The Isle of Barra Distillers Co
We are huge lovers of Sarah’s artwork and designs. Not only are they bright and beautiful but also intriguing. We realise that the photos do just about all the talking for Sarah’s fantastic work but we wanted to find out more. And so here we are sharing with you the designer behind it all.
Sarah Leask is a Scottish illustrator & designer from The Shetland Isles. Sarah LeaskStudio grew from her love of colour, pattern and watercolour.
Her work focuses around Scottish heritage and culture - always finding inspiration in this beautiful country. There is a strong island theme found in her designs too, highlighting some of Scotland’s harder to reach treasures.
“The map artwork that I create actually all started around 3 years ago. I was living in Aberdeen and thinking of home. I really wanted to make art as a reminder of Shetland, for myself but also for anyone else who may be feeling the same. The response was amazing, from friends and family initially, and later from tourists when I started to sell through a few local gift shops and convenience stores. From there I have taken the idea forward and painted many parts of Scotland, the islands in particular, as there is something really special about them which captures people's hearts from all over.
The gin bottle artwork that I make came later when I decided I would do my brother's wedding stationery for him - they didn't have much choice in the matter! I had been really interested in creating wedding stationery but hadn't really had the opportunity to do any so it was perfect. As gin lovers, they really wanted a gin theme. I created 11 bottle designs for their seating plan and from there realised that the idea had a lot of potential for my product business too. My Scottish Gin tea towel is now one of my best sellers!
I was delighted when Barra Gin got in touch with me to discuss creating a bespoke design for their brand as I love collaborating with other small businesses. They seemed to really like my existing work and trusted me to create two designs for them without a tight brief or too many specific constraints, which I loved. It gave me the freedom I needed to create work I was proud of and worked well on my products, in a similar style to my other work too.
The map design was created using watercolour and my signature rainbow colour palette. I use pencil to very lightly draw out the map before adding paint. The artwork is then transferred onto my computer to be cleaned up and made ready for print.
I use a similar process for creating the bottle artwork, although the main difference is, I draw out the design first, using fineliners to build up detail. Watercolours is then added afterwards, washed over the pen drawing giving it colour and texture. The colours and style of the Barra gin bottle made for a lovely design - I really like how it transferred onto the white of the melamine products!”
You can find out more about Sarah Leask Studio by visiting her website on this link;
A special thanks to Sarah for creating the most incredible products for Isle of BarraDistillers. The artwork and designs have truly captured the spirit of Barra and our Barra Atlantic Gin. We can’t wait for you all to have more of Barra at home soon!
Our bespoke products made by Sarah Leask will be available to purchase on our website soon. We will keep you informed when these become available through our newsletter, website and social media platform.