Hello Magpies! This week I want to introduce you to designer Sofia Schiza, the talent behind the brand Hey Sosi. Her range includes necklaces with chunky wooden pendants, screen printed notebooks and (my personal favourite) cards featuring origami paper landscapes of multicoloured mountains. All of it is sure to bring a little sunshine into your life. I had a chat with Sofia to see what makes her tick…
Hi Sofia! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello there, nice to meet you! I come from the lovely island of Cyprus and I have been living in Leeds for two years now. I graduated in Fine Arts in 2004 and then moved to Spain to work as a graphic designer, where I lived and worked for six years. My adventure with Hey Sosi started two years ago when I moved to Leeds with my partner to start a new life. My previous job left me with practically no time for creativity, so I took advantage of this change to work on this long awaited project!
Where do you get your ideas?
I like using my surroundings for inspiration. Anything that draws my attention gives me ideas. From an old building, to a magazine about interior design, food, a person, or even my imagination…all is valid in my world.
Which artists and designers do you admire?
That’s an endless list! On it you can find Josef Frank, Tracey Emin, Peter Zimmermann, Gary Hume and many more.
Do you have a studio space? What’s it like? And how do you spend a typical day there?
Yes I do! I split my time between two studios. The first one is a screen-printing studio called döts Printhaus where I work Monday to Friday and where I produce my screen-printed items. The second one is my home studio where I work at the weekends. A typical day in my home studio will start in the morning with a nice coffee and cookies, after that I’ll do some drawings and then split my time between making new stock for my online shop and working on any project that I have in progress. It’s nice to have my own space, it just makes everything more special!
Do you keep a sketchbook? How do you think this benefits your practice as an artist/ maker?
Yes I do! I’ve been keeping every single sketchbook ever since I graduated from art school! Currently I’ve got two of them, one for drawing and one notebook for writing. It helps me a lot see my career throughout the years. For me, a documented idea is a ‘real’ one.
What would your advice be to someone who wants to start their own creative business?
Never lose faith in yourself, no matter what! It’s not easy going solo and it requires time, energy and dedication. Being your own boss can be hard at times, you will have to learn to trust your decisions and be your own worst critic. If you do things right and work hard on your project, your rewards will be very sweet and satisfying. It is well worth the journey!
Do you have any collaborative projects on the go right now?
I’m currently working on a zine project which is aimed at children and is published by my buddy Abel Jimenez at Paiorfa Editorial.
And finally, are there any fellow makers you’d like to mention and who you admire right now?
I’d need a few pages to mention them all! But some of my all time favourites are Misako Mimoko, Lana Pelana, Ameskeria, Le Petit Pot and Essimar.
Thanks for talking to us Sofia, we look forward to seeing more from Hey Sosi.