Collaboration Eight: Sara Zanigni

Tell us a little bit about yourself and a fun fact!

I’m Sara, an Italian collage artist and graphic designer based in Edinburgh. I use collage to translate stories and memories into compositions. I work both on personal collages and close to my clients on bespoke pieces, using digital and analogue techniques.

 

 

I’m passionate about self-discovery, yoga and hiking. 

After my graduation in architecture, I moved to Spain with the idea that I would say “just six months” for an internship. This quickly turn into two years of an amazing experience, where I met wonderful people and a culture that made me feel at home. During those years, I bloomed as an artist and I opened two exhibitions. Those were important steps of my growth, as I realised that people connected with my art and read their own stories in my collages. 

I now live in Edinburgh, where I share my flat with my partner Gregor and all my green friends . 

Scotland is a place that amazes and inspires me every day with its stunning landscapes, shapes, colours and lights. And no, if you were wondering, I don’t mind the rain.

A fun fact about me? 

I take pictures of abandoned shoes I find in the street and share them with my sister. It always makes me wonder how they got there, and why.

 

What made you get into collaging?

I’ve always been a creative person, but for many years I struggled to find the technique that allowed me to translate my emotions into visuals. 

During my Erasmus year in Cracow, back in 2017, something changed. At the time, I followed a lot of collage artists on social media and I remember being fascinated by it. One afternoon, I decided to try myself. I remember feeling proud of my work and freed, because I could finally translate feelings into a composition. But the most important thing is that I accepted my own work.

Since then I never stopped collaging. Now, four years later, I can see all the progress I made and I can track phases and steps of my emotional development through my work. 

 

Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new artwork?

  

Feelings are always my primary inspiration. Collage is a way for me to express emotions and experiences I am living. 

At times my inspiration source varies, though it remains linked to what life brings me in the moment. To give you an example, since I moved to Scotland I started using pressed flowers in my compositions. This is because I am spending more time in nature, and this has obviously an impact on my work. 

At the moment, self-discovery books are inspiring most of my work.

What has been your favourite project to work on?

This summer a lovely couple commissioned me a set of personalised collages for their wedding, as presents for their guests. I hand-made each piece, with paper and pressed flowers, following the theme of the wedding of “joy and laughter”. I loved making every single piece and most of the time I would find myself laughing while I was making collages. 

The best feeling is when I have fun doing what I love.

 

 

What do you do to relax and have a mindful moment?

Collaging! Whenever I make a collage, especially handmade pieces, I feel relaxed and at once with my feelings. 

Apart from this, I make sure to take time during the week to take care of myself, as if I don’t I just tend to fill my week with things to do. I regularly practice yoga and shiatzu classes, and hiking most weekends. Spending time in nature is the most calming thing for me, as I know I am fully present in the moment. 

Favourite restaurant?

Dishoom, Indian restaurant in Edinburgh. I discovered it during lockdown and I fell in love with it. Growing up in Italy, I didn’t have many opportunities to eat Indian food, but here in Scotland I had the chance to discover this amazing cuisine, and Dishoom is definitely my favourite!

Small brand shout-out! Please name your fave three indie brands

@Formaje, a cheese shop based in Madrid, with a really good eye for aesthetic.

@Treen, a vegan fashion retailer based in Edinburgh. I love their style and the staff is really friendly!

@Matere, a conscious stationary design business that makes beautiful pieces using premium materials.

Lastly, what positive things are you looking forward to the rest of this year?

Creating my own calendar! I’m going to make something special combining collage with my passion for papers. I have lots of amazing types of paper at home, with different textures and colours, so I’m planning to make a limited edition batch of handmade calendars, all with different papers.

  

I’m also looking forward to spend Christmas in Italy with my family this year, as last year I couldn’t join them. I cannot wait for the festive time, the family gatherings, the amazing food, and the long walks on Lake Garda.

 

You can have a browse of her lovely website here. 

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