Sarah Spann James aka SJ is an American digital artist with 10+ years of experience as an illustrator and designer. Her style vacillates between melancholy and playful, favoring bold lines that are a nod to comic book art with a penchant for subtle cyberpunk and dark elements. Sarah's work touches on topics of overthinking, anxiety, and things left unsaid. She is inspired by surrealism, memento mori, and vanitas.
While she is currently based in the Pacific Northwest, no matter how far she ventures she will always be the girl from Santa Fe. Her art mecca hometown shaped her in immeasurable ways as both an artist and a human and continues to influence her artistic approach today.
Born into a family of artists, SJ's first art lessons were taught by her grandmother and aunt in the back room of the art gallery they owned. During her childhood, SJ frequently drew and participated in a few art contests and mural painting projects. As a teenager, she began learning digital illustration and graphic design. She also started exploring photography as a teenager, first with conceptual and street photography and later with paid gigs in real estate photography. In college she studied art history, drawing, and graphic design.
Over the years her illustration work has been available not only as prints, but also on apparel, home decor, and party supplies. Her design work has also been featured on a few book covers and regional magazine ads. In Q4 2021, one of her sneaker designs was featured prominently in a national holiday television ad spot for Zazzle in the U.S. market.
In 2022, SJ decided to embrace a personal and professional evolution by redefining and rediscovering herself as an artist and a person. At this time, she decided to step into Web3 as a digital artist creating NFTs. This pivot in her professional life to Web3 aligns with her hopes for the future and her impassioned stance on making art more accessible and more inclusive.