Written by: Emilia and Lucia
This article introduces the embroidery work of Sofiya, a textile artist, creator and graphic designer - a woman of many talents! Her designs are bold, powerful and stay true to a long-standing family tradition of hand-embroidery, but with a fresh 21st century makeover. Lucia and I absolutely loved the designs as soon as we saw them, and we hope you do too!
Check out Sofiya's website and Instagram page below!
golden dreams, cotton embroidery thread, polyester
Hi! My name is Sofiya. I am a Russian-born textile artist, creator, graphic designer, and photographer living and working in the United States. My goal is to be a consistent positive influence on my community by creating imagery and designs that promote self-confidence and self-expression. I started a custom embroidery business to share my love of design and contribute to the beauty of creation. I'm very proud to continue a family tradition of hand-embroidery and bring it into the 21st century. "Things of quality have no fear of time" is a core value of my brand because embroidery is incredibly labor-intensive and also an art form that has transcended time and trends.
Apart from being an independent artist, I was the photo editor at SLATE Magazine for two years. I've also held design jobs in the fashion industry, including designer bag company Paravel Inc. run by Indre Rockefeller. I designed the company's investment plan, bags, social media, as well as publicity content for The New York Times, and other publications. I have been creating artwork for over five years and have been showcasing my work at galleries and live drawing events and residencies. I have also been selling 1-of-1 clothing and paintings in a boutique in downtown Los Angeles.
firebird, cotton thread on cotton
If you were asked to suggest a "place to see art" where would you recommend?
Everything and everyone is art. The best place to see art, is first, within yourself, and second, in everything around you.
Could you compare your art to music and/or literary genre?
It's hard to compare embroidery to most other art forms because of how detailed and labor-intensive it is. However, thematically, I would say my art would fall into the literary genre of magic realism.
Which artists do you take as inspiration?
I have so many artists that inspire me! Like hundreds. I'm honestly inspired by every person in some way, whether it's how they do something or nothing. Some people that are making stuff right now that I love: Jordan Nassar, Terence Nance, Kelsey Lu, Angela Dimayuga, Nobuo Ishii, Dam-Funk, Devin Troy Strother, Sofie Royer, Yayoi Kusama, Chloe Wise, Jerry Paper, Asma, Maren Karlson, Nunchi, and Nathan Fielder just to name a few :)
One dream commission you have?
Wow, that's a tough one. I would love to embroider some pieces for Dior. They recently put out a collection embroidered with drawings by Kenny Scharf that was just breathtaking and wildly colorful and intricate. I would love to create something similar for them with my drawings.
If you could have some of your works exposed, where would it be?
I would love to show my work at the Hive Gallery and Studios in Los Angeles. I used to go there all the time because I lived 2 blocks away and I just love that most artists that are represented there can create their own space and design a small room that encompasses their work and energy. It becomes an experience of that artist, rather than just some stuff hanging with other stuff.
How long on average do your pieces take to create?
This is very difficult to say. If talking strictly about my embroidery, anywhere between a few days and a few months. I've been working on this one jacket for over a month and might start over lol. When it comes to drawing, I don't spend more than one week on anything. And if we're talking about painting, it could be anywhere between a day and a month. A lot of it depends on the size and amount of detail, but also things outside of my control.
Where did you learn to embroider?
I taught myself mostly. My mom taught me how to sew when I was little, just basic stuff like how to patch holes in clothing and stuff like that. I can't remember why or how I picked it up, I just know I was living in NYC and maybe I was inspired by something I saw, but one minute I wasn't doing it, and the next, my apartment was covered in fabric. Afterward, I found out that my great-grandmother was a costume designer and also did embroidery, so I guess it runs in the family.
What advice do you have for others interested in textiles or art in general?
Never give up on yourself. Never, ever, ever, ever. It's so easy to get to a point where self-confidence is plummeting and it feels like everything you make sucks or "isn't enough" but that's not a real thing. And most of the time, from my experience, that's when you're probably getting close to achieving something you want. It's all about the daily push to continue working, continue creating. Outside of that, everything else is pretty much irrelevant.
patience, cotton thread on cotton