Philadelphia illustrator, artist, and screenprinter Sara Selepouchin markets her unique work under her studio name, Girls Can Tell. With the tagline “diagramming everyday machines onto everyday things,” Sara’s work includes bicycles, of course, but also typewriters, kitchen mixers, garden tools, kitchen utensils, sewing machines, and even the human heart – all diagrammed in a style that evokes both the precision of an engineer and the quirkiness of a zine-publisher. Sara lovingly hand silkscreens her designs onto tea towels, oven mitts, industrial felt coasters, notebooks, and more. But not t-shirts. Mostly not t-shirts.
I asked Sara about why bicycles appeared as a theme in her work and she told me,
Bikes are pretty amazing to me. When considering great “everyday machines” to draw up as diagrams, bikes just seem like an obvious choice – they have so many interesting pieces and moving parts, so they’re a great design for my work. Also, I love that you can build a bike to your exact specifications, so it’s a really personal machine while being really classic.
Sara’s a mixte rider, and not surprisingly, she’s in love with her bike.
I love my bike – my boyfriend built it for me as a gift and I adore it. It’s a great older Fuji mixte frame, and he added great little touches that I love, like cork grips on the handlebars and a really lovely, honey-colored Brooks saddle that suits me perfectly. I ride to my studio (whenever I don’t have too much stuff to bring there) and for fun when the weather’s nice. Here in Philly, it’s exciting that bike activists are, slowly but surely, gaining traction and more bike lanes are being built throughout the city.
Like the good post-millennial crafter that she is, Sara has a website, a blog, an online store, and Flickr stream, and even sells her work in bricks-and-mortar boutiques too. And she gets lots of extra points for organizing the craft boutique at last year’s 7th Annual Philadelphia Bike Part Art Show. And, crafty entrepreneur that she is, Sara also says, “I’ll be working on a few new bicycle themed diagram designs this spring, so please do check back!”