Arty Sparkly: Bridal Illustrations of dreams

Friday, August 21, 2020

Supplier Takeover: Arty Sparkly Illustrations
We caught up with Sarah, the fabulous talent behind Arty Sparkly Illustrations. After coming across her beautiful works of art on Instagram, we wanted to know more about how it came to be. Sarah tells us all about starting the business, where she finds all of her inspiration and a little bit about her own wedding (including a very funny story)...

How did Arty Sparkly come about?
I have always loved drawing but treated it like a hobby and after leaving high school with my higher art qualification I never dreamt that it could be a career. I worked in the Jewellery trade in Edinburgh for a number of years and then onto work with HMRC (slight difference!)

When we moved to the Highlands 6 years ago i had to find something to keep me occupied during the day as we had no friends or family around for support or childcare. One day I decided to sketch my wedding dress and I posted the image on Facebook to share with my friends and family. By the end of that day I had a few requests from friends to do theirs and so it slowly began.

Did you start out with the intention of wedding portraits or is this something that developed over time?
My intention was fashion illustration solely focusing on the wedding dress and the bride, the grooms were never included in the beginning. After so many requests and enquiries I gave in to demand and expanded to include grooms, bridesmaids, families, children and even pets!
What has been your proudest moment since launching Arty Sparkly?
There have been a few moments when I have looked back to when I first started. I wasn’t confident at all in the beginning as I struggled with anxiety quite a lot so I definitely had “imposter syndrome”. I couldn’t quite believe that something I loved doing so much was a paid job.

To be in charge of a business that started out with 25 orders in the first year to now averaging around 250 a year, boggles my brain. When I started getting orders from complete strangers, from different countries I knew the ripples had widened and it was my hard work and perseverance that started the wave. The reviews and support that I receive from my clients can be overwhelming at times and the cherry on top came when I was nominated as a finalist for VOWS scottish wedding specialist of the year.

Did you notice your social media following grow quite quickly?
In the beginning it felt like no one was noticing me or following my page but I just kept drawing and sharing. Slowly I was being noticed and when designers like Marchesa, Michael Cinco and Reem Acra shared my illustrations it gave me more confidence to keep going. The numbers would shoot up whenever big names shared or liked my post, I still can’t quite believe that 59k people follow me!

What is your favourite sketch so far? (I think Jamie Genevieve has to be up there for us!)
Haha, Jamie G was a great one to do, I loved her dress and I love a bride with tattoos as it adds an extra detail to the sketch. My emails and notification alerts went bananas the day she received her illustration and shared it on her stories!

I love sketching brides on their own as i get to concentrate on every little details and make their pose a little more dramatic.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Instagram and social media are heaven for inspiration, there are so many talented designers and creatives out there. When I am not scrolling through red carpet events, bloggers and designers posts i keep up to date with fashion shows and couture on the Vogue app “Runway” which shows detailed photos of every collection.

How long does the average portrait take from start to finish?
I have never actually timed myself! When I start my weekly order pile I do all the outlines, then all the skin tones, then all the base colours and then all the details so i dont sit and do one from start to finish. It mainly depends on the details and how many people are included in the sketch, anywhere from 2-4hrs. When i am sketching for fun it takes me 1-2 hours but i always take longer on commissions so I don't miss anything out.

What is your most popular order?
The Bride and Groom illustration is definitely the most ordered and gifted illustration. To think I didn't even want to include the groom in the beginning!
Do you know how many beautiful couples you have illustrated over the years?
I would say 1000 if I haven't already reached it or surpassed it.

Have you noticed any wedding trends in more recent couples?
There has been a lot less lace, stunning back details, capes instead of veils and a colourful statement shoe!

Tell us about your wedding...
I have been married 18 years this September. We were married in Airth Castle ,  I wore a gold Hollywood Dreams tulle gown that I still absolutely love and had a huge party that still gets talked about today. I think we were one of the first ones to do bacon buttiesand burgers in the evening instead of a traditional sandwich buffet and they were a huge success. 

At the wedding service the minister forgot the CD of music to play for me walking down the aisle. After I calmed down I told him to put on “When you wish upon a star” (it was on the CD playing while guests were arriving). After my bridesmaids and ushers walked down the aisle I could hear the music changing (I forgot it was a medley of Disney tunes). So as I turned to walk down the aisle, the music changed to Zipadeedoodah. Nobody batted an eyelid but you can hear my bridesmaids giggling in the background!
Do you offer any other wedding services?
I offer Gift Vouchers which are really popular for gifting the bride and groom on their wedding day. The giftee normally books a slot directly after the wedding and organises it for them or the bride and groom can get in touch and organise the illustration later.

A few brides upon ordering their illustration have asked for a scanned copy before it is mounted so they can use the image for their Thank You cards as an added personal touch.

From Brides, With Love xo

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