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About Sarah

Sarah Skiold-Hanlin headshot

Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin

American & Swedish Artist

Lives & works in Hillsboro, IL, USA


Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin (pronounced ‘ɧœld-Hanlin’) is a passionate interdisciplinary academic, traveler, and humanitarian. She combines her diverse interests and skills to draw artwork with layered meanings, hidden imagery, and fine details.  “I love to challenge myself both in the medium and subject matter. The unforgiving nature of pen and ink forces me to commit to the page. Attempting to capture sound, motion, and time in a static image breaks my brain a little every time I attempt it. And subjects like music, animals, story-telling, and society are endless wells of inspiration.”


Her most recent highly detailed drawings can be broadly put into two categories: black and white animals and colorful expressive abstracts. To her, the desire to create both styles of work is a personal necessity on her journey to seek harmony.


She began her geometry-based animal series on Post-It Notes during a short-lived gig as an overnight EMT in a steel mill. “I was in grad school at the time and quiet nights were good for everyone... Animals, and ecology more generally, allow me to integrate my spiritual and science-based worlds. I use geometry, like the golden ratio and vesica pisces, as the foundation to create images that portray the spiritual meaning and character of an animal while including aspects of their lifecycle, habitat, diet, or place within the greater biosphere.”


Sarah’s colorful abstracts have always stemmed from a place of healing but to what end, that keeps evolving. “I began playing with this style of artwork in 2021 after I attended a healing retreat for first responders and veterans – shout out Warriors Ascent!...It opened my eyes to the work I could do to heal more fully from life and work-related traumas. More recently, the passing of my brother in late 2022 left a huge hole in my life. He was my friend and I helped care for him the last 6 years of his life. He loved music, and along with my late father, is responsible for my love of and passion for it. He also helped break me out of my shell and now I love to dance! Every time I get to work on a piece, I get the opportunity to keep both of their memories alive. I'm grateful I have a way to stay connected to them."


Sarah employs several drawing and blending techniques to achieve her signature clean lines, the appearance of "touchable" texture, effortless color transitions, whimsy, and intrigue. "There is always more to the drawing. Just when you think you figured it out, something else appears." Nearly every drawing is done with a set of archival ink pens of variable widths. For color, she uses saturation and blending techniques with illustrative alcohol-based markers.


Sarah recently made her fine art fair debut as an Emerging Artist at the 2023 Saint Louis Art Fair. Stay tuned! She is building her career as an artist and will be scheduling her spring and summer as the application decisions are made. Her work can be found on her website, at Artisans Off Main in Belleville, IL, and TBD art fairs in 2024. Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin’s drawings and limited edition reproductions can be found in private collections in Europe and across the United States.



2022-2024 Emerging Artists as Entrepreneurs Program - Saint Louis Art Fair

2017-2020 studied Urban Planning and Development - Saint Louis University

2015 MS Biological Sciences - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

2009 BS Fine Arts - Hofstra University

2009 BA Anthropology - Hofstra University


2024 - Merit Award - Art in the Loop (Memphis, TN)

Exhibitions & Festivals

2023 - Saint Louis Art Fair - Emerging Artist (Clayton, MO)

2024 - Art Fair at Queeny Park (Ballwin, MO)

2024 - Art in the Loop (Memphis, TN)



2014 - Str8 Up Magazine Cover (December)

2013 - Str8 Up Magazine Cover (October)

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