Sarah Symes was born in British Columbia, Canada, before moving a world away to grow up in Cheshire, England, where she started making art with fabric from about the age of 10. Her school curriculum included the arts but prioritized academic subjects and under that influence, she enrolled at London’s prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture at the age of 18. As one of the oldest but most radical faculties of its kind, Sarah developed a creative, eclectic and rigorous approach to design. But ultimately, her heart wasn’t in it and she changed course to graphic design.
In 1999, Sarah started work as a junior designer for a vibrant creative agency and learned from the most sought-after designers working in London and embraced the opportunity to design for their most important clients. In 2005, she was chosen for a core team who relocated to Los Angeles to work on high profile projects for the TV and games industry. In 2009, she moved up the coast to San Francisco to work as Art Director on a visually-stunning online game and in 2011, Sarah moved north again to Vancouver to join a design studio working with various TV and film companies.
Alongside her career in graphics, Sarah began to invest more and more personal time into her fabric art. It offered a perfect counter balance to the digital precision of working at a computer screen. In 2007, she completed her first body of work and quickly found gallery representation at the Applegate Gallery in Los Angeles. A short time after that, she was awarded the Best of Show prize by the Los Angeles Art Association and she has been working as a professional artist ever since.
Sarah’s artwork has been exhibited in Canada, the USA and Europe. In 2019, she was commissioned by HBO to make a piece of art for the Game of Thrones TV show. She has been published in art books and interviewed for TV, magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs. Notably The Independent on Sunday newspaper, House Beautiful magazine and Shaw TV. Sarah has been highlighted by some of the leading influencers in the design world, such as Pantone and Design Milk. In addition to many series of artwork, she has completed over 50 commissions and her work now hangs in collections worldwide.
Sarah works out of a studio in her home where she lives with her husband and two children in the spectacular mountain town of Squamish, British Columbia.