Spotlight: Saskja Cook, Drawing Artist and Coloring Book Author
Living in Cork, Ireland, Saskja Cook (aka Sassy) has always loved to draw. When a devastating accident injured one of her children and she stayed home to care for him, she started drawing again. Now with three published coloring books, and three more planned for this year, she has an active business creating art!
Have you always wanted to do what you are doing? If not, what made you decide to start?
I have always loved to draw and used to sit for hours colouring with my grandfather while he painted. Life tended to get in the way of ever focusing on publishing a book. In December of 2016, my then 6 year old son had a nasty accident, and I had a few months where we were pretty much confined to the house, so I started drawing again and put together my first book – and haven’t looked back since!
Where do you find ideas for your work?
I live in rural Ireland, surrounded by amazing landscapes steeped in history and fairy tales. I love the fantasy world and being here with my family and friends really helps me to dream up new pages.
How do you get into a creative mindset? When is your most productive creative time?
I definitely work better in the morning, but this could be because my children are in school (they are 18, 11, 7 and 4). But I do a lot of my planning and sketching in the evenings
Do you think that creativity is part of human nature or is it something that must be nurtured and learned?
We are all creative in our own ways, we all possess a talent. It’s how we find, encourage and nurture our talent that makes it great. To be great at anything you have to remember that you always have more to learn!
When you begin to create, do you have a finished product in mind?
I always sketch my idea first, very roughly, sometimes just general shapes. Then I sit and draw my page in pencil. When I am happy with how the page looks I retrace with pen, tweaking where I need to. My style is ever changing, and I hope that it is growing. I love to draw cartoon style and shy away from realism. I do very much dislike drawing hands and feet, so many times they will be blocked out in my pages!
What does your creative space look like?
My work space is currently a desk in my bedroom as my eldest daughter stole my office so she didn’t have to share a room with her sister!! But I hope to get it back at some point. LOL
What are your favored/most used tools and materials? Why do you use them?
I am happy with a pencil and my fine liners. I mainly use 0.3, 0.5 & 0.8. Of the many different makes of fine-liners I have tried, at the moment I am using ‘STA pigment liners’.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
The best advice I have been given is to enjoy what you do. If you get too caught up in deadlines, marketing, social media etc., you start to lose the joy that got you started in the first place. While you have to deal with these things, don’t get too wrapped up in them – especially social media.
What was the biggest obstacle that you encountered on your creative journey? What did you learn from it?
My biggest obstacle is trying to keep a good balance between drawing, work and family. Trying to make sure that I stay current in the colouring world while attending to the other aspects of life. It is a massive juggling act but am learning to delegate in my life and it makes it so much easier.
What do you hope the next year will bring?
The plan for the coming year is to publish another 3 books, I also am hoping to start simple drawing tutorials for You Tube. I normally plan out my year by the month and always look back at the end of the year and think – well that looks different than what I planned!
Where can people see your work?
I have a website, a Facebook page, a Facebook group dedicated to my work and I always post my first sneak peaks of books and pages on Instagram. I sell on Etsy for those who like PDF downloads and Amazon for those who like to buy physical book.
Read about other inspiring makers on Create Whimsy.