Hello friends! I’m happy to introduce to you a new series that I’m hosting here on my blog, where I interview some fantastically creative friends and new acquaintances alike!
This week, we’re getting started with the brilliant Sara Fackrell of Small Suns Studio. Sara’s powerfully minimalist designs and thoughtful creative process immediately won me over when I first saw her work on Instagram. I’m so excited to be able to share this insight into her creative world with you.
Tell me about your business and your design aesthetic!
I’m Sara, a branding designer, creative explorer, and creative coach. I started working full-time for myself about two months ago, after having worked at an office job for about 2 1/2 years. Owning my own business was something I’d thought about for a long time, and eventually I realized that working for myself was more energizing and exciting than anything else I could think of, so I decided to take the plunge. I let my bosses know in August that I’d be leaving in December, and now I’m two months into working for myself, and I really do love it. It’s hard and scary a lot of the time, but so much about it feels so good.
In terms of my aesthetic, I’d describe it as minimal, and quietly joyful. I take a lot of inspiration from the natural world, and from the little moments in life that just catch you by surprise and make you realize how wonderful the world can be. That translates in my design work as little details that look a bit imperfect, like hand-drawn typefaces or simple line illustrations. Japanese aesthetics are also a wellspring of inspiration for me.
Do you consider yourself a designer, illustrator, or both?
I’d like to say that I consider myself to be both, but illustration is the thing of these two that I’m less confident in, and really want to explore further. I do offer both as services, though.
What’s one of your favourite designs you’ve made, and what do you love about it?
I think my favourite design that I’ve created so far was for a floral designer named Renata, of Renata Floral Design. Her soft, gentle, and of course, botanical aesthetic matched perfectly with the things I love best, and I think everything just worked together so well for that branding suite.
What’s a design or style trend that you see coming up this year?
Ha, I’m probably not the best person to answer this! I don’t tend to follow what’s trending, since my personal style (and sensibilities) tends to be a bit more timeless and thoughtful. One thing I’ve noticed a lot lately, at least in the brand identity world, is dramatic serif logo wordmarks with interesting flourishes. I think they look really neat!
How would a client go about finding you? What spaces do you advertise/have a presence to find clients?
Currently, it’s just Instagram @smallsunsstudio, but I’m working on getting my website up and running, and that space is www.smallsunsstudio.com
How do you choose your creative direction for a project? Where do you get your inspiration from?
I take a lot of inspiration from aesthetic minimalism, and from Japanese aesthetics, so my designs generally reflect that quietness and thoughtfulness, and tend to feel very organic. Because I use the One Concept Method, I do a lot of exploration in the beginning. My creative process is a very intuitive one, so I try to follow where my gut leads me. Even if where it goes isn’t quite right, I find that those solutions are often a good place to start from when it comes to crafting the final design concept.
What do you think is the most important thing that a client should know before working with you?
That this process should be a fun and energizing one! My role is to provide clients with a solution to a very specific problem, whether it’s crafting an eye-catching cover for their amazing new novel, or a connective and meaninful brand identity. I try my very best to make them feel like they help to guide the direction of the design the whole way through, and not just sit back and wait for me to show them the final product. I know it can be scary to put a certain amount of faith in somebody you don’t necessarily know well, but I like to think that the way I’ve structured my process allows my clients to feel pretty in-control and excited about what’s to come.
Thank you so much for joining me, Sara! And thank you, reader, for checking out the first interview in this fun new series that I’m excited to launch. If you know someone who you think I should interview, send me a DM on Instagram @luckysprout for a quick response!