Name: Sara Duncan
Location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Favorite artistic medium: Digital Art- Graphic Design and Photography
How long have you been riding: 16 years
Barn Kid Turned Digital Art Genius
I loved spending as much time at the barn as I could when I was little. I loved to ride and learn as much as I could. I got my first camera when I was 12 and that was what started it all. I would take hundreds of photos every time I was there of the horses and riders. That’s what started me in photography and the beginning of my digital art. Around the same age, I learned about the paint program on computers and how you could change images and backgrounds. I would change all the images I took at the barn all the time into something different. A few years later I purchased Photoshop and my designs have only gotten better since.
A “Once in a Licence-Time” Moment
A defining moment for me, that my work was good and could become a career, was when my design was selected for Equine Canada’s “Once and a Licence-Time” Contest for the design of their sports license card for the 2016 year. When I was selected it was an eye opener that I could do it and my work was something that interested people. Not long after I was announced the winner I was asked to design websites, logos, and offered to photograph clinics and horse shows.
I would love to make my work into a full-time professional job. I started my own small business called Paniemoniam Graphics and have started creating work for clients. My hope is that it will grow into something I can do for a living and not on the side or be hired for a company to continue my passion for art and design. A horse company would be a bonus!
Horses make creating and working fun for me. I don’t look at my art as work, I look at it as fun, relaxing, and rewarding. I love using horses as my inspiration because of how free they always look. When you take a photo of them or just watch them they are always real. They don’t pose for a photo or act. They are who they are in images and you can capture so much about them and their personality. All horses inspire me but I would have to say my own horse inspires me the most. I have had him since I was 11 years old and has helped be grow and learn. When I was learning to take better photos I would use him as my subject as well as for my digital images.
I created this image for Equine Canada for a contest they were hosting called a “Chance in a license time” where the winner would get their design on their sports license for the year, which was also the year of the 2016 Olympics. This piece means the most to me out of everything because it was able to travel to multiple places in the world and professional Canadian riders would have them. Not to mention the horse is my own so a little part of him and me was with our Canadian riders everywhere.
Canadian Proud took all together one week to create. The horse head alone took a week to create with all the line drawing and color selecting that would make it look real. The background and to this image was created in 2015 with the horse head as the main focus. I then liked the watercolor look that I was playing with and learning at the time and it just seemed to fit the feel when I was trying to create something to enter the contest with when I had heard about it. I went with the Rio colors that they had selected for the Olympics and then the Ride to Rio slogan was something Equine Canada wanted to be included.
When I received the email that my design was selected as the winner I was so ecstatic and couldn’t believe it out of all the entries they had to choose from. From there I was lucky enough to be there for the revealing of the sports license and see many fellow riders with my work in their hand at their shows and knowing that it would be traveling to the Olympics that year as well.