Meet the Artist: Sharon Wegner-Larsen
Sioux Falls Painter/illustrator Sharon Wegner-Larsen is the creator behind OMEGAFAUNA. Drawing since she was old enough to hold a crayon, her works frequently incorporate vibrant colors, atmospheric washes of paint, and detailed linework. Inspired by nature, science, and mythology, you can check out her exhibit, Flight Ephemeral, at Exposure Gallery & Studios that also features works by illustrator and graphic designer Molly O’Connor. Purchase even more of her art at the upcoming ARtmart November 25 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Shriver’s Square.
The name OMEGAFAUNA stemmed from… an abstract description of lifelong interests that I explore in my work. Fauna is animal life. Omega is one of those wonderfully loaded words that means different things to different people, but is commonly used as “last” or “final.” It also sounds a bit sci-fi or mythological. I started using this invented word casually as an online moniker many years ago and it stuck.
I would describe my style as… illustrative and vibrantly colorful. I typically combine detailed linework with atmospheric washes of paint. Sometimes I work with just the inked line drawings and later add color digitally.
My love for art started… at the very beginning, since I can’t remember a time before I loved drawing. My parents would give me a big chunk of continuous feed computer paper (I’m dating myself here) and I’d just draw and draw, filling foot after foot of it with jumping dolphins and gnashing dinosaurs. My reference materials were stacks of Ranger Rick and Zoobooks magazines, science books, and Lisa Frank swag.
What inspires my work is… the wonders of the natural world around us, combined with the limitlessness of human imagination.
A moment in my career that stands out is… when a father randomly messaged me on one of my online shops to excitedly tell me that he bought a T-shirt with my T. Rex design on it for his young daughter.
Another local artist that moves me is… Marc Wagner. His work is always fun, surreal, and surprising in the best ways. His kindness, work ethic, and energy make him a leader-by-example in the local arts community.
A project I’m currently working on is… a series of jackalope illustrations, including seasonal themes for the upcoming holiday season.
You can see my work at… art shows and events around Sioux Falls, and online at my website.
The time of day I work best at is… the first part of the morning and late at night, when the world tends to be a bit quieter.
Some museums and places that get ideas going for pieces are… the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City and the Museum @ Black Hills Institute in Hill City. I’ve never met a museum I didn’t love, but those are my favorite South Dakota stops. Traveling with me is a mad dash from art museum to science museum — and any other museum I can fit into a trip! I also collect ideas while taking walks outside and observing nature. The changing colors of the sky, the shapes of trees, and the busy scurrying of fall squirrels are all inspiration.
One of my favorite spots in South Dakota is… Dinosaur Park in Rapid City. Like many South Dakotans, generations of my family have been captured in photos through the years at the feet of the grand green dinos, brushing wind-blown hair from their eyes to enjoy the view.
A place you can find me often in Sioux Falls is… McKennan Park on a long walk with my husband.
A guilty pleasure that I enjoy indulging in locally is… the #21 at Azteca. I’d eat there every day if I could.
My favorite part about creating a piece is… everything! I enjoy the entire process thoroughly! But if I had to choose just one part, it would be when a piece starts coming together towards the end. Even though it happens very gradually, there’s always a particular moment of realization for me when the piece leaves a washy ugly phase and transforms into something more polished. That moment still gives me a rush every time.
For more information, visit omegafauna.com.