Draw Deal

Illustrator and comics-maker Sarah Welch leverages her extensive artist network to make a lasting impression.

Johnny Than
0049_Main St Marquee Sarah Welch _060419_JTP

Artist, illustrator and comics-maker Sarah Welch epitomizes the idiom “everything’s bigger in Texas” in her work: Downtown denizens may have noticed her epic, billboard-sized illustration on Main, depicting travelers reading on a train. Welch also soars with her newest installation, a 27-foot-wide South Texas landscape triptych in IAH’s Terminal C. But even her comics, meant to be hand-held and enjoyed at a smaller scale, are larger-than-life. The latest chapter of her comic-book series releases in November; Brazos Bookstore hosts a launch party on Nov. 8.


Her sci-fi-inspired comicsHer sci-fi-inspired comics

The Texas City native has pursued her career in the arts since high school. The hip, chestnut-haired artist sporting sleek, clear-framed glasses attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and moved to H-Town following graduation. “Once in Houston, I tried to meet as many other artists and arts-adjacent folks as possible,” Welch says. “I told anyone who’d listen that I do illustration for hire. That’s more or less been the approach for the past eight years: Try to socialize, make art, make comics, and do illustration gigs whenever I can.” 

The hustle has scored Welch gigs around the city, including a residency at Lawndale Art Center in 2016. She also co-organizes Zine Fest Houston, which is held each fall and highlights “zinesters” who self-publish magazines and other underground media. 

In the workshop north of Downtown she shares with significant other and biz partner James Beard — “Ten years and counting,” she smiles — Welch has been hard at work on the second chapter of her comic series, Holdouts. “We published the first chapter in May 2017, pre-Harvey. It’s a sci-fi comic that envisions what the Texas Gulf Coast might look like, and what the experience of living here might be, in a reality where climate change continues to go unchecked.”

One glance at Welch’s work and you wouldn’t believe that she hasn’t been creating comics her whole life. “When I got to Houston in 2011, I lived in an itty-bitty four-plex apartment, and all I had was a 4-foot-by-2-foot desk for work space,” she says. “So making comics became a way to contain expansive worlds and ideas within a physically small package.”

AT TOP: Sarah Welch’s Main Street mural is up through mid-November

Art+Culture
With Expertise in Blondes, Extensions and More, the Janelle Alexis Team Is a Go-To Salon

YOU CAN'T LIMIT Janelle to one title – Hairdresser. Her career and business has been established and built on a strong foundation. Using her two business degrees + one more in-process, this enables Janelle and the team to deliver not only a customer-focused experience, but a foundationally solid business. There is much more than meets the eye, and in sharing a little bit about Janelle, she was not only an international hair extension educator for over 14 years, but brings extensive expertise to blondes. She rounds this out with her previously launched namesake cosmetic line, which is a perfect complement to her belief that “Beauty is our Business”.

Keep ReadingShow less

AS WE PRODUCE our second annual “Cool 100” list, we’re reminded of our thoughts as we debuted this feature last year. We acknowledged that deciding who and what is cool is not only a moving target but also entirely subjective. And that attempting to “rank” the coolest people in Houston is a fool’s errand, one that will leave us immediately open to criticism. “You think she is cooler than him? You included this person?! You left off that one!?"

Keep ReadingShow less
People + Places

Gragner's (photo by Marco Torres)

THE MUSEUM DISTRICT hasn't always been the easiest place to open and operate a restaurant, for some reason. But there's a Houston couple who seems to have gotten the hang of it — and today they unveil their newest concept on Binz St.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food