Sara Fanelli

Freelance Illustrator.


Sometime I Think, Sometime I Am – Tate Publishing 2007

What was your key motivation in becoming an illustrator?

The challenge of creating a personal visual response to a text and the love for books

What was your first break as an illustrator?

Winning the Macmillan Prize for a Children’s Picture Book with the book “Button”.


Life is a Horizontal Fall – Spread (and limited edition print) from Sometimes I Think, Sometimes I Am – Tate Publishing 2007

What importance do you put on your own personal body of work and how does this influence your commissioned work?

It is very important, vital, as I would probably dry out of ideas if I only took on commercial work. Personal work constantly feeds commissioned work.

One of your latest book ‘Sometimes I think, sometimes I am’ is a discovery of quotations of the world. If you were to give a motivational quote of your own to fellow illustrators, what would it be?

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”. Samuel Beckett.


Tate Modern

With your work on the walls of the Tate Modern, many eyes would have seen it. Where would your dream exhibition space be and why?

My favourite commissions recently have been to work on large scale buildings. I enjoy the interaction with the architecture and having to consider all the elements that a 3 dimensional piece comes with.

But, as I love books, I am pretty happy with using books as a place for my images. If I were to exhibit existing work, I would like an intimate space as my original artworks are not huge.


The Onion’s Great Escape – Phaidon Press 2013

Who and what keeps you inspired?

Unusual thoughts. Surprises. Simple materials. Handmade things. Freshness. The bits of poetry in life. Playfulness.


7th March 2014
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