Who is sarah?
The Short Version
I'm an award winning Melbourne based artist, writer and thinker who draws words and writes pictures. In the ten years since graduating from art school, I've racked up numerous commissions, awards, residencies and a fellowship with my prolific body of work - including comics, animations, community art projects, films, essays and thought pieces.
I'm a creative entrepreneur and have run a small business - offering film, creative workshop and graphic recording services across industries - for the past seven years.
I'm currently working on my debut graphic novel, exploring personal narratives woven together with philosophy, psychology, science and theory. It's a humorous and idiosyncratic exploration of multiple narratives, cognitive dissonance and everyday life that fits into the autotheory genre.
I am director of Sarah The Firth Creative Services. My professional services include graphic recording and illustration, consultation, animation and film production. Additionally, I write and publish comics, talk at events, facilitate creative workshops,
trainings and projects with businesses, educators and communities.
Some of my clients include: Oxfam, TEDx Melbourne, The Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Premier and Cabinet, TripTank, SEEK, The Difference, Amnesty International, Qantas, The Australian Red
Cross, COTA, PLAN, KPMG, ASIX,
Wellsprings for Women Inc, Justice Connect, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Hemsley Fraser, The Rockefeller Foundation, Swinburne University, YouthLaw, Print On Wood, Not For Profit Law, Environmental Justice Australia, Telstra, Origin Energy, Hub Melbourne, TimeOut Melbourne, SP AusNet, Volunteering Victoria and many, many more.
ILLUSTRATION + COMICS
I first began producing comics and illustrations for Woroni and Lip Magazine in 2003 and have since had my work published in numerous books, magazines, zines and online. My work has been part of projects and publications such as the The Nib, Minicomic of the Month Club, RE:, Comic Artists Rehab, Webblick, Early Harvest, TimeOut Magazine, The Sketchbook Project, Voiceworks and the Noise Festival.
In 2014, my mini-comic Wake Up was nominated for the Ledger Awards. In 2015 two of my illustrations were winners in the SquishFace Studio Coaster Show, my work was published in the 2015 Sketchbook World Tour and I was invited to speak at the Tasmanian Writers Festival.
Later in 2015 I was chosen to attend The Comic Art Workshop, a unique artist in residency experience on Maria Island in Tasmania, to work on developing my first graphic novel.
WRITING & MEDIA
- Observations From a Fly on the Wall Part One Medium
- Chantilly Studio Residency CS
- No One Does Anything Alone LSS
- The Impossible Wall Kill Your Darlings
- Talking Comics, Money & Art: Part 1 TSR
- Talking Comics, Money & Art: Part 2 TSR
- Historic Treaty Talks NITV
- Face to Face Children's Stories Film SFTL
- Diversity & Social Education SFTL
- An Inkpot of Fate Tasmanian Writers and Festival
- Review Tasmanian Writers Festival
- Sketchbook World Tour SMH
- Unpacking The Money Shot Spook Mag
- The Suburban Review Residency TSB
- The Pencil is Mightier than the Sword ABC News
- Unity in Diversity Right Now
- SELF animation National Portrait Gallery
- Emerging Artist Reel Time Arts
I'm well known for the philosophical, reflective, often absurd, occasionally poignant, witty and playful style that infuses all my work.
I graduated with honours from the ANU School of Art in 2006 and received the Nigel Thompson Traveling Scholarship to be an Australian representative for the first Asian Art Camp, an International Collaborative Symposium in Singapore.
In 2007 I was part of an artist residency with the Performing Objects and Machines Workshop at Carriage Works in Sydney where I produced a drawing machine in the space.
In 2010 I was commissioned to make a kinetic sculpture for Experimenta, and in 2012 spent two-months in Puebla and Oaxaca in Mexico, on an artist in residency with Arquetopia.
Since 2010 I have facilitated workshops for people of all ages, that use a mix of comic drawing and innovative workshop modules to develop cultural dialogue, enhance emotional intelligence and self-awareness. These have been supported by Amnesty International, the Face to Face project with the Council of Greater Dandenong, Arts About Us and VicHealth.
In 2011 I was awarded the Immigration Museum Talking Difference Fellowship thanks to which I ran a series of comic workshops with renowned local illustrators (Shaun Tan, Mandy Ord, Bernard Caleo and Adi Firth) and local schools to tackle race based discrimination.
As part of an artist in residency in Mexico in 2012, I partnered with the Arquetopia Foundation and the Imagina Museum in Puebla to run a series of cultural comic workshops with local children.
In 2014 I had the privilege to work with the ACT Children & Young People Commissioner to run comic story sharing workshops with the Aboriginal student community at Jervis Bay Primary School.
- Bread & Roses #1 Silent Army Storeroom
- Frightful Irregularities Comic Art Workshop
- A Trip To York self published
- Bogongs and Bongs self published
- The Day We Didn't Go Into A Brothel self published
- My Thoughts Inkspot Magazine
- Graphic Recording - A Definitive Guide To Live Illustration GESTALTEN
- Early Harvest #5 100 Story Building
- Comics Are For Everyone Medium
- Drink Drank Drink THE NIB
- Buried Treasure self published
- Lycra Lovers Room Press
- David Attenborough & Friends self published
- Sketchbook World Tour Princeton Architectural Press
- Early Harvest #4 100 Story Building
- White Whine self published
- Our Purpose & Values Australian Ethical
- A Ghost Story Medium
- A Class Apart Medium
- In The Way Medium
- Have a Seat or Don't THE NIB
- Early Harvest #3 100 Story Building
- Wake Up, Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!
- Vignette Vinaigrette Sketchbook Project
- Wake Up Minicomic Of The Month Club
- Early Harvest #2 100 Story Building
- Food Wank TimeOut Melbourne
- CHUGNUT Comics Camp
- Adi & Sarah Draw Life Sketchbook Project
- Resident Comic Artist Rehab
I visualise conversations live, real-time and large, to help people gain clarity about what they say and mean. Graphic recording is perfect for workshops and conferences as an engaging way to visually capture process, stories, brain-storms, key-note speakers and map strategic plans. I have five-years experience working professionally as a freelance graphic recorder, am based in Melbourne and work internationally.
FILM + ANIMATION
In mid 2012, my animated documentary Face to Face: Children’s Stories won the Australian Shorts section of the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival. Later that year I won a three-month artist in residency with Chantilly Studio Inc. where I created the animation Gentlemen, Please!
In 2013 I was awarded a Margaret Lawrence Bequest to make a short documentary Crafting Pathways about using craft as a valuable support mechanism for female refugees' at the Wellsprings For Women Inc. Community Centre in Dandenong.
Most recently my short looped animation Lady Gagarus Minajaperry won the BrunswickArts 2015 Entry Show.
FILMs & Animations
- HEADSHOTS experimental film
- Lady Gagayrus Minajaperry ADULT animation
- Organisational Culture Uni Melb
- Funeral Selfie Triptank Comedy Central
- St Patrick's Day WARNING: OFFENSIVE Triptank Comedy Central
- B&B Valentine WARNING: OFFENSIVE Triptank Comedy Central
- Oxfam Connect Oxfam South Africa
- Environmental Justice Australia EDO
- Beyond 100: Children's Views ACT Gov
- Justice Connect Series
- To Coach or Mentor? Swinburne Uni
- YouthLaw Helping Young People YouthLaw
- Crafting Pathways Wellsprings for Women
- Birth and Death experimental animation
- Los errores en México experimental film
- Children's Stories: From Melbourne to Mexico workshop documentary
- GTK Mexico rap videos
- Print on Wood Print on Wood
- Gentlemen, Please! VCA animation
- Because I am a Girl PLAN International
- Food Rules Michael Pollan
- SUNDAY experimental film
- Face to Face: Children's Stories doco
- Sounds experimental animation
- Guitar Hands experimental film
- Mother experimental animation
- ALIGN experimental animation
- SELF experimental animation
- Riding the Coattails of Success comedy
- Hana Mizu experimental animation
- Y-Fronts in the Wind experimental film
2011 - 2014: Graphic recording and facilitation training with the difference at PwC, KPMG U-Collaborate and the ASE at Capgemini
2012: 13 week Graduate Animation Intensive at the VCA, Melbourne
2003 – 2006: Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours, majoring in Sculpture, Australian National University, Canberra
workshop, teaching, facilitation & festival experience
2016: Carbon Arts Garden of Earthly Delights interactive environmental pledge project at the Castlemaine State Festival
2014 - 2016: Graphic Recording training workshops
2014: Jervis Bay School comic workshop with the ACT Children & Young People Commissioner
2014: IWDA Annual Reflection two-day strategic planning workshop
2013: Australian Red Cross, Australian Volunteers In Development Program, Annual Reflection, two-day strategic planning workshop
2012: Cultural Comic Workshops with the Imagina Museum and the Arquetopia Foundation, in Puebla, Mexico with students ages 6 - 15yrs
2012: Talking Difference Workshops with the Immigration Museum Fellowship with primary school students aged 10 – 12yrs
2012: Bondi Pavilion Animation Classes series of three-day animation intensive workshops with children and teenagers aged 10 – 16yrs
2010-2011: Face to Face comic drawing workshops with the Cultural Council in Springvale and local primary school groups of children aged 5 – 12yrs
Selected prizes, awards, commissions and residencies
2016: HEADSHOTS - official selection of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival
2015: First Prize winner at the BrunswickArts Show
2015: The Comic Art Workshop Residency
2014: Winner at the SquishFace Studio Coaster Show
2013: Wake Up, (mini-comic) nominated for the Ledger Awards
2013: Crafting Pathways, a documentary about the Wellsprings For Women Inc. Centre, funded by the Margaret Lawrence Bequest
2012: Gentlemen, Please! was selected as a finalist in the Peninsula Short Film Festival, Rosebud, VIC
2012: People’s Choice Award Face to Face: Children’s Stories, in the Australian Shorts section of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival ACMI, VIC
2012: Arquetopia Artist in Residency in Oaxaca and Puebla, Mexico
2012: Chantilly Studios Artist in Residency, Nicholson Building, Melbourne
2011: Awarded the Talking Difference Fellowship at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne, VIC
2010-2011: Artist in residency with the Cultural Council in Springvale VIC as part of their Face to Face project
2010: SELF animation, selected as a finalist in the National Youth Portrait Prize, the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
2010: Commissioned to make a drawing machine by Experimenta Media Arts, Melbourne
2009: CAPO Grant, Canberra
2009: Winner of the CCAS Copy Cat Show, Manuka CCAS Gallery, Canberra
2009: Solander Gallery Art Prize, Tuggeranong RYA, Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra
2009: Y-Fronts in the Wind, finalist in Canberra Short Film Festival, DENDY Short Seasons and winner of Best Screenplay made for Lights! Canberra! Action!
2007: Commission - drawing machine for Performing Objects and Machines, Carriage Works Sydney
2006: Selected for 25/25: Australia’s top 25 artists aged 25 and under, sponsored and selected by Art & Australia in collaboration with Noise, Sydney
2006: Awarded exhibitions at The Front Gallery, The Hive and The Grammar School Gallery through the Emerging Artist’s Scheme
2006: Awarded the LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts Singapore Scholarship, Singapore
2006: Awarded the ANU Nigel Thompson Travelling Scholarship, Canberra
Selected group exhibitions, Fairs, performances and festival screenings
2017: National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Zine Showcase at the Melbourne Art Book Fair
2017: GUTTERS Perth Fringe Festival
2017: Festival of The Photocopier, Melbourne Town Hall
2016: Festival of The Photocopier, Melbourne Town Hall
2015: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Zine Fair
2015: SUPERGRAPH Melbourne Exhibition Centre
2014: 40x40 Show, Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne
2014: Crafting Pathways screened at the Wellsprings 20th Anniversary, Dandenong, Melbourne
2014: The Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts Postcard Show, St Kilda, Melbourne
2013: Crafting Pathways screened at the End of the Line Festival, Belgrave, Melbourne
2013: Los errores en México screened at the YOU ARE HERE Festival, Canberra
2013: Face to Face: Children’s Stories in the Long Shorts Screening at the Shadow Electric at the Abbotsford Convent
2012: Illuminations, Jitter Festival, Bondi Pavilion, Contemporary Australian Animation
2012: Face to Face: Children’s Stories in the Australian Shorts section of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival ACMI
2012: Face to Face: Children’s Stories, Bondi Pavilion Festival Sydney, SOHO Shorts in London and the Human Rights Festival in Melbourne
2011: Face to Face: Children’s Stories, 7th RENDERYARD Film Festival, in La Rioja, Spain, GENERATION NEXT at NOVA Cinema, Melbourne.
2011: RE: http://regarding.com.au/artwork/ a 7 month online gallery project
2010: Reflex – the mechanical poetry of kinetic sculpture, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney CBD
2010: For my sister, Blank Space Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney
2010: Reflex – the mechanical poetry of kinetic sculpture, M16 Artspace, Fyshwick, Canberra
2010: Akin to, The Front Gallery, Lyneham, Canberra
2008: Tableaux Attic, M16 Artspace, Fyshwick, Canberra
2008: Red Shoes presents: Tableaux Vivants, Peepshow, The Front Galley, Canberra
2007: Nico & Claudette, The Fringe Festival Canberra
2007: Performing Objects and Machines, Carriage Works, Sydney
2006: 25/25: Australia’s top 25 artists aged 25 and under, Art on Bourke, Surry Hills
2006: UrbaNONurban, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore
2015: HEADSHOTS BrunswickArts
2011: Attraction, Red Gallery, North Fitzroy, Melbourne
2008: Drawn, CGS Gallery, Red Hill, Canberra
2007: Can I Kiss You? Photospace Gallery, ANU, Canberra