Sarah Jean Linquist


After graduating from Antioch College in 1973 with a degree in fine art and communications, Sarah moved to St. Louis, Missouri with her husband-to-be, Robert Fishbone. Together they established ON THE WALL PRODUCTIONS, a mural painting company. Over their first ten years she helped design and complete over one hundred site-specific artworks including Lindy Squared, a pre-computer, pixilated image that became a well-loved, St. Louis landmark.

In 1988, at the same time that Sarah had her first child, Tyler, she was hired to be a scenic artist at the St. Louis Municipal Opera (The Muny), the largest outdoor theater in North America. Sarah continued to work through the birth of her second child, Liza, in 1990. After ten summers working at The Muny, Sarah was named Master Scenic Artist and became Director of the Painting Department.

Sarah received many commissions to do mural work in both public and private facilities over the course of her career. Her whimsical approach, coupled with her ability to fill both large and small spaces with creative and unusual scenes kept her in high demand. During this time she also had exhibits of her studio artwork in both New York and St. Louis galleries.

She later helped design over 200 art-related products sold in museums and eclectic gift shops in twenty countries. These included the iconic Scream inflatable and the party game, Pin the Ear on Van Gogh.

Onward is Best, a Christmas Journey is yet another example of her delightful curiosity and artistic talent.

Click to see Sarah’s Website,

Click to see an article about Sarah in the St. Louis Beacon:

About the Book, In Her Own Words

This is an excerpt from a letter that Sarah wrote to a potential agent December 31, 2007, almost two years after her first diagnosis, and a couple months before she had a recurrence requiring major liver surgery,  and more chemo.

“The book, with the working title A New Home for Christmas, is a suspenseful Christmas fiction of a journey through strange and magical lands.  The over-arching theme concerns the anxiety of leaving home and venturing into the unknown.   The main character, Dolly, a wooden doll, succeeds by using the resources of her surroundings, by being perseverant, and by developing trust, love and self-reliance.

The illustrations were the impetus for this project.  As a child growing up in Chicago I was treated to an annual December trip Downtown to see the Christmas windows at Marshall Fields.  I have a vivid memory of plastering my face into the cold glass and blocking out all of the world with my hands until I was IN the enchanted, sparkly world.  With this in mind I strive to create a sense of wonder in the lands through which Dolly travels.  Each environment mixes found objects and elements handmade in a simple way.

I have spent my professional life as an artist knee deep in paint.  I create murals for most of the year.  I started out painting huge outdoor murals but now concentrate on residential and commercial interiors.  In the summer months I run the theatrical Scene Shop as the Master Scenic Artist for the St. Louis Muny Opera, an 11,000 seat outdoor theater.  Creating “sets” as the illustrations for this book is a natural outgrowth of what I do every day.”