Quilled Typography - Sabeena Karnik

You might recall the colorful Happy New Year on-edge paper typography I shared on the last day of 2012. It was quilled by Sabeena Karnik of Mumbai, India, who was originally featured here after her on-edge alphabet letters letters started flying around the interwebs. I thought it would be fun to take a look at more of Sabeena's lovely work, see how far she has come in just a year's time, and learn a bit about her.


Have you always been interested in art?

Yes, I knew I wanted to pursue art ever since childhood. I have always had a very keen interest in beautiful writing, calligraphy, be it the names of my family, friends, and even people I idolized.


Did you study art in school? 

Pursuing an education in art was a very natural process. I completed my degree in graphic design with a focus on typography, my first love. In my final year project, I concentrated purely on paper and 3D paper sculpturing. Fortunately the result came out very well. I thought why not try and experiment a little more by combining the two, so as a fun way to pass the time one afternoon, I randomly started making alphabets out of paper.


The typeface was very simple since the focus was on paper, patterns I could make, and colors. The result was an offshoot of paper quilling, although I don't concentrate on traditional pinched coil shapes.

SPAR billboard illustration

I remember that before your alphabet was even completed, it was already attracting attention!

Yes, before I could finish the entire letter series, I started getting offers from advertising agencies to collaborate with them. And I have been very busy ever since, working with agencies in the U.S, Europe, the Middle East, South America, and South Africa.

magazine illustration

I'm sure you put a great deal of time into your designs. 

Since the outcome is very decorative and eye-catching, people don't realize the amount of work that goes into each piece. It requires a lot of patience and nurturing, just as you would take care of a baby. Moreover since it's paper, making corrections is extremely difficult. 

A girl's name and commissioned piece

There was an instance when a design had been approved by a client, but had to be changed after everything was complete. It was heartbreaking to slice the entire paper art out and make the alterations. Everything we do is a learning process and paper has its limitations because it is very fragile.


Do you still enjoy the process?  

Paper is one of the most wonderful mediums to work with. It attracts an audience of all ages universally and it never gets boring. Every strip and piece plays such an important role in creating a unique artwork.


What are your plans for the future? 

I want to plunge into paper typography more and even create my own paper fonts. The world of paper is so vast and magical; no matter how much you explore, the possibilities are limitless!

created for a Seattle software firm postcard

Thanks for the interview, Sabeena.  It will be fun to see where your talent leads you next.

 Keep up with Sabeena via Behance and Facebook.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. Lovely feature.Thanks for sharing Ann and Good Luck Sabeena...

  2. I am a huge fan of Sabeena, Loved reading her interview.

  3. good job sabeena! I am impressed with your work.

  4. I am in awe! And smiling, too, since Sabeena's designs are so uplifting. :-)

  5. I always wanted to know more about Sabeena..I love her work...thanks for the interview Ann !

  6. My heart feels warm to know that we are kin. Would love to see you at work. I love anything creative.
    Lots of love

  7. Beautiful work as always. Love it!

  8. Thank you all very much.
    Ann Martin thanks a ton!

  9. I love your work. The colors are always a treat. My quilling is custom wedding invitation keepsakes made with the original invitation and framed, but I use the traditional quilled flowers. I also do quilling under a cut out with wildlife like birds and ducks. But the colors are much more tame, because they reflect the colors of the birds. Anyways, I watch your work with admiration. Keep up the good work.

  10. Lovely modern style ... Especially like the top image ,

  11. Asolutely incredible work! I loved the alphabet when I first saw and am even more impressed now!

  12. A truly talented girl Sabeena! loved the MAY image ...Beautiful


  13. Great work & wish you the very best!

  14. Loved the interview! Her work is so inspiring and clean! No "extra" stuff, just perfect...


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I try to respond to questions within 24 hours, so please check back.