Meet the artist: Sarah Rosado, “Dirty Little Secrets”

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New York-based illustrator and photographer Sarah Rosado discovered an unusual medium for creating art – dirt.

“I wanted to challenge myself to do something totally different to what I was used to doing and unlike anything ever seen before,” 30-year-old Rosado said. “That’s how my dirt collection was created.”

In July 2013, born-and-raised New York illustrator and photographer Rosado began a mixed-media project she titled “Dirty Little Secrets.” A blend of art and photography, her series reveals unexpected beauty that can come from a not-so-pretty medium.

Of course, it’s not easy, it takes practice and having the artistic skill to draw is helpful in maximizing the output of the image, she said.

While the final output is photographs, the art starts as an illustration of sorts, using real dirt she sources from local parks. Rosado then shapes it into everyday objects or illustrations, adding accessories to create a 3-D effect that brings the piece to life.

Rosado said it usually takes her two or three hours to complete one piece (she has done 90, so far). After seeing other artists use food, flowers, and other things to create art, Rosario said she decided to do something raw and genuine and different, drawing inspiration from current trends, social issues, nature, life and spirituality to create something unique.

Each image has it’s own meaning, Rosado said. “Viewers can decide what they really see and what it means to them individually. Who knows, they may find some “dirty” little secrets.”