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The life of an artist – Sarah Pooley

by Rebecca Thomson | Apr 08, 2019

Sarah Pooley is a contemporary painter who lives in Cambridgeshire, UK.  Twitter Art Exhibit

Sarah is a contemporary painter who lives in Cambridgeshire, UK. She has spent many years working in promotion, merchandising and window display. Sarah’s love of painting started in her mid twenties when in 2005 she studied with the Open College of the Arts. Sarah’s studies led her to complete a BA in Fine Art at the Cambridge School of art in 2015.

Did you always plan to be an artist?

I didn’t always plan on being an artist. When I was younger I wanted to be an interior designer. I did art and textiles at college and later had a good career as a Window dresser for 15 years. After having my children I felt I needed a change, so started to study painting and Art History from home through the Open College of the Arts. Then I moved on to complete my Fine Art BA (hons) Degree from The Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University in 2015.

"Truffle Tree", by Sarah Pooley - Oil, Gesso, Biro on canvas 68"x47" - Twitter Art Exhibit
"Truffle Tree", by Sarah Pooley - Oil, Gesso, Biro on canvas 68"x47"

What motivates you to start painting and do you paint each day?

I don’t paint every day, I have set days where I allow myself time to paint and I look forward to my creativity days! I’m always thinking and researching about my work and sketching in the evenings. This allows me to get on with my paintings on my art days.


Do you come across any practical challenges being an artist?

I’m fortunate to now have a home studio, although I didn’t always have this luxury. Up until recently, I had to continually retrieve my painting and easel from in and out of the garage. Although I have a home studio, I think I will have to rethink storage in the future; unless they all sell of course which would be amazing.


How tricky is it separating work time with downtime being self-employed?

I have my so-called day Job which I work part-time, and I have my career as an artist. I have a set schedule for work, painting, and downtime, and keep this fairly regimented as I don’t want my day job to encroach on my valuable painting time. I therefore mainly keep the weekends as my downtime.


What has been the most surprising thing about your career?

I think I surprise myself with how I continue to push my own boundaries and strive to succeed with my painting. I am my own number one fan, that sounds funny but I think you have to believe in yourself when you’re an artist as there are so many negative factors against you. It’s really important to keep pushing yourself on.

What influenced you to take part in the TAE?

Sarah Pooley, ‘Neon Corridor’, 2018 TAE - Twitter Art Exhibit
‘Neon Corridor’, 2018 TAE

I really enjoyed the way other artists all supported each other and connected from all parts of the world. The excitement surrounding the build-up of the exhibition and the hanging process is great and I am completely addicted to watching all the posts on social media surrounding the exhibition.

Where can people discover more about you and your artwork?

My website: or Twitter: @sarahpooley30

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