Sabi Koz - Art wow designer - Interview

Sabi Koz – Using bold, block colours to create unique celebrity portraits

Introducing Sabi Koz! We love this London-based designer for her bold use of block colours to create portraits of celebrities and famous icons! Her distinctive portraiture style is loved by our customers, and us too, for the way they capture some of our most loved famous faces – from George Michael and Freddie Mercury to Fleabag and Stormzy, and even the Queen!

Here’s a little information about Sabi and her creative process…

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your name? Where are you based?

I’m Sabi and I am based in Palmers Green in north London

What does a typical day look like to you?

After a coffee and some morning stretches, if I have orders, I will go through to get them ready to dispatch. If I have new products then I will take photos and upload them to my shops. I have a little Jack Russell Terrier so we go for a mid morning walk to the park, which is great when sunny! I come back home to work on ongoing illustrations and prepare artwork for printing.  I try to also create some space in the day to get creative and develop new ideas. I also have clients for graphic and web design – so I will also allocate time to complete their requests. So, a full on day, most days!

How would you describe your style of work?

I’m a big art lover so heavily influenced by Matisse and Picasso. I love working with colour and shape and believe I do have a set style where I know how I want the illustration to look like. I love the block colours in an illustration and the impact that it has on paper or a product when printed.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in life?

Just focus on the thing you want, manifest it in your mind and don’t worry how it will happen. This is what helped me kick start my illustration career.

What inspires you?

Art, Music, People

Is there a piece of artwork on Art Wow that you are most proud of? Why?

My George Michael artwork which now sells in shops around the world thanks to Art Wow.

If your artwork were music, what would it sound like?

A mix of Madonna and George Michael

What artist, past or present has inspired you?

Matisse for sure, Warhol, Picasso, Hockney – I am also a big fan of Tracey Emin

Who are your biggest influences?

Anyone creative artistically or musically.

What was the last gift you gave someone?

One of my Amy Winehouse mugs and coaster to a friend!

How did you get started as an illustrator?

I was a fine art graduate and in my last year learnt photoshop which inspired me to go into graphic design as I loved being creative on computer. Once I taught myself to use Illustrator over many years for my work in an ad agency, I slowly took the courage to create artwork. I never got round to any formal illustration course (which I promise myself to get round to).

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A quiet one that no other animal wants to kill 😀

How did you develop your distinct style? Was it an experimental process?

Yes, it developed over time as I grew more confident in Illustrator and, as I had no formal training, I had to figure out what I wanted to create. My love for Matisses’s work pushed me to create colourful works which was exciting to see printed. I would love to develop further abstract art works not based on celebrities that can be printed large format, or as wall paper and cloth.

What have been your biggest creative challenges to date?

Getting my work out there, getting people to see it, appreciate it and to buy it. Also having the finance to be able to print new products. I am working around the clock just to be able to develop new designs and products which means I am always skint 🙂

In one word, describe how art makes you feel.

Amazing. My first ever exhibition was Pop Art at the Royal Academy at 14 years old, and I will never forget how in awe I was of the works hung up, and how I wished it could be my work. Art has taught me a lot about myself and to see myself as an artist first and foremost.

Check out all Sabi Koz’s amazing illustrations and art works on

Amy Mahoney

Working for Art Wow was a natural choice for me! After graduating with a first from my Fine Art degree, I didn’t really know where in the art-world I fit in, but as soon as I started working at Art Wow I realised that my passion for art far exceeded just making it myself.  My role allows me to work with other artists to make their designs come to live through the products we hand-print, with me personally being the queen of mug printing. I am continually inspired by the work our artists create, with their being nothing more satisfying then printing a new design for the first time.

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