Graphic designer and self taught fine artist, Sarah O’Neill uses her work as an outlet to release her inner world of creativity with fluidity and rigor. Sarah won Art Battle 229, earning her a spot in the Ottawa City Finals, and the right to compete for the title of City Champion and the chance to represent Ottawa in the 2015 Art Battle National Championship on July 16th.
Interview by Nick Hebb
What drew you to Art Battle?
I was scouted by Peter Purdy at a life drawing event at the Atomic Rooster. A friend invited me, But I was nervous… I’d never done life drawing before, and I was apprehensive about others seeing my art. To my delight, it was well received and Peter invited me to part take in Art Battle – which I had previously never heard about!
How much do you prepare what you’ll be painting before you do a battle?
I prepare by staying active with my art; daily sketches, continuing to paint my larger and longer pieces, as well as 20 minute exercises, and constantly looking at other art for inspiration.
What would it mean to you to compete in the Art Battle National Championships?
I’ve never been a very confident artist. I’ve been shy about my process and incredibly hesitant to show my work. It has always been a very personal and private activity. Art battle has pushed me outside my comfort zone and it’s opening up doors and new opportunities for me, and changing how I feel about my art and creative process. Competing in the National Championships could change everything for me. It would put my art in the spotlight, and I think I’d finally feel like a legitimate artist, rather than someone who does it in secret for my own entertainment. Already Art Battle has changed my creative life. I’m incredibly grateful for this whole experience!
Who are your favorite painters?
Growing up I loved Salvador Dali, but these days I’m into Audrey Kawasaki, Stella Im Hultberg, Kelly KcKernan, JAW Cooper, Charmaine Olivia, and Craww.
Where can we see more of your work?
I post post often at my Facebook page:
But also check out my instagram for sketchbook stuff and my awesome dog: