Originally from Houston, Texas, Talia Saghian moved to Los Angeles four years ago. A designer by training, she has worked in commercial architecture and creative design, and recently launched her own small business, the Ketubist. Talia and her husband, Zach, got married last year. She is passionate about beautiful buildings, inspiring design, great art, and making the most of #TacoTuesday.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I went to school for design and architecture in New York and headed down a traditional career in architecture for a bit. Somewhere along the way I worked as a graphic designer and did some marketing and web design. During that time, I needed a creative outlet that would intrigue me inspire my creative soul.
In 2016, a friend of mine was getting married and needed a Ketubah (a traditional Jewish wedding document). We’d spoken about what she wanted in a Ketubah for some time, and I asked her if she’d let me take a crack at it. It was that Ketubah, and then another and another, that inspired me to start the Ketubist.
Now I run this business with my husband, and we get better and better at helping our couples put together things that are meaningful to them. The act of creating Ketubahs is now a part of who we are and engaging our internal creative souls.
In February of 2018, we formally launched the Ketubist because we saw that many couples needed someone who could make them something really personal and unique.
Our mission is to help couples create the most meaningful, personal, and beautiful Ketubahs for their special day.
What inspired you to become an artist?
When god gives you a strength, you sharpen it. This is what I’m really good at it, and with god’s help I get better every day.
What is your specialty?
We’re really proud of the work we’ve done because it’s completely tailored to our couples. While we do offer some standard Ketubahs, the bulk of what we do is intensely personal design work. We spend time with our couples to get to know them, their interests and styles.
And by the time we’ve gotten to know each other, we have a pretty good handle on how to create something that they’ll really enjoy. It why we like to say that we ‘weave the physical and spiritual together in a way that binds partners and their histories together, forever.’
How and where do you work?
Most of my work is done at home in my studio.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
Great paper. All of my Ketubahs start with amazing paper. The kind that you can feel just how good it is by the weight.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
I’m really enjoying florals right now. I have an Instagram challenge I’m doing to papercut some new varieties I’ve never done before.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have a number of custom pieces going right now, but we’re working on a lookbook and a couple other marketing pieces.
What are your favourite items in your current collection?
Our Triptychs. Ketubahs are often seen as standalone pieces, but I really like when couples incorporate them into a larger piece, it allows you to expand the designer’s narrative.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
Ahhh. That you have to wait for. It’s this feeling that comes when you’ve put your everything into a piece and it totally fits.
Do you do bespoke work?
95% of what I do is custom design work, I have a growing collection of made-to-order Ketubahs, but I really enjoy the custom work.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
Ah, that was an orchid Ketubah I made a few years ago for a great couple. I actually just saw them a few weeks ago.
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
Every project is a little different and I love different things about them. My own Ketubah I have a sweet spot for though.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I’ve always loved what a Ketubah can be, not what it is for most couples. I want my couples to really get what is involved in their piece and have it be a part of their relationship.
Where can we find your work?