Sara Leady Runs in All Directions
New Anderson Artists Guild member Sara Leady completed a bachelor’s degree in English literature (and a minor in studio art) at Seattle University despite an enormous obstacle. During her senior year, she was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to undergo bone and bone marrow transplants. But she stayed in school throughout the whole ordeal. “I focused on graduating,” she said. “I never thought not graduating was an option.”
Afterwards, she came to South Carolina to stay with her parents while recovering and ended up with a job in the children’s department at the Anderson County Library. That led to a master’s degree in library science at the University of South Carolina, where she examined the use of visual literacy to foster social literacy. “I studied comic books and graphic novels—the visual representation of diversity,” she said. With support from both local and state libraries, she completed this degree while working full time at the Anderson County Library, where she now oversees creative programming.
She has spearheaded many additions to the library’s offerings, including Comic Con, a fan art contest. She is especially proud of the Makerspace, a room full of equipment and supplies for art and for crafts. There, any library visitor can use a large format printer, a heat press, a die cutter, Cricut tools, a computer with Photoshop and other design software, a sewing machine, and more. “It lets people come in and test before buying an expensive piece of equipment,” she said. (Look for more about the Makerspace in next week’s blog.)
As for her own artwork, Leady has gravitated towards mixed media. She finds inspiration all around her, from a 21-day challenge on Instagram that requires making a mark every day on a single spread to a female empowerment song called “Crown.” Her works make use of the supplies that surround her, from magazines discarded by the library to gel pens to textured papers and stamps. “I run in all directions,” she said.
For more information about Leady, visit https://www.instagram.com/fawksylibrarian/?hl=en.