Artist Interview // Sara M. Lyons

We are elated to welcome Sara M. Lyons for a solo show in her hometown of Anaheim, California. Her ever evolving work has continued to enchant us- from pins to murals, Sara talks to us about her illustrations, and the world she has built around them.

Check out this interview to get to know Sara and join us on May 12th to see her work in person!


Tell us about the title of your show, and the theme behind your current work.
The show is titled "MEET U ON THE ASTRAL PLANE," and it's about exploring alternate dimensions of my own creation.  I like the idea of creating worlds in my illustrations, and I'm also very attracted to the concept of the multiverse - the idea that a frequency exists for every infinite possibility, so anything imagined could theoretically be.  My work for this show is about using vessels of myself to travel through parallel spaces which exist only for me.  

In November you painted a mural for Artists Republic at the Anaheim Garden Walk, and since you have painted for Urban Decay. How do you feel about painting on this scale, and are there more to come?
Working in large scale was something I was initially really anxious about because I'm not really a painter, much less a muralist, but I feel like it came pretty naturally to me, and it's been extremely fulfilling.  It's really different than anything else I do and for that reason I find it really exciting - there's something almost meditative about it.  I spend 90% of my time working alone in my home office/studio with my computer and my phone in front of me at all times, so to get to be outside and not be distracted by email and Instagram and Twitter and shop orders and politics and everything is really freeing.  And it's obviously been really amazing to see how people have responded to the walls I've completed so far.  I definitely cater to the Instagram set and have kept that in mind while designing my murals, so it's really fun to see how many people have stopped at the Gardenwalk mural to snap pics or videos.  I just like my work to have a sense of fun and to make people happy, and it feels like the murals really accomplish that goal in a new way that's exciting for me.

I do have more stuff in the works, but I'm not one to talk about projects before they come into fruition - I'm very superstitious and I never want to jinx myself!  ;)

For the month of March, 15% of proceeds from your SML x CRSHR hats collection as well as Whatever Forever merch was donated to The Louder Coalition. Why is this organization important to you? Are there other organizations you work with?
I made a decision after the election to donate 15% of proceeds from a portion of my product line to a different organization that is important to me each month.  So far I've been able to donate substantial amounts to the Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, the ACLU, United We Dream, and now at the end of this month the Louder Coalition, which is a new group that aims to support and empower survivors of sexual violence.  I went with the Louder Coalition this month because it's a new organization and the founder, Alyssa, had reached out to me asking for help in spreading awareness.  I hadn't chosen an organization to support for March, and the Louder Coalition felt like a natural fit especially because of its focus on inclusivity of all genders and orientations.  It's been a great month and I'll be excited to pass on some money to the Louder Coalition in a few days.  In April I'll donate 15% of selected items to the Flint Water Fund via United Way of Genesee.  I don't generate HUGE donation amounts, but I do hope with my donations I'm able to make at least a super small difference or at least encourage others to look into doing the same.      

So, you’ve got pins, patches, nail decals, fortune telling cards, apparel, what’s next? Any plans for the future?
I never know!  I'll definitely continue to put out pin and patch collections, and I have some fun branded collabs in the works - but again, no jinxing!  I really take my business day by day.  When something feels right, I make it, and if nothing feels right I wait.  I don't have an aggressive release schedule or detailed business plan like a lot of people in my field, but I don't mind.  There's always stuff in the pipeline, and if there isn't there's about to be!  I never know what opportunity might arise or what might suddenly interest or inspire me.  For example, if six months ago someone had told me I'd be painting murals I never would have believed them - so my universe is always really wide open!  I try never to put myself in a box because I just never know when I'm going to want to burst out of one.


Check out Sara M. Lyon's mural at the Artists Republic Mural Garden - located on the second level of the Anaheim GardenWalk.