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5 Creative Questions with… Sarah Firth

Sarah Firth is an artist, graphic recorder and writer. We went to school together and even then, it was obvious she was talented. I have some hazy Sarah-related memories - for example, I am sure she sculpted several large terracotta ears and gave one to me. I believe it's still in the garden of my childhood home, listening.

Even apart from her creativity, which springs out of her in all directions, I was sure she'd succeed. This is all a bit hazy - Narrabundah College was a long time ago - but I'm pretty sure I was moping in art class. Some artwork of mine had to be trashed and started again. The teacher mentioned that something had also happened to Sarah's works - like, an entire series. Either they were smashed or lost or they didn't survive the kiln, whatever it was. This would have had me sobbing on the floor, but, the teacher said, Sarah had simply gotten on with the work of replacing what she had lost. This - this was it. The ability to handle art-related setback. From then, I knew she'd go far. And I was right. This week is the Sydney launch of her graphic novel, Eventually Everything Connects. I'm writing this while recovering from surgery and it would be remiss not to mention my favourite of Sarah's comics: Every fear contains a wish. That one is beautiful and resonant to me. Also true. My fear of my surgery, of the pain and the unknown, contained a wish. Upon resolving my current health issues, I will be able to fly again. That's the little gem inside the shadowy monster, for me.

Sarah Firth. Photo Phoebe Powell

Sarah Firth is the 13th in my series of creatives to take five questions.

When my creative process is stuck, I reach for… another nearby project to keep momentum going. Put pen to paper and doodle and write. Journal out the feelings. Or I go for a walk, dance or do gardening.

The weirdest thing about being a creative human is… creativity can strike at any time! I am always paying attention to big and small things. My unconscious is always grazing on life.

The most unusual object in my house is… maybe a giant cardboard cloud hat with pearl rain drops hanging from my roof? Or maybe it’s the cardboard axolotl head on the wall, or the crab hat or giant seagull head? Maybe the giant cardboard mobile phone? They always surprise and delight people. They are handmade props from dress up parties and events.

I celebrate my achievements by… sharing about them with people I love. Writing about them, keeping media articles and awards in a big folder. Sometimes I go out for a nice meal. Sometimes just a little ice cream treat? I like to celebrate the small and big wins.

Something in the world that already exists that I wish I had created is... most of the innovative and amusing Chindōgu (珍道具) inventions. Particularly those little shoe umbrellas, the toilet roll hat and the baby mop outfit.

The Sydney launch of Eventually Everything Connects by Sarah Firth (Joan Press, $34.99) is on Friday 24 November at Better Read Than Dead, Newtown, 6:30 pm-8pm. Details and tickets here. More about Sarah at Sarah Firth (

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