the new adventures of Betty Turbo

The work of agnes barton-sabo can be found on Etsy and at

Tell me about yourself, agnes.
I was raised in Alaska by a pack of wolves.  Or was it grizzly bears...?  Whatever they were, it was a very creative family and I was taught to MAKE STUFF from a very young age.  From my superbly artistic ancestors I gleaned formal skills like drawing and sewing, and through my own adventures and travels I have added random new specialties like letterpress printing and cake decorating.  Which brings us to now, where I consider my job title "maker of artistic mischief," and I spend my days trying to infuse everything I do with contagious creative spirit and my own personal style.  I sell art prints and cards on Etsy but that's merely the tip of the artstravaganza iceberg.

How did you originally get into your craft?
I have been an artist FOREVER.  Both my parents were artists so it was inescapable.  I was raised to understand that I can and should make almost anything imaginable with my own hands.  I have always loved to draw, and though I explore and enjoy many other art forms, it still often comes back to drawing and illustration.  Outside the creative bonanza of my own home, I went to college for photography, and spent three years at Hatch Show Print learning letterpress.  Photography and printmaking have certainly informed my current style and explorations with drawing.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I hope I can say "make art" and let that be an umbrella that covers every activity in my daily life, from carefully crafting a tasty and beautiful breakfast to sitting down and actually drawing.  Being creative is how I roll, it's how I figure everything else out.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
As a creative person trying to sustain yourself by putting your meaningful, personal expression out in to the world, I think it's always a challenge to know when to separate yourself from the business part.  I think artists can know how to be business people, I think art and commerce can work cooperatively, and I don't believe you have to "sell out" or sacrifice your personal integrity and vision to make a living.  But ultimately, you have to let some of it be "about the money" and not let your sense of personal worth get wrapped up in your measurable financial success or fame.  Making a life of art is a triumph in itself.  Spreading joy and creativity and actually getting paid for it is pretty rad!  Sometimes there's some crap.  You have to keep MAKING STUFF and evolving into a better human being, and stay engaged with the world.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Aside from a brief interlude where I was going to be a ballerina by day and make donuts at night, I have always planned on being an artist in some form.

What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
I would laugh if someone gave me one of my own cards, but then I would secretly be touched that they felt my nerdy expression perfectly summed up their feelings.

What other artists out there do you love?
In the grand world of art and history I have always been fond of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha, and Claes Oldenberg

Some fellow Etsians I currently ADORE are:

Retro Whale
Matty M. Cipov

What does your future hold?
More art!  Less worry!  More ice cream, bike rides, dance parties, sweet love.  Less stress & anxiety.  That'll do it.

In the near future I'll be hanging a joint show with Hairy McSpecies of Mixed Species at Cloud 9 in Corvallis, Oregon (month of April), a group show of dirty felt art at a Corvallis location to be determined, and hawking my wares at Crafty Wonderland in Portland, Oregon (May 7th).