ART AT THE INTERSECTIONS: Translation Between Mediums, an interview with workshop lead Safiyya “Saff” Bintali

Tiny Spoon: What inspired you to host this particular workshop?

Safiyya Bintali: I have always been very interested in how work is “translated” from one medium to another, especially as someone who works in different art forms (comics, illustration, and writing). What really sparked my inspiration for hosting this, though, was during a graphic novels seminar I was taking; as a part of our Persepolis unit, we watched and discussed the comic/movie adaptations.

Tiny Spoon: What does translation mean to you?

Safiyya Bintali: It’s a way of exploring a concept in all the ways it can be expressed. It’s a way of seeing how each medium impacts the telling and how each medium needs to tell something in a certain way with its own unique characteristics and concepts. It’s a way of not only learning about a concept on a deeper level, but all the ways different artistic disciplines can intertwine in its telling.

Tiny Spoon: Does translation appear in your own creative practice? Can you describe it?

Safiyya Bintali: As an illustrator, I translate the words of writers to images; this is especially interesting in my practice, as I illustrate on contract and not my own personal work. Getting the opportunity to work with authors and see how they interpret the ideal translation of passages/stories and how these translations can differ from my own put into perspective how “thinking in different mediums” works.
Recently, though, I’ve taken to translating my own shorter pieces into comics. Doing my own work in this
sense allowed me more creative freedom, but also allowed me to see what needs to be taken into
consideration when translating from one medium to another, and how important it is to consider them in
the optimal telling of the story.

Tiny Spoon: What are you most excited about, regarding the workshop?

Safiyya Bintali: Getting to teach it and hear the ideas flow during discussion! As a huge Bradbury fan, I am especially excited about the discussion surrounding “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

Tiny Spoon: What do you hope fellow workshop attendees gain from it?

Safiyya Bintali: I hope attendees get a chance to better understand the concept of “inter-medium translation”, as well as what to consider when translating their own work. I hope they also gain an inspiration to begin translating some of their work as an exploratory process!

Join us for Safiyya’s workshop Art at the Intersections: Translating Between Mediums!

One piece of art can be “translated” into many mediums–from plays to poems, novel excerpts to comics, story to dance. By translating our work, we can more deeply connect with the intersections of our creative self and explore new ways to adapt our work into new forms. This 2-day workshop series will be both informative and a creative practice. We will absorb and discuss other “translations” in media, such as the poem-short story-mini film translations of “There Will Come Soft Rains” (Bradbury/Teasdale) or comic-animated film translation of “Persepolis” (Satrapi), and later explore the ways we can adapt our own work. Participants can bring pre-existing work to “translate”, or bring a fresh new script/painting/anything they wish to the table to begin their journey into inter-medium translation.

Register now at!