Sadi Tekin Discusses Creating Tattoos, Illustrations, and Art in and around the Neighborhood

Sadi Tekin specializes in ink on paper

“Welcome to the magical world of Sadi Tekin,” the artist’s website proclaims. And magical it is — local artist and illustrator Sadi Tekin is a known for his enchanting and whimsy drawings that touch the heart and often go — per his recent venture into tattoo creations — skin-deep. We caught up with the Greenpoint artist (a recent presence at Greenpoint Open Studios) to discuss his Brooklyn dwelling, Kickstarter project, and upcoming projects.

Greenpointers: Do you live in Brooklyn, and if so where/how long have you been here?

Sadi Tekin: I’ve been living in New York since 2012, and four years of it was in Brooklyn. Now I’m in Greenpoint and loving it.

GP: “Whimsical” feels like such a cheap term to describe your work, but your illustrations certainly delighted me. Can you talk about the lens through which you view the world and how that informs your art?

ST: Thank you! I’m mostly using a lens named “what else/what if” to create/illustrate my alternative universe trying to stay away from cliches. It might be just a napkin sketch at a local coffee shop or a piece that is a little bit combination of my industrial design background with my illustration practice, I always try to tell the story in a different way.

GP: I see you’ve done some illustrations-turned-tattoos. Is that something you do for friends, or that people commission you for? 

ST: Actually I’m doing those tattoos myself — I’m now on a tattoo apprenticeship at the Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Williamsburg. It’s amazing to see my illustrations on people, it’s a weirdly satisfying feeling that I’m slowly getting used to. Shamless plug —  if anyone wants a custom designed tattoo, just send me a message on my Instagram.

GP: You have a Kickstarter project, last I recall! Can you describe that?

ST: Actually it’s already over now. It was for a porcelain plate line with some optical illusion drawings on them as gates opening to space. now I’m considering of starting another one with some cat illustrations this time.

GP: Where’s your favorite place to work?

Depending on my mood — sometimes I prefer staying in my studio with almost no sound, or sometimes I enjoy people around with a lot of noise, action, and energy that feeds me so I go to coffee shops and actually work really well. Sweetleaf and Odd Fox are my fave two in the neighborhood.

GP: Do you have any projects coming up that you’re excited about?

I’ve been very into 3D printing for a long time and am now working on converting my illustrations into 3D pieces. As the next step with all that 3D data, I’ll create a VR environment that you’d actually be able to walk along these {mostly} buildings.

About Billy McEntee

Billy McEntee has been fortunate to work for arts non-profits in Boston, Denver, Berkeley, and now New York. His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Brooklyn Magazine, Indiewire, HowlRound, Eclectica Magazine, and others. He's usually getting wine at Dandelion or eating cookies at Archestratus.

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