Wk 8 – Artist Conversation – Sophia Grecco

Artist: Sophia Grecco
Exhibition: Lucky Places for a Grave
Media: Illustration, Watercolour
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Website: Sijgrecco.wixsite.com
Instagram: Sogriart

See Through Thyme by Sophia Grecco
The Violinist by Sophia Grecco

Sophia Grecco is currently attending California State University Long Beach and is in her last year. She’s working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in the School of Art’s Illustration program. Sophia decided to pursue her major because she found out that she had a passion for illustration when she took a high school program for it. She went back to the program every year because she loved it so much. She doesn’t have an idea of what she’ll do after she graduates, but as long as she’s making art for herself, she’ll be happy. She’s trying to explore art to see what sticks with her. Lately, she’s been into watercolour, but she also does digital art. Her favourite things to draw at the moment are salamanders and mushrooms. Sophia has been drawing since four or five-years-old, but she stopped for a bit. She continued when she was eight-years-old, and she wanted to be an artist when she was 11-years-old. Her role model is Hayao Miyazaki. He’s the reason Sophia first wanted to make art. Sophia’s biggest supporters are her friends and family. Her works in the exhibition really reflects her hard work and their support!

In Sophia’s See Through Thyme, the formal qualities are abundant and interesting. You don’t have to be up close to see the art, but to really see the details, you need to be up close and personal. The lines are smooth and wavy, like ocean waves. They are also undulating. There’s incredible amounts of transition between the lines too. The colours are dull and muted, but it adds to the art. Some of the colours are blended together too, giving it a nice and seamless look. It has an ominous and mysterious rhythm because of the details of the subject and because of the colours. The background also makes it ominous and mysterious because it’s a dark colour with dark shades. For the scaling, the subject is big because all the focus is on her. In terms of the texture, it looks rough and coarse.

Sophia was exploring the ideas of folktales. She used folktales from her childhoods as a guide to show viewers the most essential elements of our identities. This includes professional, cultural, gender, sexual, and religious/spiritual identity. Her work is mostly based on original folktales. Some of her work like The Violinist, is based on a real folktale. Sophia was trying to convey that folktales can be metaphors for our lives. Folktales tell us how to live, how to deal with pain and negativity, and how to understand ourselves and others. She wants to use the power of folktales to critique, restructure, and illustrate the sense of self.

My experience was great! I loved going to Sophia’s exhibition and looking at all the amazing works that were put up. When I first entered, I was surprised by how mysterious and ominous the art was. Then, I saw that it was about folktales. I love folktales. I think they are great stories to tell because of how they each have morals and themes. I also love how some can be very creepy because that keeps it interesting. See Through Thyme was the work that immediately caught my eye. Sophia’s exhibition was very interesting, and as I talked to her about her work, I learned a lot more interesting things. This includes her thought and planning process. I was kind of shocked that she usually only takes a week to make art, but two months to plan the whole thing out. Sophia was also very easy to talk to. She has a laid-back and easygoing demeanor. I relaxed a lot during our conversation. Even though she doesn’t have a direction she wants to go in after college, I want to see her succeed and be happy in wherever she ends up going. I wish her the best!

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