What name do you go by & what are your pronouns?
I go by Sabal or Sabal Ivan and my pronouns are they/them.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am an Orlando Native and am Puerto Rican, gay, and non-binary. I always aspire to reflect all the different caveats of my identity into my work. To show the love and pride I have for it and to help elevate attention on all the issues that pertain to all the different communities I’m a part of.
What mediums do you use to express yourself?
Mainly I use my writing with poetry specifically. However, I love to dabble in just about everything. During the course of COVID, I’ve started to experiment more with graphics and photography in front of and behind the camera. Outside of official creative work I love using style and makeup to empower myself.
How would you describe your art, writing, and creative process?
I would say it’s all very honest and raw. I strive to reflect myself with complete transparency in my work. I always say that everything you could ever want to know about me could be found within my writing. It usually comes to me randomly, I’m always using scraps of paper receipts at work and making short notes or voice memos on my phone when an idea comes to me. If I have the time to sit down and allocate my attention, then a piece will normally come out of me pretty quickly and fluidly. I don’t tend to go back over my work a lot with a thesaurus or dictionary. I think that the most important part of poetry is the emotion. As for graphics they usually spawn off of something I’ve already written or an idea I’ve been ruminating on.
Is there an artist, musician, or creative that inspires you?
Oh so many, and in every lane of creativity. Growing up there was a lot of rock influence like Paramore, Underoath, BMTH, The Maine, Between the Trees, etc. Those are still in me today mixed with Taylor Swift, Halsey, Chloe x Halle, Lorde and a plethora of other artists. Authors like Kurt Vonnegurt, Sylvia Plath, Jason Reynolds, André Aciman, and Adam Silvera. As well as the nerdom world, especially with comic book creators.
Are there any creative mediums you’ve been interested in trying?
I’m always down to try something new. Especially with my writing, I would love to try my hand at so many things. To be a lyricist, a playwright, a comic book writer. I used to think I couldn’t do certain things like creating graphics and now I know it never hurts to try. Gaining some musical ability would also be incredible. I played guitar a bit when I was little and took piano in high school but did not retain the majority of either.
Do you combine any type of activism with your work?
If so, tell us about it. I have series which correlate directly to the communities I’m a part of. Conquer the Fear of Living for mental health, Pride and Paradisco for the LGBTQIA+ community, and Latinx Sundry for Latinx/Latine community. I use all of these to showcase the life, desires and battles of these communities, at least from my perspective and experience. In the future, it would be a dream of mine to take it to the next step with creative philanthropy.
What projects are you currently working on? And what were some of your favorite past projects?
Currently, I am working on my first novel full of prose, not poetry. It will be a detailed dive into the life of growing up gay and navigating those waters. The pretty and ugly sides of it all. Favorite past projects are probably a lot of poems that I’ve written that the world hasn’t seen yet, but they soon will. As well as starting Pride and Paradisco which allowed me to connect with other Queer creatives.
Connect with Sabal on social media!
Instagram: @sabalivan and @whoissabal
Other: @whoissabal on Goodreads, Spotify, Letterbox’d and Tumblr