Sarah Cunningham is an illustrator from Dublin, Ireland. She is inspired by all things patterned & loves anything with a sense of magic to it. Sarah graduated from NCAD with an honours degree in Fine Art Painting & has since had her work published in several magazines & books. Inspired by fairy-tales and myths, Sarah aspires to one day become a real mermaid!


What got you in to independent publishing?

My work has always had a narrative, a backstory to make the image a little more fun or engaging to the viewer, so going in the direction of comics and zines just seemed like a natural progression to me.

What do you make/publish?

My work is cute and whimsical, sometimes with a twist. I like to make images that are interesting to look at so my work is often quite detailed. Patterns play a huge role in my work, I take a lot of inspiration from vintage fabrics and old tiles, china cups etc

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on family portraits for people, which I’m really enjoying. These portraits often include pets, and sometimes I’m asked just to do a portrait of the pet!

Who/what inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere, in movies from my childhood, patterned china cups, street fashion etc.. but the one thing that has left it’s mark on my work, above all the rest, is travel. Meeting new people, exploring different countries and being immersed in new cultures has changed my work (and how I view the world) profoundly.


Who are your audience?

I used to label myself as a “Children’s Illustrator” but in the past few years I’ve found that a lot of adults buy my work, or commission my work for themselves, which is awesome! I am an adult with the imagination of a child and I love children’s books, so it’s great to see other adults enjoying my children’s illustrations and comics. To be super cheesy, I think my work appeals to the young and the young at heart.

Have you exhibited at the Dublin Zine Fair before? How did it go?

I am proud to say I’ve taken part in all of the Zine Fairs except for the 2nd one as I was out of the country. My work has always been received very well at the Zine Fair, and that’s one of the things that prompted me to continue to make comics. I love the zine fair! There’s such a great buzz of creativity and camaraderie that you can’t help but get caught up in the zine world and all the delights it has to offer.

Tell us a joke!

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom?

Because the ‘p’ is silent….