Sarah Brown is a Canadian writer and illustrator originally from Victoria who loves to visit Montreal, story-tell, draw and learn about inspiring people, sharing lessons and tales we may be too scared to talk about (like holding in farts while falling in love).
Currently living in Toronto’s west end, Sarah has written for outlets like blogTO and Shedoesthecity, among a long list of others. She also works at Strachan Ave. and Adelaide St. W. coffee shop, Tokyo Smoke, serving and getting paid to talk to strangers.
“Now that’s livin’,” Sarah says.
Here is her story:
- When did you first realize you wanted to write, illustrate and create?
Ever watched, Finding Forrester? It’s a movie about a handsome basketball player and a hideaway novelist. Not long after I watched it, my parents bought me an Underwood typewriter for my 10th birthday. I wrote a lot of stuff after that.
- Tell me one of your fondest memories growing up…
Sun tanning on my parent’s roof. I scratched my legs to get up there, but totally worth it for the extra freckles and sunburn.
- You have written a ton about food, culture, travel and life lessons. What’s one of your favourite pieces to date? Why?
I’ve written so much stuff online, it’s pretty embarrassing now that I think of it. I don’t really have a favourite; although I really enjoyed interviewing Martha Sharpe, the owner of Flying Books on Queen St. W. in Toronto. She’s the definition of a cool woman. And she owns a bookstore! How rare is that?
- What about writing intrigues you?
People and their stories, mostly.
- What’s one story that still sticks with you, that motivates you to keep writing and exploring, to this day?
I interviewed a man named Omar who opened a coffee shop near Bathurst Station. He’s only 23-years-old, and despite everyone telling him not to open it, he did it anyways, because he wanted to own his own café. His story really stuck with me, and he’s extremely good looking.
When did you first start drawing?
Seven was a very big year for me.
- What’s your favourite type of image to draw? Why?
I like drawing rappers and sneakers. If I could draw one person over-and-over again, it would be Fetty Wap. His face tells a story.
- Do you find yourself sketching on your free time? If yes, what benefit does this have? Further to that, what are your thoughts on adult colouring books?
I don’t sketch much – too busy writing or reading. As for adult colouring books, RIP. The trend is over, people.
- Where’s your favourite place to find inspiration?
- Do you ever experience writer’s block (or illustrator’s block)? If yes, how do you conquer the beast?
There’s always something to draw or write about. If I get stuck, I walk to Roncesvalles and go to Ed’s Real Scoop for ice cream.
- What would you say is the hardest part of wearing so many hats?
Matching them with my outfits. It’s hard y’all.
- What’s one of the riskiest career moves you’ve ever made?
Two years ago, I left the PR industry and I didn’t have much of a plan. I’ve been blindly guessing my way through a career ever since.
- What’s one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far?
- What would you tell to other up and coming Canadian creators?
Buy Air Force Ones. There’s something about them that gives me the extra foot of confidence I need when I’m putting myself out there.
- Do you have anything else to add that our readers should know?
Be grateful when you find a great editor.