We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara-Anne Waggoner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara-Anne, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Ever since I was young I’ve always been creative and leaned into my artistic abilities. I was constantly in my head & creating other worlds within my imagination. I would act out different scenes and write scripts & short stories. I was inspired by movies and TV shows and I always wanted to create my own stories & visions through the medium of filmmaking. I saw the movie Super 8 when I was in middle school and I loved the idea of adolescent kids coming together to make a movie. The idea of being a part of a project or something that is “bigger than me” has always been my dream. Art class was always my favorite time of the day, we got to express ourselves through painting, mixed media, drawing, & photography. Throughout middle and high school my art teacher Mrs. Leslie became one of my good friends and mentors. She even encouraged me to enter into a few regional photography competitions. Skip ahead a few years and I decide to study ‘Photo Media Art’ at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. While in college I ended up gravitating more toward photography & set design. The idea of creating a whole world & capturing just a moment in time with a still image was astonishing to me. I’ve always been the type of person who wants to try out many different art mediums. At the moment I am pursuing photography, set design, rug tufting, accessory design, & clothing design. I would still love to make a movie one day, so maybe that will be my next venture.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am interested in blurring the boundary between reality and fiction through photography and set design. Through a narrative approach to photography; I create hyper saturated environments that present a surreal vision of the everyday. The work hovers between distress and confusion, nostalgia and memory, past and present. I am very inspired by color, lighting, architecture, & any kind of dreamy aesthetic. The “dreamcore” aesthetic is definitely my favorite! I love working with a team while doing photoshoots, I think with everyone’s specific skills the shoot always turns out way better. I love it!!! I like to work with stylists, makeup artists, & models. Photography has been a great way for me to connect with other artists. During college, I became a freelance photographer. At first I was just working with my friends who were musicians & then I started getting hired by more musicians to do album art/ promotional materials. Around this same time I was starting a company with my sister called “The August Sisters,” where we hand-make colorful & bold earrings. After I graduated college I kept working on The August Sisters while also doing freelance photography & set design. In 2021, my sister and I have our own studio space where we make earrings, design sets, & have photoshoots! At the end of the day I just want to make people happy, feel confident, & have a good time! I’m super thankful for all the people I’ve worked with & all of my clients who put their trust into me and my art.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live & work in Chattanooga, TN! It is about 1 ½ hours away from Atlanta. My favorite thing about Chattanooga is our food! If you find yourself visiting Chattanooga definitely plan on eating a few meals & getting dessert. I definitely consider myself a foodie so I have a few recommendations. I highly recommend eating at ‘Taqueria Jalisco Ania’ if you’re craving tacos! They have a beautiful restaurant on the Southside of Chattanooga. If you want to get coffee or an iced chai latte I highly recommend going to ‘Sleepyhead Coffee’. They have one of the cutest shops where they sell amazing coffee, vegan pastries, & plants. If you’re plant based go check out ‘Cashew’ they have some of the best food in town with amazing dessert options! I’m obsessed with sweets so my favorite place to get dessert is at ‘The Ice Cream Show’, in my opinion they have the best ice cream ever. If you’re looking to shop & buy some cute curated items go check out ‘POMKT!’ The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out my mom, Lynette. Throughout my life she has encouraged me to pursue my art & all of my dreams. She has always remained true to herself & encouraged her kids to do the same. She wants us to be our most authentic selves. The past couple of years we have been working together on set designs & I couldn’t do it without her. I am eternally grateful for her & her unconditional love.