For this month’s Creative Spotlight, we had to opportunity to interview the creative behind Sasa Elebea, an Argentinean artist, designer, illustrator and tattoo artist.
Hi, Sabrina! It’s my absolutely pleasure to have you as our April Creative Spotlight here in ATOW. I’m a fan of your work and I find your illustrations very empowering! Do you mind introducing yourself to the ATOW community?
I’m an Argentinean artist, designer and illustrator that makes also tattoos.
I currently live in Tel Aviv.
Your work is so empowering! Where do you find inspiration to create?
I get inspired by daily situations and people. Life in the city, fashion and lifestyle are a big influence on my art.
As an artist, it must be challenging to feel inspired every single day. What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated to create?
I find a lot of peace on the park in front of my building. If I can, I like to go to the beach and take long walks around the streets of the city.
Do you remember your first creation? Do you mind telling us a short story about it?
I remember the first post I made in 2007. It was on my Flickr account. I used to draw characters. One character I made was a light blue octopus with cute eyes and a smile. The idea behind my first illustrations was to make people smile.
Do you have a mantra that gets you in the mood to create? Do you mind sharing it with us?
I have many phrases! Right now, I can share the ones that are on the vision board on my desktop:
“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are”
“Stop being afraid of what might go wrong and think of what could go right”.
Do you have a morning routine? What is it?
I don’t have a specific routine because I like every day to be different from each other, but there are some things I do everyday, like face care, drink my coffee with oat milk, clean and organise the house. I also try to avoid social interaction before noon.
What are five things we can definitely find on your desk?
An Anthropologie candle, my glasses, 2 crystals, my phone and a glass of water.
What advice would you give to creatives that have just started their own page on Instagram?
Take baby steps. Take it day by day. Don’t copy others. There are too much of the same. When you give something authentic – something that actually represents you – people will resonate more to it than to content that is based on imitating others.
Do you have a shop? When and how did you decide to open it?
Yes, I have an online shop and I used to have a physical one that is closed due to the pandemic. The online shop has been active for around 8 years – I think – and the physical one, for about 3 years. I opened them because people started asking me if they could buy my art on mech, so I just made it happen.
Were there challenges in starting your own creative business? What were they and how did you overcome them?
I started when I was much younger. I was still in university, and I was living with my parents back then. That made things easier because they were very supportive – not only on the economic aspect but also with words of encouragement. In the beginning, for me, it was hard to charge for my work. I was always getting some exchange because I was afraid to ask for a payment. That changed when I started to pay rent. I had to face that fear and ask for money, so I did it! With every challenge, I found some fear that I had to overcome, which happens with time and circumstances. This is not some knowledge that you can read and accumulate in your mind. It’s learning, and it happens only through living and interacting.
What advice would you give to creatives that have not started their own shop yet but are looking to do so soon?
It’s not for everyone to have a shop. For some, it’s easier to work with clients. I would say that the best way to start is to try different things and have different sources of income. There are many alternatives: You can sell also on stock images sites. You can do commissions. You can participate on local fairs. You can sell on a physical shop that is already selling items that are similar.
Try many things and see what works best.
Do you mind sharing one of the moments you were most proud of yourself? What was it?
Two years ago, when I reached 10k followers on Instagram, I felt so accomplished. I think it was a big step for me at that moment and it made me feel like finally I found a style that it’s genuine with who I am.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share some insights into your creative journey and business! We wish you all the best with Sasa Elebea!
Stay tuned for Sabrina’s IG Takeover this April!