Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ali Sabin

Links to Ali's Etsy site, facebook page, and blog site are at the bottom of this interview.


I'm Ali Sabin of IPullPrints. I'm a web developer by weekday and printmaker by night, weekend, holiday or any other chance I can snag. I make ole timey prints; ole timey by craft, technique, design, and theme. I stick (mostly) to block printing and adore every second of the process.


Fascinated with replication and mid-century advertisement, I strayed from my origins in painting/drawing (BFA withstanding) and set up a tiny area in my half-renovated kitchen for printing. I carved and pulled my way into covering my entire kitchen with tiny "on-location" prints, all over the walls, hanging like used-car-lot flags from tables, counters and even the ceiling. More contented with the process than the product, I never intended on selling anything till a successful artist friend suggested I rid myself of these hundreds of prints...and so it continues.

As mentioned I'm renovating my 1950's asbestos cottage and its become, well, a giant studio. I generally use every room in my home for some printing purpose: the yard for thinking, drawing, the den for carving/inking/etc, the kitchen for drying, the restroom for rinsing tools and blocks, the bedroom for photos and staging, and the puppy's room for organization, cataloging and storage.

Best/Worst About Printing:

I always lose myself in the carving step of the print process. Addicted to tedium, I could carve for hours and never tire. I could, however, live without the packaging portion. As a result, I've adjusted to printing on wood panels (links were here)


My inspiration changes every day and, said change, is triggered by anything and everything; by an old drug-store sign, a cigar or candy wrapper, an unconventionally beautiful person, an old building, vehicle or bicycle. I "covet what [I] see everyday".


After three years of printmaking, I've definitely allowed myself to go full-throttle with the detailing of my work. At first, I stuck with cleaner, more bauhaus-styled designs but now, I throw caution out the door and try to get as detailed as possible. I've ruined many blocks trying to carve-out itsy teensy nooks and crannies but see it more as useful experience than failure. I, very fortunately, studied art installation and watercolor under the great Robert Stackhouse and will never forget his emphasis on working in a more process-oriented mindset than trying to foresee a predictable outcome (not directly quoted of course). I've carried that snippet with me for over ten years and it hasn't failed.


The aforementioned adage also helps my through the slumps. A while ago, I was terrified of letting go of my work: "what if I never make anything as 'good' as this piece is?" Now, I rarely hold onto anything I make. Whether it’s good, bad, frustrating, whatever, it’s out of my hands, literally and metaphorically, gone, out the door either sold or donated. It seems that the more I'm surrounded by my old work, the longer my slumps sustain.


To promote I rely on local shows, donating pieces, facebook, etsy, associations ie, Printsy) gifting, etc.) At shows, I generally have some kind of kitchy gimmick like a scratch-n-win game where I give away a bunch of prints but its alot of fun, folks seem to dig it.

Lastly, advice:

Don't forget to do your interviews in a timely fashion. Do as I say, not as I do

Ali's Etsy Site
Ali's Facebook Page
Ali's Blog


Greenballoon said...

Yay! I love Ali's work!

Ali Sabin said...

PS- the first 3 folks to leave a comment get a FREE paper print.

Ali Sabin

joshcap said...

Really? please tell me that someone has claimed the prints in your offer. I'm an occasional printmaker too and I know darn well that we all need encouragement. So I like your stuff. I'll send you mine if you send me yours.

IPullPrints said...

hey thanks, greenballoon! email me here: alisabinator(at) with details of where I may mail your free print...