Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Ramelton artist Sarah King conveys message with children’s books

Sarah King with her latest book.

Sarah King with her latest book.

SARAH King is a very talented upcoming author and illustrator from Ramelton. She is a past pupil of Woodlands N.S and Loreto Convent, Letterkenny. It is a very exciting time for Sarah as she prepares for her second children’s book launch, ‘The Boy who lost his Best Friend’ is due for release this Thursday, June 12.

Sarah said she has always been very creative and art was her favourite subject through primary and secondary school. She went to college in St. Patrick’s College in Dublin to train as a primary school teacher and qualified in 2010.
It was Sarah’s experience teaching Junior Infants to second class in Scoil Naisiunta Ghlasain, a small rural Gaeilscoil in Creeslough, that inspired her to combine her passion for painting with her experience in teaching to create children’s picture story books.

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Sarah became familiar with young children’s love for picture books and the influence they had on a child’s learning and development.
Also, she became aware of the problems children as young as four years old may encounter and thus she decided to create the story of a character called ‘Kim’ and use her as the recurring character in a series of books that convey an underlying message for children, helping them to identify with and understand some of these problems they may face as they grow up.

Sarah with her first book.

Sarah with her first book.

Sarah’s first very successful book, The Girl who wouldn’t Smile, was launched in November 2013 in Café Blend, High Road, Letterkenny.
The release of Sarah’s first book proved a popular event with over 200 people in attendance. This book is centred around the main character, Kim, who loses a tooth.
It is simple, colourful and endearing story that encourages children to always tell somebody if they have a problem.

This book has reached children in countries such as Australia, France, Switzerland, USA, Wales, England and Italy. The book is currently available for sale in Sprint in Letterkenny and online.
Her second book, The Boy who lost his Best Friend, is a touching story about Oliver and his friend Sandy. The aim of this book is to help young children understand loss and change and cope with death.

The book launch of The Boy who lost his Best Friend is taking place in the Central Library in Letterkenny, at 6.30pm. The book will be available to buy and Sarah will be available for signings and photographs. Sarah will also be doing a reading of her book that evening at 7pm. Every child present on the evening will also be entered into a draw and have the opportunity to win a customised hamper full of Sarah’s art themed goodies. Everybody is welcome along to this event.

Sarah illustrating.

Sarah illustrating.

Sarah creates all the illustrations for her books. These illustrations are simple, colourful and appropriate for her intended audience of 4-8 year olds.
Sarah wanted to create illustrations that would be highly visual, bright and busy enough to hold the attention of the reader but not too detailed as to distract from the story itself.

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The illustrations are completed in acrylic paints. Her illustrations for her children’s books also represent Sarah’s personal style of painting in her own work.
For Sarah, inspiring and empowering children to feel like one day they too will achieve if they work hard is what it’s all about.

“I simply love reading and sharing my stories with children – my favourite moment so far has been when I’ve had the opportunity to read my book to children in schools etc and seeing the children completely captivated in the story and full of opinions and questions after – that is when I feel I have truly fulfilled everything I set out to do when I first thought about writing children’s books.

“Every child deserves to have confidence within themselves and feel a sense of worth in our world. Every child deserves to have the opportunity to use their talents – be it sport, music, art, drama, academics etc. If I can help even in the slightest way to motivate children to learn and use their skills then I feel I’m not wasting my time.”

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Sarah paints for leisure in her spare time and uses her art as a time out from the busy demands of teaching. Sarah says that her biggest influence is the master of pop art Andy Warhol.

“I enjoy transforming the ordinary and every day with vibrant colours. I love taking something so plain and simple such as a telephone or a car and turning it into a piece of art. Although most of my work employs this style I do love to experiment and have dappled in landscape painting and portrait drawing from time to time.”

For the moment Sarah hopes to continue to teach, paint and to write children’s books. She will finish her ongoing series and then move in a different direction.
Sarah aims to get her books into recognised bookstores within the country such as Easons as a push to get them nation-wide. I wish Sarah all the success she deserves and look forward to her book launch on 12th June 2014.

You can follow Sarah and keep up to date with her work by adding her on Facebook at ww.facebook.com/sarah.k.art.35

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’, www.zaramcdaid-art.blogspot.ie or e-mail is zaramcdaid@hotmail.com

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