In thinking about the interviews I feature on Ivy&Branch, one of the points I keep returning to is how much motivation it takes for craftsmen to put their work out there and hope someone likes it enough to make a purchase. Moving past intimidation and making your product public requires huge confidence, and that’s what impressed me most about my interview with Sara Dixon, a gutsy, adventurous young woman who runs a seriously cool Etsy shop (Being Sara Dixon).
Sara and I met up for coffee and a quick blog interview, but before I knew it we had been chatting for an hour and a half. Sara has a magnetic personality and I felt like I had known her for years after a few minutes of talking.
Two things that struck me about Sara was her passion for student ministry and her expansive travel experience, both of which went hand-in-hand. Sara traveled across the country over the span of twelve years as she worked in various locations for student ministry, and as a result she’s had a taste of some really cool cities. Though Sara said she has always been artistic, she began to actively use art when ministering to youth, and over the years her confidence increased.
Sara’s a self-described “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to art. If you explore her Etsy shop or website, you’ll find a range of items from hand-made fonts, woodblock prints, downloadable invitations/save-the-dates, and woodburnt items. Her artistic style presents an ideal balance between rustic and modern minimalism, which makes her art extremely versatile as well as appealing to multiple tastes.
Something that sets Being Sara Dixon apart is her fusion of modern design and old craftsman techniques. For example, Sara designs each of her woodblock prints and carves them by hand: a labor-intensive process, but the result is truly unique. Depending on the paper used and the type of ink applied, each print can come out just a little different. Woodblock prints are a quickly dying art in this digital age, and that just makes Sara’s work twice as precious.
Sara’s travelling experience and artistic development speaks to both the struggle and the dream of most craftsmen. Listening to Sara describe the artistic and musical communities in the cities she has lived in–notably Austin, Texas–made me want to jump in for a road trip right then and there. When I asked her about her creative self-discovery and advice for new artists, she had some great insight:
“Creative people sometimes start with such big ideas, and then we feel stuck when we can’t quite reach those ideas. Start small, then think a little bigger. Could you take a class? Attend a creative conference? Find like-minded people to encourage your art. Take what you have, even if it’s small, and just pursue it!” -Sara Dixon
Especially if you’re a beginning artist looking for some creative inspiration, go find Sara on Etsy, Instagram (@beingsaradixon), and Society 6. Not only is her work playful and well made, but she has a wonderful ability to pass on her upbeat attitude and encourage fellow creatives.