Did you hate handwriting in grade school? Meet someone who took the lessons to a higher level taking her passion to a business! Not only is Sarah delightful to be with but her work is some of the most creative and extraordinary I’ve ever seen!
Sarah Miller is the artist behind Portraits in Prose, ink. Each original piece is hand drawn in ink – there are no computers involved. Portraits are created using song lyrics, marriage vows, lines of poetry, athletes’ statistics, and quotes from movies or plays. Custom orders are drawn using prose requested by the customer.
Sarah creates handwritten drawings entirely from words. Most of her pieces are 11X14 in size, but larger works can be custom-ordered. No subject matter is off limits – commissioned pieces have included a family dog, a couple’s engagement portrait and the American flag. In fact, one of her pieces was featured at the 2018 60th Anniversary Grammy’s MusiCares musician of the year benefit gala/tribute concert! It’s the party before the Grammys party. This year Feetwood Mac was honored and display at Radio City Music Hall in New York!
She is also this month’s featured artist at Mt Hood Art Online! <–a collection of remarkable artist in the NorthWest!
1) What exactly is your business and what inspired you?
I create hand-drawn portraits of musicians, couples, families, animals, pets, etc. using song lyrics, poems, quotes, scriptures and any other type of prose. It is all done in pen and ink. I have always loved drawing portraits, especially eyes. Until now, however, I never found it to be marketable. With today’s technology why would someone spend extra money on a drawing, when they can use an app on their phone to make any image look like a drawing. However, when the drawing is comprised completely of words, it adds a new, unique, everlasting element to the drawing. It becomes a conversation piece and/or a timeless momento families.
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
This is hard, because some days I definitely don’t feel inspired to draw. I choose to do other forms of art to help get me into the creative mood again and thats when I will work on my commissioned pieces. I will do things like crafting, drawing with pencils or colored pencils, or drawing a prose piece but of a subject of my choosing. These usually start getting my creative juices flowing again and I then enjoy drawing my commissioned pieces. Everyday I try to post something about someone else’s art, about my art, or something inquisitive about art or music in general on social media. I have found that in the couple years since i started this technique of drawing that social media is where i have received most of my commissioned work. It is important for me to put myself out there, which is not something I do a lot of, so it has been work to post stuff or ask for comments on posts.
3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
As well as being an artist, I am also a personal trainer. So working out is a huge part of my life and it is what helps make me feel the best I can feel. I have struggled immensely over the last year with finding a balance between sitting for several hours drawing and making the time to get my workouts in. This is something I am still struggling with but constantly know that I have to make the time because I know how much better I feel when I am working out regularly.
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
There is something very rewarding about a finished drawing. There are times when I don’t want to draw, there are times when I am not overly excited about the subject matter I have been commissioned to draw. However, the look on the recipients face when I deliver a final drawing is always rewarding. So, I always keep my mind on the end result!
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
The best part and the worst part of my job is probably the same. And that is I get to work from home. It is great that my studio is in my house and I can draw at any time I want. However, it is also very easy to get distracted by chores, my bed, my dog, etc. If I am not feeling super inspired to draw I can easily make an excuse for something else to do. However, I love when I am in the zone, in my studio, with a glass of wine and my dog sitting on her bed right next to me while I work on a commissioned piece. At those moments I feel very fortunate that I get to do what I am passionate about and do it from the comfort of my home.
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
The hardest part for me is this job is figuring out pricing. I have spent several hours drawing a portrait and then been unfairly compensated because it was not fully discussed ahead of time. I now make sure I take a deposit before starting the drawing and the collect the balance upon delivery of the drawing. Figuring out a pricing scale has been the most difficult part of this business.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I currently do several jobs, although my art is what I am most passionate about. I also own a personal training business and I bartend sporting events and weddings. I would love for my art to become a full time career for me, although I don’t know if I would ever stop bartending. It is my social outlet, and I truly enjoy it as a part time job.
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
You can never really take a day off or a vacation/break if you own your own business, so make sure it is something you are truly passionate about; something that makes you truly happy; something you will never get tired of talking about or pursuing.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
Fear of rejection. When you put something personal, creative and something you are passionate about out there you have to be willing to hear criticism, to hear “no” and to be turned down. When your product is something you spent time creating this can be even harder than if you are just selling a random product. So I have to understand that my art is not for everyone.
OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA:___facebook.com/portraitsinproseink