Hello I am Sarah Storm, the artist behind Created by Storm. I create paintings, textiles and paper goods that are inspired by our natural world, drawing from my love of wildlife and nature. I live in the foothills of the spectacular Rocky Mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado. I like simple things like garden fresh ingredients, tea with honey, early morning walks. I am happiest when I am working with my hands.
When and why did you open an online shop on Etsy?
I opened my shop in 2010 after I was involved in a car accident and was unable to work as a horticulturist. I took the opportunity to start painting, which had been a long time love of mine but one I did not have much time for. I could have never imagined how much joy opening my Etsy shop and getting back to my art would bring me. I am delighted to have an outlet that unifies my creative and scientific sides. Being able to share my work and connect with so many talented and supportive people from around has been incredible gift.
What got you started in your craft?
I have always enjoyed having a craft project and picked up painting at a young age. I love all types of paint but watercolor has stuck with me because it is one of the most versatile mediums to work with and has a mind of its own. It can be controlled and detailed, or loose and impressionistic. I start out with a plan for my paintings either in my head or in my sketchbook, but as soon as the water is added the painting evolves and the final product always surprises me, which my favorite part.
Who or what influences your style the most?
My parents have influenced by style in many ways. Avid gardeners and naturalists, they taught me from a young age how to live off the land, which cultivated a deep respect and appreciation for nature and lead me lead me to pursue degrees in biology & ecology and a career as a horticulturist.
I grew up around artwork by Albertus Seba, John James Audubon & Albrecht Dürer. These artists and my scientific background greatly influence my art. The use of white space in their paintings creates an elegant look that helped me to realize the importance of a clean design. I also really enjoy incorporating typography and calligraphy into my paintings like many antique scientific illustrations.
I am blessed to be able to walk out my door and be surrounded by wild and undeveloped lands. If I am looking for additional inspiration I visit our local Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Sanctuary. A type of Japanese gardening known as Kokedama, meaning “moss-covered ball”, inspires my latest paintings. There is such beauty in these string gardens I could not resist painting them.
My creative process always involves a pot of strong tea and photographs from my outings and little treasures I have gathered. I believe workspaces should be just as creative as your work. I surround myself with living things to creative an environment to bring good energy to my work.
I have recently discovered an even deeper appreciation for our natural world by being able to view it though my son’s eyes for the first time. Nothing makes me happier then seeing his fascination with wildlife and bugs. Our backyard is part of the Pacific Flyway and we have such fun viewing the different kinds of birds that stop by while migrating this time of year. Our next adventure will be exploring the tide pools of Hawaii next year to see what magical critters we can find!
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A huge thanks to Sarah for sharing her story and the things that inspire her!