Sarah Millin

Sarah Millin — Artist and Illustrator

After a childhood spent with a pen, pencil or paintbrush constantly in my hands, my adult artistic journey began by studying textile design at Chelsea College of Art.

My first job as a newly graduated artist was as a textile designer in Kenya. There I worked in the Jua Kali sector with women’s groups and street children. Jua kali is a Kiswahili term for working under the fierce hot sun – which it certainly was! But it was also hugely inspirational as vibrant colour was freely applied, patterns randomly placed across fabrics, and nothing was wasted.

On my return to England, I was artist in residence for an environment charity, funded by Arts Council England. This involved playing with an exciting array of industrial waste for the purpose of developing an arts education programme and organising a national conference on creativity and re-use.

Since becoming a freelance artist, my artwork has been commissioned for games, museum display boards, heritage education, calendars, stationery, fine art publishing, illustrated panels and ceiling tiles for a children’s hospital ward.

I have been lucky enough to travel in some wonderful countries, including Japan, Guatemala and India. With every visit, I’ve been hugely inspired by the colours, textures and patterns, as well as the traditional crafts each country practices.

Colour, play, pattern-making, texture and shape continue to inspire my creative practice. I re-use household and industrial items that would ordinarily have been thrown away. I love to combine these with natural objects for collage, printing, painting and experimental image making.

During lockdown, I found myself drawn to the often-overlooked design elements found in supermarkets. The colours, textures, graphics and typography have become a real source of inspiration, particularly for my latest collection.

Living and working in the beautiful county of Worcestershire, I am often found meandering on the twisty paths of the Malvern Hills.

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