All Types of Artistry - Verb Q&A Series ♥︎ Sophia Penrose Winter
At Verb, part of what we love to do is highlight other people or companies who are out there really living their Verb. For this month’s Q&A we spoke to Sophia Penrose Winter, an artist in more ways than one. While Sophia has a series of her own artwork, she also styles and photographs interiors, fashion and portraits.
Here we talked to her about artistry, travel, her love for discovering new music and her dream to flip a villa in Europe.
Sophia began her creative exploration as an artist in a garage. For Sophia, visual expression began first as an outlet and has since transformed into a life source, a moving meditation, a process irreplaceable by any other means.
Sophia lives by this quote that she was once told, "you're only an artist on the days that you do art.” So be it a pencil in her hand or paint misplaced onto yet another pair of "good jeans," she intentionally makes space for a daily creative practice.
Design, art and creative ideation comprise an overwhelmingly large industry, most people fail to recognize that the world as we know it would cease to exist without the design-minded workers.
Where do you find inspiration?
Travel (and all that it encompasses such as art, architecture, landscape, cultural dress and cuisine) has always been an inspiring source for me. Lately though, I’ve found myself more inspired by a feeling than a facade. I’m in a transitory place in my life right now so the brush strokes, texture, shapes and colors in some of my recent artwork has reflected that sense of transition.
What’s your favorite software/app/website to use for work?
I built my website using a platform called Wix and frequently use Canva for a myriad of tasks, which have included creating a visual portfolio, social media posts and I recently used one of their resume templates!
Three Instagram (or other social network) accounts you love to follow:
Athena Calderone of Eyeswoon has always been an aspirational platform that I follow closely. I also love Tappan Collective for art inspiration and CN Traveler for my travel musings.
Go-to soundtrack when you want to get fired up:
Some bands/artists that I’ve had on repeat lately and that always make me feel really good are the Brooke & the Bluff, Maggie Rogers, The Rolling Stones (currently listening to Beast of Burden) and Lake Street Drive. A lesser-known love of mine is discovering new music and creating playlists! Music matters!
In an alternate life, what would your career be?
I have a dream to buy and flip an old villa somewhere in Europe and turn it into a retreat of sorts filled with local art and timeless (yet eclectic) interior design that offers an outstanding culinary experience, acres of land for outdoor activities and a place for creatives to go, share, collaborate, and work all while being fully immersed in the overall experience. In an alternate life, perhaps I would have set out to pursue a design and architecture schooling from the start to create an intentional profession around this dream of mine.
How did you get into your industry?
Cultivating creativity is something I’ve been doing since I was two-years-old and began insisting that I dress myself in the most bizarre assortment of outfits. Since then, I have always worked with and around creative people and concepts. However, I first started selling my artwork when a woman came to my family’s home a few years ago to view a piece of my mother’s artwork and while getting a tour of the house, she pointed to a piece that I made for myself on my bedroom wall and asked “how much?”.
After being left with a blank space on my wall and a check in my hands moments later, I began growing into the confidence that individuals (other than my friends and family) respect and appreciate the work I love to create.
What do you love about your industry?
The boundless opportunity as well as how meaningful and purposeful an artful/creative concept can be.
What drives you crazy about working as an artist?
The creative industry in general is incredibly subjective (which can be both a beautiful and disheartening thing). One aspect that often drives me crazy is the process of how art is priced. Everyone has different ambition and reason behind their prices and individual buyers have very different perspectives on what a piece should or shouldn’t be worth. I would say this is emotionally and technically one of the details of the industry that can easily drive you crazy and be very difficult to navigate as a buyer, an artist or a retailer.
What’s something about the art industry that most people wouldn’t know?
I think many people are unaware and don’t know the sheer impact that creative thinkers have on our daily lives. Because design, art and creative ideation comprises an overwhelmingly large industry, most people fail to recognize that the world as we know it would cease to exist without the design-minded workers behind city planning, public transportation and even the way the lid of your to-go coffee cup functions.
I’ve always been a huge proponent of education that incorporates art-based learning concepts that activate the right side of our brains while completing left-brained tasks. I think it’s the creative thinkers that this world can’t afford to lose to being convinced into a “more stable” career. We need those kids who doodle product design concepts in the margins of their biology textbooks because they’re the ones who will continue to help push out-of-the-box innovation!
Did you always know this is something you wanted to do?
There’s a quote in the Alchemist that says, “When you want something, the whole Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” and I’ve always believed this because it’s been true in my own life. So, yes, I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to grow into my creative tendencies and whether the opportunities have found me or I have intently sought them out, I’ve always wanted to be creating something visual that elicits visceral responses.
When I was younger I was always speculative as to how my creative capacities would materialize into a career and to be honest, I think this is something I will always wonder because creativity is a very fluid thing and the input and output associated with it changes constantly depending on what I’m doing in a job or a career. I think I would surprise myself if creating artwork became my sole source of income one day but no matter what I’m doing professionally, purposeful creativity is a practice I will maintain.
How do you find it balancing multiple facets of the art industry and combining them in your company?
Because I do freelance work for all facets, I’ve maintained the ability to control the flow and volume of each branch since I began offering services publicly.
However, I think it’s an exceptional thing to be able to play a part in elevating someone’s life even in the smallest of ways. The disciplines that I work in have the ability to transcend countless barriers because they all involve a sensory experience. Experiencing life through our senses is something that we as humans all have in common and have access to. We don’t have to speak the same language or share the same beliefs to enjoy a meal made by someone totally different than us. Because of this, even if balance was nonexistent throughout the multiple facets, I think being a bridge for that kind of unity is something worth working incredibly hard for.