Artist Spotlight : Sarah Strickland

Artist Spotlight : Sarah Strickland


We visited (remotely!) our long time Nancybird team member and star textile designer Sarah Strickland at her home in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges for a little sneak peek of our second Spring release and had a chat about daily creative inspirations and navigating new motherhood in lockdown.

What do you do at Nancybird?

I am the textile designer and I also design the homewares range.


How do you get inspired to create at the beginning of a new collection?

I try to be a big sponge for ideas. I find going for walks really helps in letting my mind wander too. I generally immerse myself in imagery, then percolate on it all for a little while and then start drawing.


What inspires you day-to-day?

Well, I wish I could say I am inspired everyday, but the truth is it is often fleeting and will last just long enough that I can get something down. When I’m not inspired it’s just a lot of grunt work. Trial and error until something starts to form. Inspiration can really come from anything though, like seeing someone in a beautiful outfit on the street, to looking at the way a plant is bending in the light, to just going for a walk along the Merri creek.


I know we’re not supposed to have favourites, but what are your picks of the new arrivals?

Oooo, it's so lovely to see the new range again, so many lovely summery things in there. I love the Margaret Dress, a summery update on the classic Tidal dress, perfect for those hot summer days. The Flinders dress is stunning as well. Leather wise, I am loving the Beach totes and I CAN NOT WAIT till it is beach weather and I can pack one of those beauties with a towel and a hat! Roll on Summer!

L: Sarah in the soon-to-be-released Tathra Dress in Seaweed White, a print she designed inspired by Victoria's diverse marine life.     
R: Sarah and Eli catch some spring sunshine. Sarah wears the Apollo Tee in the Reef print she designed and the Coolum Pant in Clay


You're currently away on maternity leave, what a time to be navigating new motherhood! I realise this is a huge question but how's it going?

Motherhood has been a relentless blur! I’m 7 months in and I don’t know where it went but my tiny baby is now big and sitting up and now starting to crawl!


What are the daily little moments you love the most?

Oh, there are a lot! When I get the post milk drunken smiles and chats, it’s very lovely. Also, I enjoy going for walks and having someone to babble away too. Eli and I like to stroll around the garden and have a sniff of the plants and a bit of a feel of the leaves and it’s so magical to see this little person take it all in. Watching him start to show his little personality is pretty magical.


What are you most proud of yourself for?

Making a human with my body! Seriously, that blows my mind every time I think about it.


What’s been the most unexpected thing?

Just how heightened everything becomes. I waiver between blissful and completely overwhelmed and all the things in between on a daily/hourly basis. I knew it would be exhausting but I really didn’t appreciate just how exhausted I would be.


What could you happily outsource forever?

Overnight settling! And packing and unpacking the dishwasher.


What are you looking forward to getting back to when Eli gets a bit bigger?

Well like everyone, once we are all allowed to, I’m really looking forward to seeing my family and friends, who only have known Eli as a brand new little blobby baby. I also can not wait to show him some more of the world! We’re very lucky to live in the hills and be surrounded by beautiful bush and wildlife but I’ve always been looking forward to showing Eli the amazing landscapes we have in Australia. I’m also looking forward to getting into the city and seeing some art and culture!  I remember my parents taking me to art galleries and the botanical gardens and going on bushwalks and these are such treasured memories and I really want to do the same for Eli as I think it gave me a great appreciation for these things.


Lastly, let’s talk recommendations, what have you been loving to listen to/read/eat?

A good friend who also has a little babe started a playlist for us to play to our beans, which is great for diffusing a grumpy baby situation. Through this, we have discovered Raffi, who is great!

Reading wise I’ve just finished Rodham, by Curtis Sittenfeld which is the fictional account of Hillary Rodham’s run for presidency, if she had never married Bill Clinton. It’s interesting to read right now and imagine what the world would have looked like if she had been successful in 2016. It’s also a pretty infuriating insight into the incredible double standards women in politics are held to. 

Eating? what haven’t I been eating?! Like so many, I am eating my feelings through this lockdown and have been baking and cooking quite a bit. I tried out making English muffins and crumpets and I’d say, give English muffins a go. So much better than your supermarket numbers and really not that difficult! If you can knock out a sourdough you can do an English muffin no worries.


Thanks Sarah! We absolutely can't wait for a visit from you and baby Eli xxxxx


Explore more of Sarah's work here

The newest Spring release will be launching this Wednesday, the 16th of September. 

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