Sarah McVey, aka Spiffy Dame, has had a passion for art since she was a child. She’s teamed up with SUSU to create some unique and meaningful designs. Check out our Q&A with her:
Where are you from?
I was born in Illinois and grew up in the midwest.
What was your journey to becoming an artist?
I have always loved art and my first crayon scribbles were at 8 months old. The art scene changed when I became of age. There was more focus on social media and internet based freelancing, so it is sometimes challenging to find your place in the new media.
Do you have any other jobs?
I have a jewelry subscription service and I love to buy and sell antiques. I love to dabble in DIY projects, I like to try a bit of everything in the art world!
What inspires your art?
I love whimsical artwork. Especially old vintage children’s book illustrations. Do you have any trademarks/recurring themes in your art? I like to draw intricate scenery, animals and portraits. Anything kawaii and cute is a plus!
What mediums do you usually work in?
Acrylic, mixed media and photoshop.
Where can our customers find you or your work online?
What was your inspiration/can you describe the design that you did for SUSU?
I have worked on a couple of pieces, one depicts how depression can show up in different areas of someone’ s life. Art has been a great therapy for me and I feel like I can express a lot through it.
Other than your own, what is your favorite SUSU product?
Everyone has their own unique style and interpretations. I love that ideas and feelings can be expressed though art and I enjoy seeing that in everyone’ s work.
PROUD- That I am able to do what I enjoy and bring people’ s ideas to life. There is a certain magic taking someones who maybe is not artistically inclined and bringing their idea to life. It really makes me happy and proud that I can do that.
ANGRY- There is a lot of greed and injustices going unchecked in the world. EXCITED I love planning events and trips when I can!
SCARED- Spiders! They are amazing creatures but please keep the distance!
LUCKY- I have a small support system but I wouldn’t trade that for anything! I value my family and loved ones.
CONFLICTED- That I could always be doing more or helping in some way more.
STRONG- I feel empowered from facing situations in life that most of my peers do not face and coming out of that a more strong and capable person.
HOPEFUL- I find peace by believing the future that we are working towards is very plausible. Staying in that mind frame is important and I don’ t like to say “What if?”and waste too much worries on what could go wrong because it could go very right!
SAD- I am an animal lover and it makes me sad that animals aren’t treated with respect in some situations.
Freeway or Scenic Route? Scenic
Night out with friends or a quiet night in? Night in
Adventure trip or relaxing vacation? A little of both
Great job with long hours or Okay job with lots of time off? Time off! It’ s important to enjoy what you do when you are working.
The 1950s, 60s, 70s or 80s? I love the style of the 50s and 60s but love the creative quirkiness of the 80s.
Are your real life (people you know) role models? My mom as she has overcome a lot in life.
Are your famous/well-known role models? Right now I would say Leonardo Dicaprio. He is using his celebrity status for the greater good raising awareness for some important issues the world is facing right now.
Would you like to work with/for in the future? Right now I do enjoy freelancing. I love anything in print and in person. I would love to have my illustrations published through a well known publisher or have my illustrations printed on fabric.
Inspired you most as a child? I loved cartoons. It really inspired me to get more into art.
Pushes you the hardest? My husband, as he is the hardest working person I know. We are both driven to make our future brighter and we encourage each other.
SUSU is all about Defining Your Normal. So, let’ s find out more about what makes you You!
What is your definition of ‘ normal’ ?
Normalcy is finding happiness and fulfillment in your life. Like the saying goes, the only normal people are the ones you don’ t know very well.
We are all about celebrating people’ s awesomeness, so what makes you awesome?
Not caring about what others think and be yourself. Cliche but so true! I have a strong compassion for others and believe kindness can make a difference.
What is a challenge that you face often in your life?
I was diagnosed with a severe case of infertility when I was 21, so overcoming that loss so early in life was hard for me especially when I love creating art for children and being a family person. Life and irony happens to us all but it has definitely made me fight harder and raise awareness for infertility as it affects a lot of young women and we aren’t recognized as much in the medical community and we don’ t get insurance coverage for our disease here in the USA.
What is the best compliment that you have ever received?
Someone once said I was the kindest person they had ever met. This was in high school, where kids aren’t known to be kind to each other, haha.
What was the best criticism you ever received?
I enjoy when people have different opinions from me or constructive criticism, as it opens up discussion and personal growth.
What makes your life easier?
I think social media and the advancement of technology as it opens up communication and the expression of ideas. It’s a lot different from even a decade ago.
What makes your life more difficult?
In a creative sense, the internet has made it easier and harder for artists. It’s opened up a plethora of artistic expression in every area but it has also saturated the market. I also enjoy photography but the tools available now make it so anyone can be a pro, in turn making it harder to acquire jobs.
What is your definition of success?
Being happy where you are and where you are going. I think finding happiness with what you do every day in the moment is what matters.
We are all changing and evolving all the time. How are you in the process of changing?
Utilizing my talents more efficiently. Someday I would like to invest more into my own brand of art. On a personal level, I’ve been through a lot in early life and adulthood so it was character building for me and I feel like we can always continue changing into our best selves even through the most difficult of situations.
If you could interview anyone, whom would you choose?
I would interview Pope Francis. He has been involved with a broad spectrum of issues and challenges the world is facing. He makes it clear that you don’ t have to be religious to be a good person and that everyone should be involved to make the world a more compassionate place.
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