We 💛 artists. YellowDog has collaborated with many talented artists over the years — usually by making prints of their original works. We’ve helped artists productize their art with everything from giclee prints on canvas and archival posters to stickers and postcards.
In this series, we interview a new artist each month and talk to them about the life and business of being an artist here in Colorado. Today we’re talking with Sara-Lou Klein.
YellowDog: Hi Sara-Lou! Can you briefly tell us what kind of art you do?
Sara-Lou Klein: Briefly, I draw on wood panels with colored pencils, usually incorporating mixed media (like pockets or buttons, etc.). I also do some acrylic paint on canvas.
YD: What has been your journey into an artistic career?
SLK: Like most creative people, I always enjoyed and thrived in art classes growing up. As a teenager dealing with deep depression, art became therapy. I earned a visual art scholarship in high school and pursued fine art at the University of Northern Colorado & Metropolitan State, and art became my passion.
Before I graduated with my BFA, I became an associate member of EDGE Gallery (a co-operative contemporary art gallery). Being in a supportive community of artists has been amazing. Denver has one of the most supportive art communities out there! I’ve steadily been in a co-op gallery for over 25 years, and I’m so excited to be back at EDGE!
YD: Describe your artistic style in three words.
SLK: Whimsical, illustrative, and childlike.
The business of art
YD: Do you sell your original pieces? If so, how and where?
SLK: Yes, at EDGE Gallery. Also through my website.
YD: Do you sell prints as well? Why or why not?
SLK: I do sell archivable prints, printed at YellowDog. This is definitely something a lot of my artist friends and I discuss. I sell prints because it is an affordable option for art lovers to purchase if they are not able to afford an original. It’s a great way for people to start an art collection, even if they aren’t quite ready to spend a lot of money. Also, as my friends Louis Recchia and Zoa Ace have agreed, it’s our “bread and butter”.
In addition to prints, I design all sorts of merchandise for my Etsy store. This includes stickers, temporary tattoos, notebooks, postcards, greeting cards, and buttons (which I assemble). So many fun ways to distribute my art! I do things with the purpose of “brightening someone’s day” — If I can make someone smile or bring a smile or joy to someone, then all my work is worth it.
I also have some of my designs printed onto fabric, and I sew things like dream pillows, purses, zipper bags, stuffies, toys, baby hats, baby bibs, scrunchies, and — more recently — face masks. I am drawn to creating many things for children. They inspire me! Being a nanny for so many years (and an aunt) provides so much inspiration. Kids and their curiosity, honesty and zest for life are an endless reminder for me to not take life so seriously.
YD: How do you get the word out about your art?
SLK: I have postcards printed and mailed out to my mailing list. I have a newsletter that I email out (but not very often). I make posts and events on my Facebook, and I also post and admire other artists on Instagram. I’m also quick to hand out my business cards!
The artist life
YD: What has been the proudest moment in your artistic career?
SLK: Having one of my tiny pieces of art included in a box of art of other EDGE Gallery artists that was bought by the Denver Art Museum was pretty cool. It’s now in their permanent collection!
YD: What part of being an artist do you like the best? Least?
SLK: I like being lost in a drawing, the sound of the pencil on wood, the smell of the pencils and wood and how it all soothes me. I like having a finished piece that reflects what I am feeling. Or finishing a piece that makes me laugh.
The least? I’d say the anxiety leading up to an art opening. It’s like having your heart ripped open for everyone to see inside. I feel very vulnerable.
YD: Where do you go (virtually or in-person) to experience great art?
There are a million galleries in the Denver area to go: EDGE Gallery, Pirate, all the other co-ops, the Denver Art Museum, the MCA, the list goes on. Virtually, Instagram is my favorite way to discover fabulous artists.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Go-to drink of choice?
Strong coffee with hazelnut creamer.
Best party trick?
I don’t think I have one, but I used to make my mom laugh by doing a headstand in the middle of the room.
What show are you currently binging?
Kim’s Convenience Store. My parents are Canadian, and every summer we spent time either in Saskatchewan or near Toronto, Ontario. This show takes place in Toronto, and my heart melts when I hear the Canadian accents of my second home.
Any book you’re currently reading?
The Yogi’s Roadmap by Bhavani Maki, and a free book from Kindle lending library: Mercy Road by Ann Howard.
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
Seeing people smile.
YD: Thanks so much, Sara-Lou! It has been a joy to watch you bring your art to life, especially through your face masks this past year. We’re smiling beneath them!
Buy BirdHead Creations pieces on Etsy
Find Sara-Lou on Instagram
Would YOU like to be featured as an Artist We Love? We’re always looking for local artists, makers, and designers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!