About Sara

Sara Japanwalla

Sara Japanwalla is a Dubai based artist and fashion illustrator. Born and educated in Scotland for over 20 years, she attended the prestigious Leith School of Art where she did a foundation course in textiles, fine arts, sculptures and installations. She has a degree in Fashion Design and Technology, and has completed an intensive summer course on ancient painting techniques from the Michelangelo Institute in Florence, Italy, as well as a digital painting course from the SAE institute in Dubai.

Sara specialises in fashion illustration but frequently works on other artistic projects such as children's books and storyboard illustration, book covers, editorial, traditional painting commissions, children's wall murals, comic strips as well as live painting for fashion events and parties.

She regularly displays her artworks in exhibitions, online galleries and art cafes in Dubai and has been a finalist for the Young Designer Award at the Swarovski Bridal Show in 2007. Sara was also shortlisted and was one of six artists in Mercato's Community Art competition held at Mercato mall, and has been a finalist twice for Harper's Bazaar fashion illustrator of the year award in 2011 and 2012. Her illustrations have been published in a children's book, "Princess Charleston and the Isle of Palms" by American based author Kelly Sheehy DeGroot, as well as a book named "More Barsetshire Diary" by British author Lord David Prosser.

She had been selected as Grazia's "Ones to Watch" in the December 2011 issue specifically for her artwork, and had won Quint Magazine's Ramadan artist competition in 2011. Her work has been included in the Visual Arabia 2012 yearbook.

She has been featured in Grazia Magazine, Emirates Woman Magazine, Quint Magazine Masquerade Magazine and A2 magazine. Her clients include Make up artist Dennie Pasion, Dubai Model Management, Franklin Eugene Menswear, Desert Fish Magazine, fashion boutique Reemami, ADCB bank, Radio 1's Sheena Kay from The Sheena Show, West LA boutique and Gulf News.

Artist Statement

I like to create art that is descriptive, rich and textured. Whether it is conveying the drama and passion of flamenco or the delicate frailty and softness of a ballet dancer, I strive to create a mood, an atmosphere and a sense of spontaneity.

My fashion Illustrations are bold mixed media with energetic splashes of dyes and a haphazard angular technique of sketching which gives it a fresh impulsive appearance. I also like to experiment with line variation and stylisation with my figurative works.

My paintings take inspiration from real life - infused with saturated colours, texture and expressive brushstrokes they expose a surreal dreamlike version of reality from my imagination.