12 Questions with Sheyda Abvabi

Just one of many of Sheyda’s magical artworks.


Sheyda Abvabi is our fabulous artist behind Wunderkammer, From Such Great Heights and also great new project which we will be unveiling for GABS. We are absolutely delighted that she partook in an interview for Outlier Cartel!

How did you get involved with Outlier Cartel?
I started my first project with Outlier Cartel after Mark stumbled across my Instagram and contacted me to work on a project with them. The first project I worked on with them was “From Such Great Heights.” It was super fun getting to play a part in bringing their storytelling concept to life!

Its been a long day and its now finished. Where do you find your happy place?
Definitely on the couch, snuggled up in a blanket and watching Youtube videos of people making things, whether it’s food, woodwork, or sculpting. I think there’s something cool about seeing the process behind how things are made. I’m either doing that, or playing some MarioKart.

A car breaks down in your neighbourhood, the occupants looked stressed. What will happen to them?
I’m not too useful when it comes to car problems, unfortunately, so I probably wouldn’t be of much use. 🙁 I’d either offer to call roadside assistance for them, or I’d see if anyone I know could help.

Crayola invites you to create a new colour for them, what will it be?
“Neapolitan.” It would have three layers of color, warm brown, a soft yellow, and pink. It’d be cool if they could make it scented to smell like ice cream too!

What was the last thing that you laughed at that nearly split your sides?
I recently went on a trip to visit my middle sister, and we went to this fun little shop downtown, where we found a bunch of these funny squeaky toys called Oshaberi Doubutsu. Those things are amazing. I bought a few of them as gifts, and when I put them in my luggage, they squeaked all the way through the airport. I really wish I could have seen the look on the faces of the airport staff who had to handle my squeaking suitcase.

You open your inbox in the morning. After glancing through the messages you see a name that makes you smile. Who is it and why are you smiling?
It’s probably my boyfriend. He always sends the nicest messages!

What was the biggest blunder you ever got away with?
When I was 14, my mom gave me a pair of really fancy, delicate Persian gold earrings. They were an heirloom from my dad’s mother in Iran. My mom put a lot of emphasis on how rare and special these earrings were. Not thinking, I put them on my nightstand. One day, my cat found them, and evidently thought they were a shiny new toy. When I found the earrings after the cat got to them, they were all mangled and broken into a bunch of pieces! I hid what was left of the earrings in the drawer of my nightstand. I felt terrible about it. A few years later, my mom asked me where those earrings went, and I finally came clean about it. Luckily she was pretty understanding about it!

What tradition (family or friends) do you most look forward to?
I always enjoy the “Swedish Christmas” my mom has with her side of the family. We make our own smorgasbord of things like meatballs, lingonberry sauce, roasted veggies, and glogg. Then we’ll do a White Elephant gift exchange afterwards. It’s always fun to see what kinds of ridiculous things people get!

A man in a lab coat knocks on your door. He regrets to inform you that you were switched at birth. You are actually…
From the faraway future. For an added twist, my “adoptive” present-day parents are also my ancestors. I still like being related to them. 🙂

What makes you give up on humanity?
I try to be optimistic about humanity, but I think one of the things that get to me are when people discriminate against others solely for being born into a different ethnicity, religion, or situation than them. Not cool!

If we were to look in your refridgerator right now, what would we find?
An assortment of leftovers (some of varying degrees of edibility), a million types of condiments, some water bottles, baby carrots, and a bunch of juice. The freezer has more interesting stuff, like ice cream and steak.

You are shopping for groceries, and an elevator music version of your favourite song starts playing. You know all the lyrics. What is the song?
“Clint Eastwood” by the Gorillaz. It’s that, or “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.” That was one of the several Beatles songs my mom would play in the car when I was a kid. I think it’d make my childhood self happy.