Currently working as a freelance stylist in Kuwait, Sofia studied at Beckman’s College of Design and Stockholm’s Tillskärarakademi. Originally from Sweden, she has lived in London and Kuwait for the last five years. She lives here with her husband and four year old daughter.
In an interview with Kuwait Moms Guide, Sofia explains the inspiration behind her work, the artistry and commercial applications of it along with how she teaches her daughter about her art.
KMG: How do explain your art?
Sofia: I do not necessarily see it as art - although I agree it is artful. I have always had a need to express myself either visually or in writing, and at this point in my life I find great joy in channelling this need through photographs. For me the art is not in the items themselves but rather the composition. The images are also a means to an end in that private and commercial clients can get inspired and imagine ways they might collaborate with me. I have many artistic interests and am wide in the field of styling. I work with most things creative such as interiors, food, fashion, travel, and lifestyle.
KMG: What inspires your designs?
Sofia: Things around me. It can be a cut pomegranate, someone passing me on the street, an art exhibition, or simply a colour. The souks inspire me as well as travelling and exploring. I love walking in Souk Mubarakiya in the morning just before the stalls open. Encountering new cultures and the contrast between them. Inspiration is also something I have with me from the past, my life up to this moment. In Sweden I'm inspired by nature, walking along the beach in the autumn or in the woods. My grandmother’s old garden, vintage stores and antique auctions. But most of all my family inspires me. My daughter, my husband who is an architect, and my mom from whom I have so many good traits.
KMG: How do you come up with ideas for your designs?
Sofia: There's no structure to it. It is very intuitive and organic and can start with the most simple item like a box of figs or a vintage dress. I do not knowingly follow any trend or rules. I have always had a very strong sense of style and what I like and what works and how I can use it. Each story comes naturally and always has a distinct 'red line' going through it. Once I have that initial item I will automatically start building up the story around it with colour, interior, or other items and so on.
KMG: What role does color/ texture play?
Sofia: Color for me is a big thing; it's quite often the first thing I think about when working or it comes up very early on. Swedish design is mainly based on neutral and muted colors which I still love but over the years I have developed a taste for rich colors, and I strongly believe this is due to cultural influences. Since moving to the Middle East this taste has become even stronger because of the importance of color in the culture. Texture has a more important role for me when I work with interior styling. Then both color and texture need to be in balance.
KMG: How is your work applicable to business?
Sofia: The images you see on my webpage and Instagram are not directly related to work I have done for clients, but rather a constantly evolving portfolio of my own 'commissions' and what inspires me at the moment. At the same time it's a showcase of my style and breath of talent for potential clients to get inspired by and interested in working with me. When doing commissions it is not always possible to push the boundaries as far as I would like so my work on the web page and Instagram can be seen as a form of 'release' for those ideas.
KMG: How does being a mom affect your work?
Sofia: It keeps me busy. My daughter always comes first and she is very tolerant considering her age. She's used to exploring places with me. I normally plan my work the night before and try and finish things I know she will not enjoy before I pick her up from nursery. But even when I am not directly working I will evolve ideas and thoughts as a result of being with her. It is difficult to turn off a creative mind. I find myself making notes or developing a story while doing the shopping or waiting for ballet class to finish.
KMG: Do you teach your daughter how to design?
Sofia: We encourage her to draw and paint which she does constantly throughout the day. At home she always have access to crayons, paint, paper, and quite often it's the first thing she does in the morning and when she gets home from nursery. She has a beautifully free mind and we try and not interfere. Sometimes she does want one of us to paint or draw with her and that is always great fun. She is often with me when I cook or bake, and she does help as much as she can in her own way.
To see more of her amazing work, visit her webpage or follow her on Instagram @storiesbysofia