Catching up with Artist Sara Fitzgerald O’Brien

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We had the pleasure of chatting with Sara Fitzgerald O’Brien, a mother and artist who grew up in West Newbury, Massachusetts and now calls York Harbor, Maine home.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Sara Fitzgerald O’Brien and I am a watercolor stationer. After taking some time away from the industry to be a full-time mama, my husband and I are currently rebranding and relaunching a studio that I founded back in 2007. Sara Fitz will begin taking orders this summer, and will not only cater to lovely weddings across the country, but will offer lines of personalized notes and art prints for the home.

Your watercolors are absolutely beautiful; would you count yourself as someone with some raw artistic talent out the gate?

I’ve certainly been interested in the arts for as long as I can remember. As a girl, I took private painting lessons from my school’s instructor, and in high school, seemed to live in the art room. I went on to study architecture in college and graduate school, but did get minors in painting and visual arts. Being a creative is definitely all I know!

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When did you realize your work might be a good fit for wedding invitations?

When my husband and I got engaged, I decided to make our save the dates. Very soon after we mailed them out, friends and family excitedly asked about them and where they were from. The ball started rolling from there. I had just graduated and took a leap of faith–diving head first into the industry. Pretty soon, I was designing papers for client weddings and getting some recognition in the press.

You are a mother, and an entrepreneur, how do you create space for both?

Yes, I have two young boys and they are fabulous, wild little men! Spending as much time as possible with them is always my priority. I do, however, have a true entrepreneurial spirit– a deep drive to accomplish something ‘big’. Balancing it all can be a definite struggle, though working alongside my husband is an incredible luxury. We’re able to have a somewhat flexible schedule, spending quality time with the boys whenever we’re able – fitting in lunch at the beach, going for bike rides after school– making sure there’s time for family, even when our work calendar is full!

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Tell us what a typical day looks like in preparing for the launch of your new studio opening.

A typical day involves an early wake-up–answering emails or jotting down ideas for our new site and blog before the sun comes up! Once the boys awake, figuring out their schedule for the day and keeping my to-do list on track is where the balance comes in. Some days I’m in the studio painting for hours at a time, others we’re deciding on our new product packaging or setting up our work spaces.

Our last, and favorite question, what are you grateful for?

Oh gosh. I am grateful for so many things at this point. Of course, my wonderful family. Being a mom will always be my greatest achievement. I am thankful, everyday, for the ability to live in this gorgeous seaside town, surrounded by such beauty and inspiration. I’m extremely grateful for our clients, who bring us into their wedding planning process and trust me to create papers for their day that are meaningful to them for years to come. And I am so very thankful for those that appreciate my work, in turn, allowing me to continue doing what I love!

Thanks so much to Sara for talking to us! Be sure to support your local artist and check out her website!

Elizabeth shares her life with kids in Maine (previously Newburyport) on her blog, Newburyport Daytripper. Be sure to catch up with her on Instagram, and check out all of her posts here.

Image credit: Brea McDonald

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