Meet Illustrator Sawsan Chalabi

August 29, 2014


Meanwhile, at the Newsstand...


Savannah College of Art and Design alumni and freelance editorial illustrator Sawsan Chalabi shares some of her recent work with us today.


Using everything from her Cintiq to more traditional materials such as gouache, acrylic, ink and paper, Chalabi creates illustrations for clients such as Penguin Group, Charleston Magazine, Strings Magazine and the American Bar Association’s Litigation Journal. In 2014, she received two honourable mentions from the 3x3 International Professional Show Awards for her pieces “Once Upon a Walk” and “Workplace Survival 101.”


Chalabi credits her graphic design background (she earned her BA in Graphic Design in her native Lebanon in 2000) for giving her illustrations their spatial sensibility. She freelanced as a part-time illustrator while she worked as an art director for the American Chiropractic Association, and eventually set up her own studio after she earned her MFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013.


“I chose to major in graphic design as it was a happy medium between my passion for creativity and art, and my father’s passion for [ensuring] I don’t become a starving artist!” Chalabi writes us in an email. “[My] sense for design and iconographic representation of elements and concepts very much carries through into my illustration work.”


This is certainly evident — Chalabi favours simple but strong imagery, often with some humour (see her drawing of a jockey riding a hand in “Old Habits Die Hard” for Strings Magazine, for an article about re-training your left hand).


“The placement, colour, size and shape of the elements and how they visually interact and lead the eye of the viewer works hand-in-hand with the delivery of the message,” Chalabi explains.


Mean Streets to Main Street


Old Habits Die Hard


Expressive Strokes

Freudian Sips wine labels


The Witches of Paris 


Once Upon a Walk 


Workplace Survival 101: The CYA Email


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