Coming from a large family Sarah Jane Szikora was constantly looking for ways to amuse herself and soon discovered that drawing and painting were by far her favourites. She also made frequent trips abroad to her father’s native Hungary, encountering for the first time the larger than life ladies and gents who were probably the earliest influence for the characters in her paintings.
Although she found school to be an unpleasant experience Sarah enjoyed art and music classes, so it was natural for her to pursue an artistic career. Sarah completed a foundation course at Harrogate College of Art where she studied a range of subjects, including photography, sculpture and graphics. During this time she maintained a lifelong interest in simple drawing, and always enjoyed the life class most.
From Harrogate, Sarah went on to study illustration at Cleveland College of Art. The same interest in studying the human form continued and led to the development of the extreme figures in her work.
Sarah left Cleveland, taking with her an HND with distinction and a handful of paintings, but she didnâ€™t yet know how to turn her studies into a job, so the painting went on the backburner.
In 1991 Sarah set up a business called Wild Thing hand-making papier-mache models, ranging from twisted newspaper sheep to 7-foot giraffes. These were sold from a shop in York, and kept her busy for a couple of years until she decided to display the work she had left college with. The big girls with attitude sold surprisingly quickly and encouraged Sarah to concentrate on painting instead of her chosen career.
Since then Sarah Jane Szikora has been painting non-stop.