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Q&A with Sara Blake

Illustrator & fine artist from New York | Illustration studio ZSO

Hi, I'm Sara Blake also known as ZSO. I'm an illustrator and designer living in New York City.


I use pencil, ink, watercolor, and textures that I make or capture digitally from cities I visit, as well as Photoshop.

© Sara Blake

Ideal work environment

My studio when it's clean and picked up. I can't work if things are messy. I'm very type A for an artist. I live and work all in one space and it works really well for me, but I have to stay well organized. I draw on one side of the room where I have an antique drafting table that is standing height where can I alternate between standing and sitting on a stool.

On the other side of the room I have a big desk where I scan, color and finish the work digitally. I also still do a fair amount of pure digital design work and it's great having a nice desk setup at home.

I have lots of books and art by friends or from places I've visited all over my space that help keep me feeling inspired and alive. My cat Eugene also helps keep morale up and provide organic disturbances.

Work inspiration

Mostly nature and textures and maybe even a little fashion. I also really love old folk art.

© Sara Blake

Creatives you admire most

James Jean, Yuko Shumizu, Joshua Davis, and Sougwen Chung are just a few visual artists I really admire, but I also will always deeply love and respect the work of Ernst Haeckel, Gustav Klimt, Hiroshi Yoshida, and 18th century ukiyo-e artists.