Meet the Artist - Ali Sabet

Posted on January 13 2016

Ali Sabet - Painter and Designer
From - Iran
Lives In - Irvine, California

A day in the studio with Ali Sabet. Video from Unititled Projekt by Mahyar Alahyari.


I’m on the phone with Ali Sabet—he’s talking to me from his garage studio in Irvine, California—when the postman arrives. “What’d you get?” I ask.

“More pens.” 

New pens are his weakness. This time they’re Pentel Hybrid Technicas—those awesome gel pens we all loved in the late 90s. “They’re really thin fine liners that roll really smoothly,” Ali tells me, forgetting we all used them to pass notes back in the day.

He’s always on the lookout for new materials, he says, because they’re what push his work in new directions. The day he got a set of Derwent Graphik Line Painter Pens his drawings started to have these new splatters of color where he let the pens leak and puddle, then blew on the pools of paint. “I might go broke looking for new pens,” he confesses. “Don’t tell my wife.”


Break Me Free - Ali Sabet Mid-Rise Socks Break Me Free Mid-Rise Socks from the Ali Sabet Collection


His wife catches him doodling all the time. “We’ll be at parties and I’ll be doing a doodle of a mural. It’s calming and soothing to me and it’s how I pull myself back down to earth.” Without that constant physical connection to the paper—he’s done more than 3,000 pieces in the last four years—he starts to feel like he’s floating off somewhere, to a different plane from everyone else. (Ali says food keeps him grounded, too, but it’s better to be drawing all the time than eating all the time.)

Hedo Pleasures - Ali Sabet Men's Crew TshirtHedo Pleasures Men's Crew from the Ali Sabet Collection


When he’s painting and drawing, he says it’s like entering a vortex where things come to him. It’s an awesome feeling, but he’s never sure what to think of the finished product right away. “When I’m done, to me, the pieces look like they’re 2D and flat. But after I see someone connect with them, then I can see with what they see, too. My paintings and drawings are really an expression of my inner world,“ he says.

“A world,” he laughs, “that’s way more fun and complex than the city of Irvine.”




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