Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofia Chitikov.
Sofia, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in the 80s, in the former Soviet Union, right before the 1991 collapse. The empty store shelves at the time made people really scrappy. In a true DIY fashion, people made just about anything themselves. I spent a lot of my free time designing and making my own clothes, stuffed animals and paper dolls. When I wasn’t making things, I was drawing and painting. I don’t remember the exact moment I became interested in art, but I’ve always had a need to make things that I could not find anywhere. I was quite obsessed.
Fast forward to my college years. Already here in the states, I chose to study Food Science. I did not think I could make a living as an artist, so I took a “safer” route. Interestingly, Food Science led me to an awesome career as a food product developer, creating new drinks, gum and candy products for some of the biggest brands. And while this is not exactly art, I still found a way to create something that did not yet exist.
A few years back I started painting again, got involved with a local collective and things just snowballed from there.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My practice reflects my personal journey of self-discovery and acceptance. In a way, it is also a chance to make sense of human nature, with all of its beauty and ugliness. I am inspired by concepts in psychology and philosophy. My work is primarily about challenging the absolutes. It is about exploring the space between the opposing principles like black and white, good and evil, wealth and poverty.
I make abstract mixed media art. I love to experiment with different materials, be it resin, plastic, wood or glass. My current focus is on texture. I am fascinated by how textural elements can support the ideas and messages behind art works.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Starting out, one of the biggest challenges for me was balancing feedback and trusting my own instincts. I think it is easy to get distracted by how others react to your work, be it criticism or validation. You can get into a dangerous cycle of being too attached to the end result, putting too much stock into what other people think about your art. This can rob you of your creativity and authenticity, of your voice as an artist.
David Bowie said it best:
“Never play to the gallery. Never work for other people in what you do. Always remember that the reason you initially started working was there was something inside you that, if you could manifest it, you felt you would understand more about yourself. I think it is terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations.”
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I participate in several art fairs and events across the country. My website, www.sofiachitikov.com has the latest information on upcoming shows as well as available works.
A couple of my pieces are on display at Young Circle Gallery in Hollywood, Florida until October 3rd. I am active on social media where I post, along with finished pieces, works in progress and “behind the scenes” moments. You can find me @sofiasartlab on Instagram and Facebook or drop me a line directly via e-mail. I think sometimes people feel that artists and art in general are not very accessible, but you might be surprised.
- Website: www.sofiachitikov.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sofiasartlab/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SofiaChitikovArt/
Ramiro Montes De Oca