Wrappr: Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Sophia: Yes Always. Growing up, I used to draw, paint, and make something from scratch. I found joy in such things, and this led me to become an illustrator.
W: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got to where you are now
S: I have always been enjoying painting since 5. I was an introverted child, and I didn't want to speak at times. I always drew and expressing through artwork.
After graduating from OCAD in Toronto, I have been doing commission works and doing a lot of outdoor exhibitions and solo shows. I only used mixed mediums (gouache, pencil crayons, rice papers on wood panel) to create artwork for the past years. I loved the different textures and the vibrant colours showing on wood panels.
When the pandemic began, outdoor exhibitions were cancelled, and I had an urge to show my artwork through products. Then I found out about surface pattern design, and I have been learning how to create patterns with Adobe Illustrator. Now I create patterns, make products to sell on my website, and get into the fabric or home decor industry. I am creating art every day to see where it leads me, and it is full of surprises.
W: What type of work do you do for your clients?
S: I do private commissions time to time, but usually work on collaborations with another business and focusing on growing my own brand.
W: Which of those do you enjoy most right now?
S: I love collaborations with other businesses as well as making products out of patterns that I created. It is amazing to see artwork on different products.
W: What type of work do you do for your own enjoyment?
S: I do a lot of doodling on my sketchbook, which leads me to many ideas and concepts. I love drawing animals exploring different cities. Usually inspired by travelling with friends, it has the storytelling with various sceneries.
W: What work of yours would you like to be remembered for? Or is it something you are working on?
S: Any of the pieces that I have worked on. I always wanted to create illustrations that convey joy and love, and I hope people find happiness through my artwork.
W: What is your creative process?
S: When making patterns, first, I take a walk to a park. Immerse in nature. Take photos. Collect leaves or flowers.
Draw with different materials at different angles.
Jot down ideas, words, adjectives etc.
Using Adobe Illustrator, make patterns out of all the motifs that I created.
When you are stuck getting ideas or concepts, it is always nice to take a stroll to find inspiration.
W: What are you planning to create next?
S: For the past year and a half, I have been collaborating on a children’s picture book with my mission group, and it is in the final stage right now. We began talking about this project before the pandemic, and it was special for us to connect during an uncertain time. We have kept sharing ideas/concepts of storyline and illustrations through zoom meetings, and I am so thankful that it will be launching in December.
The little girl and the squirrel in the story embark on an adventure to help us remember the wonderful nature and various animals we took for granted before the pandemic. She later realizes that the animals that she encountered are, in fact, all endangered species.
I can’t wait to share it with you when it is released.
W: What is your biggest indulgence?
W: Where do you find inspiration?
S: Daily life, nature and travelling. Whenever I take a stroll, I take photographs for reference later in my sketching. It could be sunset scenery for colour palettes or leaves, flowers for the pattern motifs. Everything that I see and find is my inspiration.
W: How do you feel about being involved with Wrappr?
S: I am grateful and thrilled to be involved with Wrappr.
When I found about the fabric wrap, I was amazed by the idea of reusing it, and wrapping can also be part of the gift.
Wrappr cares about independent artists, small businesses, and it has a strong concept towards no waste and sustainability. We need more mindset like this, and I know it has been increasing, to save our environment, and I am so happy to be part of it.
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
S: One of my good friends, who is also an artist, has suggested that I watch the documentary "Before the flood." The documentary is about the actor Leonardo DiCaprio narrating how climate change is affecting our environment because of the carelessness of human beings.
I was aware of global warming, but I was not taking it seriously until I watched this documentary. This film made me aware of how the small things will bring a change of situation.
Since then, I have been contributing small things in daily life.
I always bring reusable tote bags to grocery shopping to minimize using plastic bags. I try to reuse containers, bring my water bottle and utensils. I believe there are more things we could do to save the environment, and we need to be aware of this.