1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Sophie Filomena, and I am from the West Midlands, UK. I moved to Bristol to study and now I’m living and working here as an Illustrator and Designer. I live with 3 other artists and we all help motivate each other. It’s quite good.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
BOLD and abstract. I take my ideas from 80s inspired sci-fi films and tech adverts. I’m really into cosmology and anything to do with theories of space and the universe. I want this to come across in my work. Currently I enjoy working in pink and blue pastel colours, and drawing landscapes from other worlds.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Living in the digital age, I have embraced Photoshop, and it’s never let me down. However I like to stay true to traditional methods such as paper collage, which I still do a lot of. It works really well with my style because of the bold graphic elements. There’s an endless amount you can achieve with digital design, but it doesn’t have the same charm as paper cut out work.
4. What is your artistic process like?
It’s probably not the best way to work, but it suits me. If i’m doing some personal illustrations I tend to dive head first into it, and not really think about what i’m doing. It’s very immediate and automatic. I find if i plan too much, the work can look very uptight. I thumbnail ideas when they come to me, and get to work on them as soon as I can – but they always evolve as I go along. Most of my stuff is done super fast – I never spend more than a couple of days tops working on a piece.
If i’m designing for a company, my process is a little more professional, and take a bit of time to plan things out. Research is important. I think if you’re designing for someone else, it’s best to read up as much about the company as possible until you could pass of one of the staff members. Get to know the brand, then have at it.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I guess i’m into pop art. I don’t draw characters often, but I admire Lichtenstein’s colour palette and his way of using smaller shapes to make up a whole image. When people do feature in my work, they’re often women flailing about – mostly having fun and embracing girl power (however you want to take it). Lichtenstein drew mostly women too, and I think they’re an interesting median for expression.
The Memphis movement of 1980s Milan blows my mind. I wish my entire house could look like that. I like to replicate 3D but in 2D format, and I think the Memphis style really morphs those boundaries. Also, I can’t ignore the Vaporwave craze that’s been happening. My work was heading in that sort of direction and when I saw the aesthetic of it, I was like ‘Oh yeah.’ – like an epiphany I’m definitely inspired by the abstractness of it all, and how it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
It’s always been in my life. I often have design on the brain 24/7 and find myself looking at anything from the scenery around me – to a shadow on the wall and thinking ‘That’ll make a good illustration.’ About only 10% of these thoughts actually become an end product, so most of the time i’m frustrated at the fact I can’t, or don’t have the time to put everything in my brain into an illustration.
7. Where did you study?
University of the West of England – Bristol, UK. There was a field of deer right next to it. I felt out of my depth the whole time I was there, but I really did learn a great deal thanks to the amazing teachers. I didn’t come into my style until after I graduated, which I find interesting.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?
Depending on what day you ask me this question it ranges from – ‘I don’t knowwwwwwwww – I’m so scared!!!’ to ‘Creative Director Ms Filomena boss lady.’
9. What about in ten?
Hopefully still alive.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Peace of mind. Like most other artists I know, I’ll never be satisfied with my work. I really enjoy what I do, but I will always be my biggest critic. On occasion I despair at myself and how hard it is to make a living from something like this. But ultimately that’s what fuels me to keep going and better myself. I don’t know of any other ‘job’ that allows that to come into play on such a personal level and that’s why I keep doing what I do.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Oh haha, this question is alot lighter. I like Italian and Mexican cuisine – Like pasta, burritos and coffee.
12. Favourite book?
That’s really hard. I’m reading, like 5 books at the moment. I’m enjoying a neurology type book by Oliver Sacks and this other one called ‘Essays on Love’ by Alain de Botton. I prefer non fiction, but I think I need to get stuck in to a proper good fictional tale. I want to mention the book series ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ – because they are completely mental.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Oh gosh. If you gave me any genre, I’m sure I could find something I like from it. Except Mathrock – what the hell is that? Also Grimes is queen of my heart. check her out!
14. What are your hobbies?
I guess i’m into art…. Also I do kickboxing twice a week. Is drinking wine a hobby?
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Homeless. Or a martial arts coach, or a Cosmologist.