Sarah Neis is an artist living in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. She was born on August 24, 1975 and grew up in St. Louis, MO, only later moving to the Des Moines area. She is now married and has two children and a stepdaughter, as well as a beagle named Harold.
Sarah was Montessori schooled until the age of eleven, then moved to Iowa where she attended public school. She says Montessori school is what fostered her creativity, citing their encouragement of individualism and self-exploration. Sarah eventually dropped out of high school in 1990, but returned to get her GED four years later. She briefly attended DMACC but was forced to take a break from college due to mental health concerns. Now, twenty-five years later, Sarah is returning to school to study art concepts. Though her life has been tumultuous at times, her love of art has remained consistent.
She first started drawing in 1989 using Microsoft Paint in her freshman year shop class and developed her skills from there. Sarah took a long break from her art, but was encouraged to begin again when she got a new computer to experiment with 3D art programs like Paintshop Pro. Focusing mainly on scenes from daily life, Sarah is inspired by real photos and even music videos. Sarah describes her music taste as “eclectic,” including artists like Primus, Venus Hum, and AJR. She has a folder on her computer to collect inspiration photos she finds in music videos and online.
Sarah’s art primarily features women and sometimes their pets. She gives every woman she draws a name by looking at baby name lists online and finding one that suits her latest subject. Giving her drawings names is more than just titling a piece of work. Each woman Sarah draws develops a personality in the process. She imagines what they do, who they are, and even what their pets’ names would be. In order to portray the women realistically, Sarah says that they have to become real in her head.
Sarah also draws commissions and has been featured on several art websites, earning herself titles such as “Artist of the Month” and being featured in some promotional showcases on those websites. She is excited by the opportunities digital art has opened for her and hopes to further her career even more. Sarah is also interested in writing and has considered combining these talents to create comic books. For now, though, she is content making art for her galleries.