In Conversation with Sacha Strange


You may have noticed that since our little chat with P.O.B at the beginning of September we’ve taken a little bit of a break from The Balti Club. We needed to step back from everything for a second and really see where the website was going, and how it was getting there.

Over the last few years we’ve rarely put much thought into the planning and structuring of this platform, however as it grows, we want to put some manners on it. So, from now on you’re going to be seeing a lot more posts on the site, and a lot more interviews with young emerging creatives from Ireland and the rest of the world. Having said that, we couldn’t be happier to start this new chapter by finally sharing our interview with the insanely talented Sacha Strange.

We were lucky enough to collaborate with Sacha at the start of this year on a design for a small collection of jumpers, and the work she did really speaks for itself. The jumpers were our most popular release to date and we’ve had people asking for a re-print ever since. Sacha’s distinct use line and colour give her work a very unique quality, something that is innately hers.

You could come across one of her drawings hanging up in a house somewhere, or printed on a t-shirt, and immediately think “That’s one of Sacha’s”, a trait that is hard to come by these days. However, it’s not only the aestheticism that defines her work, it’s also her subject choices, typically depicting young Irish men in a variety of circumstances. It’s this running theme that really gives life to her work, creating a little world of her own that we’re all invited to explore. After printing the jumpers, we couldn’t help but jump at the opportunity to ask Sacha a few questions about her work, her life, and her inspirations.

The Balti Club: How did you initially get into becoming an illustrator?

Sacha: I have been drawing since i was able to hold a pen. I work as a graphic designer and always try to go for illustration projects on the side.


The Balti Club: How long have you been living and working in cork?

Sacha: I have been living in Cork for two and a half years Baiii. I worked as a graphic designer in a small company and now I have decided to work as a freelance illustrator only. I first hated Cork and now I love it sure. It's a good spot to observe Irish culture and have a good craic  also lots if UCC boys are hot so i got models forever!


The Balti Club: Looking through the work on your website, something that we were immediately drawn to was your work for Glazart Night Club, could you tell us in a little more detail what this work was about ?

Sacha: Glazart is a club in Paris in the area of La Villette. They asked me to illustrate the program of the full season 2017/2018. It was very challenging for me because they wanted something grunge and rock'n'roll but, because of a French law that regulates advertising content, I could not draw anything referring to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol or sex .... Pretty tough alright! So all the characters are high on techno music!


The Balti Club: You have done work with the likes of HSE Ireland, Dublin Inquirer, Creative Engagers to name but a few, what has been your favorite piece of work / or favorite client to date?

Sacha: I'd say I really enjoy to make the cover of the Dublin Inquirer because it the oldest Dublin newspaper so i am very proud i got to be on it. I drew people waiting on a bus stop cause it was during the bus strike in 2017. Also, I always see Dublin bus stop sign as typic symbol of Dublin culture.

What I liked too is that is was a print project which is more rare nowadays, I was kind of missing that smell of ink.


The Balti Club: For any budding illustrators just starting out on their journey, what is the one piece of advice would you give them?

Sacha: There's no miracle it's all about practice. I'd recommend to draw a lot and always have something to draw in your bag/pocket. So you can draw when you wait, when you travel, when you can't sleep. Also never underestimate your work or work for nothing/free, this is not good for self-esteem, even if i know it always happens at the beginning. Then i'd say always have a look at other artists and share your stuff too, even your drafts.

Finally, don't be afraid to draw your own desires and not what is "cool" if that makes sense. Don't censor yourself in a way even if you're a weirdo.

The Balti Club: We recently collaborated with you on a Balti Club Jumper which our followers absolutely loved! With us being a small enough brand - do you prefer working with smaller, more niche brands or as you move on in your career as an illustrator are you looking for bigger clients?

Sacha: I'd say I like small brand so it's easier to communicate and get the mood of the team. Sure if Nike or Britney call me, i'll call back in a sec!


The Balti Club: Do you have a dream client that you would love to work with in the future?

Sacha: I really like Jean-Paul Gaultier but also life is real and you dream when you sleep!!

We would like to say a massive thank you to Sacha for sitting down and doing this interview with us.. Hands down one of our favourite designers that we have had the pleasure of knowing, and to date, the graphics she created for our latest Balti Club jumper is still something we are in awe of. Big up Sacha!!

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