Ciara Langmead is sadlyciara - a Hamiltonian painter, visual artist, and psychedelia enthusiast. Known for her trippy “goblin” faces, crystals, animals, moths and flowers painted on canvases, accessories, ashtrays, and pipes, her colourful yet spooky style helps her stand-out amongst her peers, channeling the disturbed, the psychedelic, and the sweet.
Although born and raised in The Hammer, Ciara was never introduced to the local arts scene until her teens. “I tend to believe my personal style is all over the place,” she says. “One minute you see my trippy psychedelic goblin faces, but then I do cutesy crystals, moths, surrealist flowers, and faces every once in a while. One common way to grow as an artist is to view others' creations and learn from them. Even now I see people share artwork inspired by mine. I can tell where they added my style in, but were still figuring out their own.”
Langmead has also begun finding inspiration in other “boss babes.”
“Seeing women I relate to who hustle and work hard towards what they want for their business, creation, or whatever it is,” said Langmead. “As long as it’s a positive thing- it sort of feels like a motivation to strive for success for myself.”
The artist recalls having a passion for drawing since she could hold a pencil, or for as long as she can remember, at least.
“Not a lot of things held my attention like having some paper and pencils to doodle with,” says Langmead. “Due to my lack of interest for anything else, especially when it came to school, I’d often find myself in trouble for doodling when I should not have been, and for doodling on things that shouldn’t be doodled on.”
As a child, Langmead wasn’t creating much other than “questionable” doodles and blobs- as she aged and started to get the hang of it, the artist started copying drawings from Bratz and Barbie cartoons.
“As to how accurate the drawing was to the image on the screen?” she says. “I couldn’t tell you now, but in my mind it was a pretty decent replica. After that phase of drawing, I got very into YouTube tutorials on manga and anime characters. I often drew very square shaped heads with big beady eyes and some very questionable emo hairstyles.”
“I’ve definitely known for a long time that art, in whatever form, was going to be where I landed,” Langmead adds. “Whether it was dancing, art, or photography, I love exploring different art forms. I could never see myself doing or being anything else in the work field.
The first item she sold was a piece she created when she was 15.
“I had just started at an alternative education school program called Nusteel, dedicated to traditional arts, which was actually located on James Street North,” says Langmead. “While there, I learned to screen print in many different techniques. One of which I learned was on t-shirts. I had made a shirt of a hipster zombie with the quote, “skin’s so mainstream,” it was a hipster girl ripping her face off- I was very much in my zombie phase. I remember my first sale was a woman that used to help me back in mainstream high school to get me into that current program I was in, she was the first person to come out to my very first art crawl and make the first purchase of one of those t-shirts, and another art print I had made!”
Most of the artist’s profits come from her socials, as opposed to her Etsy, as most people avoid signing up for a whole other website.
“Often they just want to send a quick e-transfer and have the piece sent to them, which I totally understand, and am okay with,” Langmead says. “Another side is that people know how much Etsy takes from the shop owners and prefer to support the artist 100%. I’m still a very small artist and I still have a very long way to go, I do only rely on my artwork for income so every sale does count as most of it goes back into supplies to create more. Art Crawl is also a time where I pick up with my sales. I am so thankful for every person that stops at my table and looks at my little creations, because it’s such a different experience to see my artwork in person than through a screen, and I can tell just by the look on peoples’ faces when they come up to my table!”
Langmead is also the host of a Hamiltonian arts event called “Puff & Paint,” a cannabis-friendly painting course, where smoking is optional.
“Most of these events often are held as a follow-along class, where everyone’s sort of doing the same piece following the instructor,” she says. “My approach to these painting events is to just let people flow free. I held my first Puff & Paint back at the end of March, that night’s theme was ‘paint your own goblin night’- goblins are what I call my creepy little head creatures that many are fond of, and were very excited to have the opportunity to paint their own versions of.”
Cannabis hasn’t necessarily influenced the creator’s style, but it has influenced her to be more motivated and expressive with her craft.
“It helps me to not be as judgemental of my work and to not be as scared to release it out to the world and express myself,” says Langmead. “Cannabis has helped me grow as a person, but it would never influence my art style, because my art style has always been mine with or without Mother Ganja- but of course I do love a little push of creativity after a little smoke, it does help get the ideas flowing.”
Langmead is proud to see the artist she’s grown to become, but is open to her art evolving as time goes.
“I definitely think it’s really cool to see how my work progresses over the years, a cool part of being an artist is seeing how well I’ve progressed and how much I’ve grown through it all,” she says. “Surely my younger self would be mind-blown to see the work I’m making now.”
You can help support sadlyciara’s work by following her on Instagram, Facebook, and on her Etsy page.
“You can always look forward to seeing many different little projects such as; small paintings, big paintings, earrings, keychains, trinket dishes, etc.” Langmead says. “I could go on because truly I have so many things already in the works!”