1. What was the inspiration/references behind your collaboration with us for our Thank You card prints? When I asked you to turn Alexa Chung (a huge style reference for Folktails) into a cat to start us off, were you weirded out?
The references for the pictures largely came from searches of high end fashion imagery, like GQ Men and from Alexa Chung. I embarked on a journey down some fabulous fashion and pattern rabbit holes. I was excited to tackle something avante-garde, so the brief was really welcome.
2. Do you have a favorite of the prints we created and why?
I think my favourite is the cool cat in the blue turtleneck, standing on the bank of the Thames. He’s a Paul Weller of the feline world. He was totally unexpected as he evolved and there was an ease in how that image eventually came together.
3. What is your process when creating your art?
It very much depends what I’m doing, but I like to use reference material very loosely and then build around that. I am doing a lot more work in the analog world than I used to - that is watercolour and ink - which requires a lot more courage than drawing in the digital realm, because once you’ve committed something to the work you can’t click undo (unless you use Photoshop in post production - which of course, for commercial work, I almost always do.)
Analogue art requires much more creative problem-solving and thinking on your toes, and I find that enormously satisfying.
4. How do you stay inspired to create? Is there a creativity prompt that can lift you out of a slump?
For so many years everything in the world got in the way of my art-making, so now I have the time and space to be able to create art every day, I don’t really have any problems with motivation or inspiration. I engage with monthly challenges that are exceptionally useful in helping hone skills, which is something I am always seeking to do. And I love a theme. YouTube and Instagram videos from fabulous teachers are also in abundance.
This year I’ve also done classes with two online teachers: Esté McLeod and Carla Sonheim. They couldn’t be more different from one another, one being bold and colourful and layered and the other more tonal and quiet. But I have derived enormous pleasure and inspiration from engaging with both of them and tbe techniques I’ve learned and I look forward to continuing in 2022.
5. What's the best life advice you've learned? I love to collect pearls of wisdom from people.
As far as art goes, the best advice came from Esté McLeod and that is “Do it for the process.” It’s so important when you’re being creative not to tie yourself in knots about the outcome, but to simply engage with the making. As far as advice for living goes, my dad who was the wisest person I have ever known, always urged me to be true to myself. And in times of pain or struggle to relate to my breath.
Follow Sophia on Instagram @sophandson.