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Meet Sarah-Jane May of May’s Monsters in Chamblee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah-Jane May.

Sarah-Jane, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I credit my mom a lot with getting me interested in art. She would have me paint with her when I was really little, but the thing that stands out most for me was my Halloween costumes every year were always elaborate and fun. My mom would do these awesome makeup looks on me to go with the character and I loved it. When I got older, I found out about cosplay and this became my new fixation. The best part about cosplay is that it incorporates so many different creative skills. I’ve been able to build my skills with special effects makeup, sculpting, sewing, and a million other areas that go into costuming through cosplay.

When I decided to go to SCAD, I knew I wanted to do something that would be able to incorporate all these interests and I decided to go into their sculpture program. I knew studying sculpture would give me the ability to learn more about the process of creating prosthetics for special effects makeup. Last year I was selected for the Alcott fellowship which provides Fine Arts students the opportunity to visit New York for a week and this trip really inspired me to start working on more sculpture work. I’ve found myself falling in love with creating artwork all over again.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely has not been easy. I struggle a lot with anxiety and have pretty much my whole life. But I’ve found that art has always been extremely therapeutic for me, its something that I can get lost in doing and takes my mind off of things that bother me. In the past year, I’ve started making more work about the things that give me anxiety, and that’s where my entire body of work for my senior exit show “Relic” came from. I’ve been able to translate common themes of triggers of anxiety into beautiful science fiction works of art.

During the beginning of my junior year of college, I got into a pretty bad slump and was struggling to find the motivation to keep working on my artwork. Right around this time was when I was selected for the Alcott fellowship trip to New York and it really was the boost I needed to get back into creating. I got to see science fiction-themed artwork in the major museums in New York and that really excited me, that the themes I was interested in creating work about were on display. This past year has been full of a lot of really wonderful opportunities that have come along at just the right time.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with May’s Monsters – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I branded my art as May’s Monsters because May is my last name and I’m very proud of my family and where I come from. The “Monsters” part felt perfect to me because I liked the sound of an alliteration, but also because I do so many different things and it was a perfect way to tie in the sculptures, cosplay, and SFX; each of my creations is monster-like in some way or another. I love making science fiction themed work because I feel like the genre allows you to do just about anything.

One of my sculptures that I’ve been most proud of has been my Slug Series. I took an installation class at SCAD and we had a project where we had to create an installation within a specific space. My mind went to this illustration I had done a while back for inktober of a man in a hazmat suit covered in alien slugs, and I decided to recreate this as if it really happened. I wanted to make as many slugs as I possibly could out of silicone and have teeth and bones coming out of them. I ended up making 260+ slugs and sticking them to the walls and recreating the illustration. When I started thinking about why I made them, I realized they were a combination of things that cause me anxiety: my teeth and slugs. The slug design has even become my logo and something I’ve embraced because I feel like the concept is so personal to me and made me realize why I create art.

I also work at a local boutique in Chamblee called Hello Gorgeous and I’ve been doing their window displays. It’s such a creative and inspiring atmosphere and I love being able to collaborate with the team there to come up with these fun and interesting concepts. The window displays are always bright and cheerful and fun. I think what sets me apart from others is that I work in so many different types of media and genres, and I’m very good at developing an idea into something tangible.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’ve lived in Chamblee my whole life and it’s a part of Atlanta just inside the perimeter. It’s been interesting to see how much the city has changed and evolved over the past few years. I love the antique row and it’s where I’ve found a lot of inspiration for creating work. Each of the flea markets and thrift stores are unique and I feel like I can always find something inspiring to make something out of when I go shopping.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Charles Dodge

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