Paperlust loves to support Aussie talent and thrives on partnerships with independent local artists. We have collaborated with Richmond local artist Sarulean Blue (Sarah McKenzie) to create a wedding invitation set and a gorgeous baby shower invites featuring Sarah’s wonderful illustrations.
About Sarulean (Sarah McKenzie)
Sarulean Blue started as a meaningful way to bless friends and family by creating custom artworks for them, but has grown into a business that serves a wider community, including online. Sarulean Blue not only creates animal family portraits on request from customers but also designs for wedding stationery and illustrations for children’s books.
Behind Sarulean Blue is Sarah McKenzie, an Australian artist with Chinese heritage. She felt endlessly inspired by the fictional worlds experienced through novels and children’s literature and her work has often been compared to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit series. This inspiration and encouragement prompted her to take the next step in her creative journey: creating artwork for sale and designing commissioned pieces.
Her illustrations can be interpreted as bringing happiness and warmth through expressing the wonder of childhood brought about daily by seemingly ordinary adventures.
Q & A with Sarah
We interviewed Sarah to learn about her work as an illustrator:
Q. What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
A. That’s a hard one because of the many aspects of illustration. The main reason I illustrate is to bless those around me by using the talents I’m so fortunate to have. I also love hearing new and fresh ideas from clients, as well as experimenting with different techniques in the studio. Seeing an idea from concept to final illustration is pretty satisfying.
Q. What’s been the most recent event that you’ve showcased your work in? Or any other collaborations you’ve done recently?
A. I’m currently doing some work for Concordance Journal, which is an avenue for various artists to collaborate with other creatives in a cross-artistic exercise. I’m also overseeing a collaboration between a writer and visual artist.
A small collection of my watercolour work was recently showcased in the opening at Incub8r gallery, Prahran, as well as in a city central church for an Easter pop-up.
Q. Do you have any new projects coming up soon (after our collaboration)?
A. I’ve actually just wrapped up a number of big projects so, aside from a couple of commissions, the canvas is open to whichever direction I’m led. There is a picture book on the horizon, so stay tuned!
Q. How would you describe your style of illustration?
A. People have characterised them as sweet, warm and joyful. They’ve been likened to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit drawings which absolutely blows me away! I would describe them as capturing our everyday curiosity through woodland folk surrounded by sweet botanical flora.
Q. Lastly, what’s been your favourite part of this collaboration?
A. I have loved working with Shab! She is a very gifted creative and efficient in what she does. It’s been wonderful learning about Paperlust and their desire to give designers a platform for success. Thank you for this amazing collaboration – and the coffee!
About the process
At first it was difficult to decide which illustrations to work with as they’re all so adorable, but Sarah and Shab worked tirelessly to create the perfect wreath for the wedding set. They wanted the designs to somehow look native Australian but also to suit any other wedding theme with greenery. The same goes for the baby shower invitations – both are kept very minimal yet exude a certain playfulness.
About the design and print
Sarah’s illustrations look stunning in simple and classic digital print, however we have designed both the wedding stationery and baby shower invites with a little touch of foil. You can of course choose which colour foil you prefer and we encourage you to chat to us if you’d like to use any other illustrations by Sarulean. You can check out more of her beautiful work on Instagram or her website.