We had the good fortune of connecting with Dylan Vartikar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dylan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My ultimate north star has always been a career as a multi-hyphenated designer and artist. My design venture, SaBo (formerly Saison), is two-pronged: first, I consult for various clients and companies on an array of design work and creative direction. Second, SaBo is a safe space for exploring visual communication and creative research. In this way not only can we collaborate with others on design work, but also explore various aesthetics, creative avenues, and mediums. This year, we started our journey in interior design.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What’s been integral to my evolution as an artist & designer is that I am self-taught. I have zero academic design education; though I have had some seasoned mentors. Self-teaching, and the freedom of freelance has been super liberating to me; this has allowed me to experiment across various materials, media, and industries that are traditionally separate or siloed from each other. Most recently, I was creative director for a running club in NY. I developed their brand identity and visual design systems. But I also recently produced the graphic designs for two major museum exhibitions by Indigenous artist Marie Watt (Seneca Nation). For one of these exhibitions, I designed a series of vinyl transfers Watt made about Indigenous power that featured heavily in the exhibition.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles Eastside. Rick’s produce market smoothie, Hauser & Wirth, Manuela hh, Tilda/Bacetti dinner, highland park lounges.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I really want to shoutout my parents, who have sacrificed more than I can put into words and have been down with me since the beginning of my artistic journey. I am forever indebted to them.
I also want to shoutout my brother, Jason Vartikar, who is a model, visual artist, art historian, and activist curator. He and I experienced very separate coming-of-age years but as we’ve evolved, we’ve come to realize that we’re best friends. Working through life and ideas together is vital to me.
Main photo is taken by: Photographer Tony Chen
(From top to bottom): Image 1: 992 sneaker, Color Design by FY7 design team; “FY7″ logo by Dylan Vartikar (FY7 design team member) Image 2: Marie Watt, “Decolonizing the Museum” — Title Design Image 3: Marie Watt, “Companion Species (At What Cost): The Works of Marie Watt” — Concept Design produced in process Image 4: Marie Watt, “Companion Species (At What Cost): The Works of Marie Watt” — Vinyl Transfer Design Image 5: SaBo Design Print 1, 2022 Image 6: SaBo Design Print 2, 2021 Image 7: “Full Timers” – Drawing by Dylan Vartikar