Sarah Firth is a comic artist, writer, graphic recorder and animator based in Melbourne.

Graphic Novel working shots and panels

Sarah Firth is a comic artist, writer, graphic recorder and animator based in Melbourne. Recently she received a Frankie Magazine Good Stuff Award, was a finalist in the Incinerator Social Change Art Award, and her graphic essay on complexity was listed in The Conversation's ten best literary comics in Australia. She has a fat stack of self-published work, and comics in upcoming anthologies with Abrams Books, Picador, Allen & Unwin and Affirm Press.

The Project

Sarah will take six months to focus on continuing the research, development and writing of her experimental graphic novel. The book is an exploration of thinking, embodiment and interactions, with internal and external worlds. It will draw from lived experience, conversations, observations, social science and philosophy. The format wanders idiosyncratically from the personal to the critical, weaving multiple ideas and perspectives together, to reveal new, playful and more nuanced ways of looking at shared problems and experiences.

Instagram @sarahthefirth

What does being awarded a Creators Fund grant mean to you?

It’s a dream come true! Six months of dedicated time, space and funding will not only fast track the development of my graphic novel, but also allow me to deep dive into focused research on complex topics that are essential for making this work robust and challenging.  

How important is 'time' to you, as an artist/creative professional?

As a writer and comic artist, it's the most precious thing–along with some space and quiet away from the noise and rush of life. So you can really think. Carving out time is always difficult. I’ve found this even more challenging in the years that I’ve been running a small business - where I am constantly pulled by the needs of my clients and unexpected interruptions. I’m committed to delivering exceptional client experiences, and that means my non-paid work often takes the back seat. Normally, I try to grab an hour early in the morning and an hour at night to get my writing and comics made. But as you can imagine this makes researching, writing and illustrating a book-length work incredibly slow. 

What are you most looking forward to over the months ahead?

Being able to focus on one project and go deep. What a privilege! Normally I am spread across multiple client and personal projects, juggling the competing demands. 

Where would like to see yourself at the end of this process? How do you anticipate your career will develop as a result?

At the end of this six months my goal is to have the complete draft of the graphic novel done, so I can pitch it to interested publishers–which is a big career step for me.