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Staying Creative with Art Comp 2021 Winner Sophie Shaw 

This week we chat with #SCRTARTCOMP winner Sophie Shaw about her process, background and the work behind her winning submission. Check out our interview below and give her a follow on IG here.

Hi Sophie thanks for catching up with us, could you tell us about what you submitted to the Art Comp?

I submitted a few entries. The choice of theme happened quite naturally. In general I found myself being drawn to a lot of imagery that made me feel a bit uncomfortable in its original context, mainly because it was quite eerie. I’d also been following NASA’s robot landing on Mars and watching a lot of old sci-fi films so was feeling very cosmic and heavily inspired by space.

For my submission, Nature’s Camera, the inspiration came from an extract in this old book I’d found that explored the similarities between a photographic camera and the structure of our eyes.  

In terms of the method, I kinda just kept an open mind. I’d been teaching myself some new techniques so it gave me a chance to play around and experiment with them. 

Any inspirations for your work?

My biggest inspiration is fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck. I was lucky enough to intern for him, helping develop his AW/18/19 collections. He’s just got the most amazing vision and has created an aesthetic that’s incredibly unique and striking. His focus isn’t on what’s commercially viable or the opinion of others, instead he puts all his energy into doing what he loves and expressing his creativity. 

Any themes or main points of exploration?

There are so many! I’m always researching and coming across new stuff I didn’t know about before which is a really enjoyable process in itself. I like to create different worlds so it’s important to pull inspiration from a lot of different places. There are some go to topics though- science, nature and sci-fi. And I love history. One of my recent projects was influenced by Japan’s Edo period. The woodblock prints have a really beautiful quality to them. The stories they tell and how they were a part of Japanese culture really intrigue me. But whatever the theme, the approach has got to be weird, fun, unusual or surreal.

Any advice from a young creative?

Say yes to every opportunity ! You never know what door it might open. Even if you’re having doubts keep putting yourself out there. Your feelings aren’t facts, there’s every possibility someone will like what you do. But if it doesn’t work out don’t be disheartened or let it knock your confidence, not everything will be right for you and there’ll be plenty more chances. 

Keep learning. This could be through exploring new techniques, expanding/improving existing skills, self reflection- figure out what makes you feel good, what works/doesn’t work for you, what you’re inspired by. Pick apart whatever it is you find inspiring to figure out exactly what it is that you like, and think about how you could apply these ideas in your own way to your work. 

Take a break if you’re not feeling creative. You definitely can’t force it and it’s not a productive use of time. Also don’t put too much pressure on yourself and burn out, it’s great to have ambitions and love what you do but looking after your mental health is important too. 

Favourite film?

Very late to the game but I’ve recently got into Star Wars. All the different planets and their landscapes are pretty nice. Naboo’s my favourite, and I’m obsessed with all of Queen Amidala’s looks.

Finally, any artists/designers we should know about?

Viktor H Studios - everything he does is insane!

Cheers Sophie!

To see more of Sophie's work, make sure to follow her on Instagram here.