted, a little edgy, often sweet, and sometimes sleazy. A lot of my work has a focus on female empowerment—both embracing and challenging the traditional female experience and filtering it through my own weirdo lens.
What inspires you to make things: Being part of a constantly expanding community of incredibly talented and prolific creatives keeps me on my toes. Whenever I need a push to stay on top of my game, I can just scroll through my Instagram and get inspired by all the amazing work my friends and colleagues are doing. Watching other people do killer stuff makes me want to keep doing killer stuff.
Your favorite thing(s) to draw: Girls and ghosts.
Medium of choice: Working digitally, I use a Wacom Intuos and Photoshop, but nothing beats my Canson XL Mix Media pad and a brush pen.
The first time you knew you wanted to be an artist: I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t actively creating, but I didn’t always think it would be a career. When I was in high school I wanted to draw comics, but those plans got sidetracked as I was trying to figure my life out in my late teens and early twenties. I never stopped drawing or making things, but it wasn’t until the past couple of years that I realized it really was what I wanted to do with my life full-time.
Proudest achievement so far: I’ve been lucky to have some amazing opportunities recently, but I’m not proud of any specific achievement so much as I’m just proud to be able to reach out and interact with and maybe even inspire girls and women around the world. When I see people wearing my nail decals or using my PicCollage stickers, buying my products from retailers and even getting tattoos of my artwork, it feels amazing. When people feel like they can relate to me through my illustrations, that’s what’s most rewarding.
Music you listen to while you work: Depends what I’m working on! For drawing, Magazine’s 1980 album “The Correct Use Of Soap” and Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds’ “Haunted Head” have been on heavy rotation lately. I always listen to a lot of Cramps and I’m also feeling old death rock stuff right now. When I’m making nail decals and cutting stickers, sometimes I like to indulge my nerdy side and listen to musical theatre and operetta—Rogers & Hammerstein and Gilbert & Sullivan are favorites—but only if I know my boyfriend won’t be coming home to catch me singing every role! I also like to put on really terrible, trashy reality TV on in the background while I work. Right now I’m slowly working my way through “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” which (coming from someone who lives in Orange County and has had an entirely different lifestyle experience) is both appalling and addictive.
Your most prized possession: I couldn’t make it an hour, much less a day, without my Moleskine. My entire life is in that thing. If I ever lost it, forget it, sheer panic, I’d probably spontaneously implode.
Your personal hero: Wayne White. Buckminster Fuller. Loretta Lynn. My mom.
The last thing to make you giggle: My favorite Youtube video, Snake Opens Door — always a good way to start the day!
Current project(s): So many! I’m about to finish some amazing psychedelic-themed nail decals in collaboration with NYC-based jewelry designer LAB by Laura Busony, and I’m conceptualizing more pop-culture decals with Emerging Thoughts. I’m doing an illustration for a book by my friends over at Two Girls, One Beer. I’ll have some new sticker packs available for download soon from PicCollage, and I’m working on new nail decals and other products for my own line as well. I’m also starting to work on a bunch of new original stuff for a gallery show in Denver in early 2015. And I’m always opening fun new client projects and coming up with new stuff—it’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun!
Check out Sara’s amazing phone cases via Casetify—they’re an exclusive partnership with HelloGiggles! For more of Sara’s work, check her out on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, and her brand new e-shop.
(Images courtesy of Sara M. Lyons.)