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Be inspired every day with Living North

Discover Sarah Westwood's Charming Canine-Inspired Prints

Canine-Inspired Prints Holly Photo Booth
July 2024
Reading time 2 Minutes

Yorkshire illustrator and dog-lover Sarah Westwood is the creative mind behind Sprocket The Dog

Based just outside Scarborough, her fun artwork (featuring her pawfect character Sprocket) is a celebration of our four-legged friends, capturing the bonds of canine friendship, and it adorns everything from greetings cards to placemats.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I went to the University of Huddersfield and graduated with a degree in Surface Pattern design. After leaving uni I went into full-time employment with a local stove manufacturer and I sold my work as a side hustle, selling at markets and art fairs. I then went full-time as an artist in 2015 for two years, then went back into full-time employment. Fast forward to Covid and I was full-time again, and I've been full-time ever since. It can be quite scary at times but I have lots of support from my lovely customers so we keep pushing through. I'm just getting back into markets and shows at the moment, and in September you'll find my work at the Bath House at Harlow Carr. I've also been a member of the Staithes Arts and Crafts cooperative for the last 14 years at the bottom of the village.  

Why did you get into art?
I've been drawing from a young age, often watching cartoons and drawing them very quickly (as they were moving on screen), then spending hours colouring them in. I've always been creative, it's my way of getting lost in my own world for a few hours. I love drawing and doing it for a living is just fantastic.

Where did the inspiration for Sprocket The Dog come from?
Back in 2007, I brought home a Weimaraner puppy called Sprocket. At that time I was doing original mixed media art and selling it at markets and fairs. One day I added a grey dog to one of my originals and it sold straight away. I was asked for more with the dog in so I started adding Sprocket to all my work. I changed to digital illustration in 2015 when I changed jobs and it involved long hours – it was a great way to stay creative on my breaks.

Holly Photo Booth
Holly Photo Booth

How would you describe your artwork? 
Fun, quirky, bright and cheerful. The aim is to make people smile.

What advice could you give to budding illustrators?
Be dedicated to your illustration, live and breathe it, be proud of your accomplishments and always cheer yourself on. Find a group of like-minded people who you can meet up with once a month and sit and discuss your work and talk about life. These people are full of ideas. I always come away from my networking group feeling inspired, and full of passion and enthusiasm.

What does the future hold for you and Sprocket?
I've got so many plans for me and my little dog. I'm planning to add more characters and at the moment I'm doing a short online course on animation so I'm hopefully going to be adding those to my content soon. I'd also like to expand my wholesale range and gain a few more shops. Most importantly I'm currently illustrating my own children's book!

Katie Elizabeth Photography

The best place for a dog walk in Yorkshire?
I adore walking at Cayton Bay and grabbing a brew at The Salty Dog. This beach is dog-friendly all year round. If you get there at the right time you can have the beach to yourself.

An item you couldn’t live without?
If the item was living and breathing it would be my lovely dog but I'd have to say my mountain bike – there’s no better way for me to switch off than riding my bike. I love riding natural trails with added steepness.

A book or podcast you recommend?
I love The Mel Robbins Podcast – especially the episode on neuroscience. In terms of books, I've enjoyed the author Inga Vesper and her books This Wild Wild Country and The Long Long Afternoon.

The best dog-friendly pub in Yorkshire? 
The Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge – stunning views no matter what the weather! It has a lovely cosy atmosphere and the stoves are always lit in winter and always very welcoming to dogs.

A hidden gem in Yorkshire?
The Yorkshire Cycle Hub – amazing views from the café, it’s dog friendly and has great food. It's hidden away and the walking on the moors or to the waterfall is just beautiful. Danes Dyke ravine is dog friendly, but if you walk through the woodland you end up at the sea and a bright white pebbled beach. It feels like a different country and on a warm day it's just glorious, it's so bright you need your sunglasses.

Find more of Sarah’s creations at To be in with a chance of winning four cards and four coasters, enter our competition here

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