Sarah Zaidan

Featured In:
Sweet vol. 1, Sweet vol. 2

Sarah Zaidan was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1981 into a very artistically stimulating family. Her American interior designer mother and Arab architect father encouraged and nurtured her passion for art and storytelling, which manifested itself at the age of two when she discovered Greek mythology and proceeded to draw sequential narratives depicting centaurs and dryads on seven-foot-long sheets of paper.

This enthusiasm for visual narrative and folklore did not diminish as Sarah grew older. In fact, it dominated every aspect of her life, leaving her no other choice but to pursue a career in Sequential Art.

Sarah began her formal training in 1999, when she attended the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. During her senior year, she was chosen by Professor Bob Pendarvis to be one of the illustrators of THE BRISTOL BOARD JUNGLE, a graphic novel about a college comics art class (co-written by Bob and fellow professor Mark Kneece). She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Sequential Art in 2003. After a year of teaching Art History and Foundation Drawing classes to young Saudi women, Sarah decided to undertake a postgraduate study, earning a Master’s of Arts in Illustration with Commendation from Kingston University London in 2006. Later that same year, she displayed the work she produced over the course of the degree program at the Menier Gallery in London.

At the moment, Sarah is deeply engrossed in a practice-led PhD course of study that allows her to combine her two great loves of visual narrative and myths by creating an interactive visual collage that analyzes and deconstructs the superhero genre of comics (to be completed in early 2011). Sarah firmly believes that to understand one’s place in the grand scheme of the art world, one must understand what came before them, and this is why her biggest inspiration is history.

Sarah’s role models are artists who embrace stepping outside their initial repertoire of materials and techniques in order to communicate their ideas, such as Henri Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, Dave McKean, Randolph Caldecott, and Alphonse Mucha. She is passionate about colour and pattern, and always strives for the highest standards in everything she does.