Introducing Rotorua Artist Sarah McAlpine | doodlewear

Introducing The Whimsical World of Rotorua Artist Sarah McAlpine

A Creative Chats Conversation with Rotorua Artist Sarah

Located in Rotorua, Lynmore is home to doodlewear collaboration artist Sarah McAlpine, an artist with a passion for all things creative. She takes delight in infusing her work with a bright and whimsical twist. Sarah's art revolves around subjects that capture the interests of children, ranging from unicorns and dinosaurs to New Zealand birds. Recently, we had the pleasure of catching up with Rotorua artist Sarah for a 'Creative Chats' interview, and she graciously answered a few questions about her life and art.


Rotorua artist Sarah McAlpine is drawing on her iPad while spending time with her daughter.Rotorua artist Sarah McAlpine is drawing on her iPad while spending time with her daughter.


A Glimpse into Sarah's Artistic Universe

Sarah's art is a kaleidoscope of subjects that delight both young and old. From enchanting unicorns to fierce dinosaurs and the colourful avian residents of New Zealand, her creations are a testament to her boundless imagination.


From Teacher to Artist

Sarah's journey into the world of art was not always the path she envisioned. She started as a registered Early Childhood Education (ECE) Teacher, a role she held for two decades, wearing various hats while working with children.

However, her heart always yearned for the life of an artist. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, an interior designer, or even an architect. Yet, her artistic ambitions took a backseat due to doubts about making a living from it, leading her to explore a career in childcare instead.

"I always loved being creative. When moving back to New Zealand, I put three acrylic paintings in a local art show and they all sold."


Tui In The Leaves black crew SARAH MCALPINE ART

Rotorua artist Sarah McAlpine is wearing her 'Doodlewear Collab Tui In The Leaves' black crew by Sarah McAlpine Art.


Diverse Inspirations

Sarah's career as an artist has flourished through diversification and a thirst for learning. She has embraced various income streams for her art, and in 2023, she focused on expanding her knowledge. She joined online groups, enrolled in courses, and signed up for Skillshare.

When it comes to her creative influences, Sarah is currently inspired by her collaborations with established designers. However, her ultimate source of inspiration is her children, as her art serves as a refuge and keeps her grounded amid the chaos of life.


Spreading Joy through Creativity

For Sarah, being creative is not just a profession but a source of happiness. She finds inspiration in the joy her work brings to others, whether through the smiles of customers at markets, glowing reviews, or the loyalty of repeat buyers.

When the creative spark momentarily flickers, Sarah rejuvenates herself through outdoor adventures, exercise, or by immersing herself in design programs. These experiences rekindle her artistic mojo.


A Message of Creativity

Sarah's art carries a powerful message: everyone possesses creativity within them, waiting to be expressed. Her signature creations, the beloved fox mugs, are a testament to this message, capturing the essence of her artistic vision.


Sleepy Fox hoodie SARAH MCALPINE ART

Rotorua artist Sarah McAlpine is wearing her 'Doodlewear Collab Sleepy Fox' black hoodie by Sarah McAlpine Art.


A Palette of Creation

Her creative process is a harmonious blend of traditional and digital mediums. Sarah works extensively on her iPad, sketching illustrations, weaving them together, and meticulously crafting colour palettes. Recently, she rediscovered the joy of painting with acrylics. Sarah's artwork is a fusion of mixed media, featuring acrylic paint, paint pens, black markers, and digital components. Striking colours brought to life with acrylic paints and pens are her forte. While she cherishes her trusty iPad as her primary tool, Sarah fondly recalls the days when a good pencil was her most essential artistic tool.

"When it comes to generating ideas for each piece of art, I often participate in Spoonflower challenges, as they provide specific briefs. Sometimes, other artworks will also develop from these challenges."


Art as a Lifeline

In the midst of life's bustling chaos, Sarah's art has become a lifeline. Instead of life influencing her art, it's her art that has positively impacted her life. It offers her a sense of well-being, serves as an outlet for expression, and provides focus and purpose, guiding her toward a brighter future for herself and her family. Sarah shares, "I don't think my life has impacted my art; rather, my art has impacted my life. It gives me a sense of wellness, serves as an outlet, and provides me with focus and goals to strive towards a better future for myself and my family. It gives me a profound sense of achievement."

For Sarah, the best part of being an artist is the freedom to be creative, having precious moments to herself, and escaping to her art room, a sanctuary where imagination knows no bounds.


Diverse Themes and an Ever-Expanding Horizon

Sarah's creative journey has seen her explore a wide range of themes. From unicorns and dinosaurs, her themes have expanded considerably since she ventured into surface pattern design.


Ducks Out To Sea tee - Limited Edition Tshirts SARAH MCALPINE ART

lizzylizzyloulou wearing doodlewear 'Ducks Out To Sea' Limited Edition Navy Tshirt by Rotorua artist Sarah McAlpine Art - no longer available


Defining Success

Success, in Sarah's eyes, is about finding contentment in one's present circumstances and cherishing the invaluable aspects of life, such as family, health, and support. Sarah's professional goal is straightforward: to become a full-time artist, dedicating her life entirely to her craft.


A Glimpse Beyond Art

Beyond her artistry, Sarah finds joy in the simple pleasures of life. She cherishes long walks amidst the redwood forests of Rotorua, enjoys quality time with her close-knit group of friends, indulges in weekends away, maintains an active lifestyle through gym sessions, and relishes the warmth of a good cup of coffee.


doodlewear 'Christmas Bauble' art print Kiwi Christmas t shirt by artist Sarah McAlpine Art | photo credit: IG@lizzylizzyloulou


Navigating the Artistic Journey

Navigating the Artistic Journey, Sarah offers advice to those aspiring to turn their art into a full-time profession. Her guidance is straightforward yet profound: embrace the journey, find joy in the creative process, and don't shy away from making mistakes, as they serve as stepping stones to personal growth. To young or budding artists, Sarah emphasises the significance of staying true to their passions instead of conforming to external expectations. Reflecting on her own path, she would tell her younger self to seize the moment and "just do it," wholeheartedly pursuing her artistic dreams without hesitation.


Sarah McAlpine's journey as an artist is a testament to the enduring power of creativity and the fulfilment it brings. Her vibrant digital artwork adds a splash of colour to the world, reminding us all to embrace the joy of creation. Explore Sarah's whimsical world and discover the magic of her creations for yourself.

Are you ready to dive into the enchanting world of Sarah's artwork? Don't miss the chance to explore her captivating Doodlewear Collaboration Collection. Click the link below to embark on a colourful adventure:

Explore Sarah's Doodlewear Collaboration Collection HERE








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