5 CREATIVE ESSENTIALS
21 APRIL 2017
Maybe it’s a cup of coffee? Maybe it’s a pair of lucky skinny jeans? Maybe it’s a disembodied rubber Batman head that rests at the base of your iMac to remind you of childhood, or … of what might happen to you if you miss a deadline? The truth is, we all have a few things we consider essential when it comes to our creative happy place. And so we ask the question, What are your creative essentials? This round, we spoke with Milwaukee sign painter, Sarah Linkus.
SARAH LINKUS | SIGN PAINTER
WHAT ARE YOUR 5 CREATIVE ESSENTIALS?
1. Stabilo Pencils – They write on everything. I can paint right over it and it also comes off with just water.
2. Smartphone – If it could dispense coffee I wouldn’t need anything else in my life. But it does contain all the other essentials, like music, calendar, camera, idea boards, the internet, the ability to connect with other creatives, food delivery, etc. (I could go on. But I won’t.)
3. Marker Paper – It’s like trace paper on steroids. It’s a more brilliant white, not so wrinkly and futzy, and a dream in the scanner. I can even paint right on it and it doesn’t get all puckered.
4. Garbage Can – Alright, two reasons (bear with me) … Sometimes I’ll get stuck on a design and will try to force it simply because I’ve put time into it when it’s really just garbage. Throw it away, start fresh. Just because you really want it to be good doesn’t make it so. Also, when I’m in a slump I’ll start cleaning up my work space and throwing stuff away. And somehow, just by tidying up a bit, I’ll get a fire lit under my ass, jump right back to the easel and start working on something with renewed enthusiasm. Works every time. You’d think my work space would be cleaner though.
5. Bourbon – For when I’ve had a bit too much coffee. It’s hard to paint straight lines with jittery hands. You’ve got to find that balance of alert-enough-to-actually-get-stuff-done and relaxed-enough-to-let-it-all-flow-uninhibited. There’s probably a life motto in there somewhere …
HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DAILY WORK?
When all you do is make letters and paint signs, you can’t really get away from inspiration … it’s everywhere. Online and in real life. It’s almost a disease. There’ve been times when I’m looking at a sign or something and I just get stuck and can’t even read it. My brain doesn’t process it as letters that convey information, they’re just shapes and negative space and color. For example, the capital letter G and how sometimes it looks less like a letter and more like an arrow going counterclockwise (sorry, you can’t un-see that).
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF YOUR WORK?
Being my own boss and working from home are both my favorite and least favorite parts of what I do. Though, the flexibility it affords me is pretty incredible. Wanna go get a crappy diner breakfast at one in the afternoon on a Wednesday? Business meeting. Boom! Done.
GOT ANY WORDS OF WISDOM?
Something I’m always telling myself is, “Do the hard shit first.” If you get the work you’re not super stoked about out of the way first, you’ll still have the energy and the drive to do the exciting stuff later. It might even motivate you to get it done quicker. It doesn’t really work the other way around.