Day 56 - Sarah

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Day 56 - Sarah (3rd person I approached)

February 26, 2014 - The first person I approached was interested in my project, but she was in a hurry. The second person represented a first for me. When I approached her, and started with a “Excuse, may I ask you..” I was met with a loud, aggressive “NO!” and dismissed. First time for everything I guess.

Sarah was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended high school in a small city just outside Atlanta, called Norcross. Sarah had always been interested in drawing, and in her childhood, developed an affinity for drawing people, in pencil and later in charcoal. “As a child I used to dress up my Barbie doll and then draw her. I also liked to look at illustrations in magazines and draw them. I liked perfumes advertisements, because it seemed that the models were almost naked, and it was the closest I got to life drawing classes. I’ve always enjoyed drawing bodies, and people.” After school, Sarah attended and graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design. “It was a lot of work and as it was a private college, it was also very expensive. The course load was advanced as well. In state-run universities, you start work on your major in third year. Ata Savannah College, we started on our major in our second year.” Sarah told me. She was able to  spend a quarter semester working and studying in Paris, France, and it was the first time she had travelled internationally, or even left Georgia. “It opened a world to that I knew I wanted to explore further. I also knew that as an artist, it would be tough to make a living. I had seen documentary about the making of the movie Shrek. I was amazed. I had no idea that this kind of work existed. And so, that’s what I pursued. I’m in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), which is visual effects for movies.”

After graduation, Sarah moved to Los Angeles, a natural choice for someone pursuing a career in the film industry. “It was the first time I had moved away from home. I was fortunate because a number of friends from college moved to LA as well, and so I had a network of people there.” After two years in LA, the travel bud set in and Sarah relocated to London, England. “It was great because there is so much to do in London, I loved the culture and the pace. It’s a big, busy city, and hard to get to know people, because of everyone keeping to themselves,” Sarah said. “Once again though, from studying CGI in college, and working two years in LA, I had made acquaintances with people working in film in London.” 

Sarah spent the next four years immersed in her job and life in London. “It was a lot of work, and to be honest, I worked so much and so hard that after four years, I needed a break. It decided to return to Atlanta and spend some time with my family. I miss the culture and arts available in London, but I needed to take some time and evaluate what I was doing.” Sarah spent three months at home in Atlanta and travelling around a bit in the US seeing friends and family. In December, after a lengthy process that had started long before leaving London, Sarah accepted a job working for a company that she had admired for a long time. “I was also pondering a move to Montreal, but coming from Atlanta, the cold and winter jus didn’t appeal, and I had heard good things about Vancouver, so I moved here.” As luck would have it, Sarah’s best friend from college is also here in vancouver, working in the same industry. “It’s one of those jobs that is specialized, and so eventually you have either heard of people, or worked with them. It’s a small community,” Sarah says. “Vancouver certainly isn’t London, in terms of the arts and culture, but so far, I’m really enjoying it. And it’s certainly not like winter in Montreal!”  

Sarah was carrying a large, clear plastic cake box with her and I asked what that was for. ‘Oh, I love to bake. I’m really much more of a savoury person when it comes to food, but I love the science of baking. So I bake cakes and take them to work to share with my coworkers. I call it Cake Friday. Last week was a pina colada cake, with rum drizzle icing. This week it will be a strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. It’s certainly helped me to make a lot of new friends!” #notastranger