Exclusive interview with Soraya- Artist
Soraya was born to artist parents and surrounded with art and oil paint smells all her youth. Partly creating because they had no money and still wanted to look cool. With her pants creating a matching top from her mom’s pants and transforming her mom’s high heels into flats. Making a crop jacket from her dad’s long suede coat. Asking her dad, where that coat came from. You made that? Always with her silly way, pins, and staples (never look underneath or on the inside) and with no skills getting the end results.
During her late teens she studied at the fashion design school in the Netherlands. Went to a fashion ball and made her dream outfit; of course in blue, her favorite color. With butterflies: one on her head, one on her breast and a big one on her behind. She could not walk, sit or visit the restroom. Soraya didn’t know that there was a fashion contest for best creative outfit and she won 1st prize! Ahead of skilled and trained people with dresses much better made with skills. That night she learned that it is all about ideas and daring to put it out there. However, even though she is still learning more artistic skills, having ideas is never the problem. To turn an idea inside your head into an artistic creation is an amazing process, being in the flow and finding the time to do it all!!!!! Also, she is a mom of 3 fantastic and amazingly talented kids and a passionate cat mom.
Later she did a bit of all her passions, and, as her mom always told her: your problem is that you like it all – clothing design and advice, interior design, window shop displays, painting, etc.
Moving to the United States and for some time not allowed to work while accompanying her husband, she did what she always did…..make their house more special with many art projects along the way. Over the years it got fuller and fuller with more character. She always had lots of new ideas by herself and of course some from the internet – if there only was a shop where she could buy Time.
It came handy that she was a packrat, always new possibilities and materials laying around.
Now, she has started with abstract circles on canvases. Circles, no beginning, no end, endless.
Chaos and dreams. Now her dream is big canvases and to make a living with her art. Writing a book, doing more with her never ending creative journey and a studio where she can create, make messes, explore her clothing style more, and many more things to explore and create.
NY Glam: Tell us a little about yourself and your career beginnings.
For me art is almost normal as I grew up with it. In the beginning I tried to fight it because I was, at the time, the “odd one out” at school. For instance, when I dressed up and could not decide what shoes I wanted to wear I would wear two different ones. The other kids at school thought that was very weird, but it was my destiny, in my blood, so I started to embrace it and now I am even proud of it.
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
It is hard to pick one (my head is always overflowing with ideas). I am always busy with multiple projects in and around the house. Finding the time is for me more of a problem. My goal is now my abstract canvases and setting up my Etsy shop.
NY Glam: What art do you most identify with?
That is a hard one too!!!! I am a feeling person. Everything I do, I do with love and with my heart. But, I make the mistake of always wanting the end result and never enjoying the journey. With my canvases however, it’s different. While the end result is important, especially when I want to sell it, I enjoy the making. That is liberating!
NY Glam: What themes do you pursue?
With my abstract canvases, circles. I love the movement of it. Building them to give it depth. No beginning and no end. Chaos. Every stroke is meant to be there, or not…..?
Lots of happy accidents, start with a plan that 100 times changes with the process. See where it brings me, let it grow under my hands.
NY Glam: What’s your favorite art work?
I think I have two favorites: one is my mural, I wanted to do one of my circles on the wall. A challenge because I work with big layers of paint. So, it needs to lay flat for it to not drip. So, how do I make it work to get the result I want? Even more patient, and more layers.
Second favorite is my first circle, which I made on a wooden panel and with my favorite color blue. I enjoyed the process as well as the awakening it created inside me. One of my children said to me: don’t sell this one mom. Now it stands in our living room and it inspires me to go further on the road.
NY Glam: Tells us about some of your recent exhibitions. What memorable responses have you had to your work?
People always came to me with positive responses about my outfits and now I go to my art community and I get even more fun feedback. Visitors and fellow artists call me a walking piece-of-art and tell me to go out there. In my house too, all visitors (even maintenance folks) always need to take a moment to observe all the art. They are in awe as they never saw a place like that and some of them want to take pictures.
Covid put my world in a holding pattern and, so I did an online exhibit: M-A-D-S Art Gallery in Milan, Italy.. An exciting experience that I hold dear. Now, I slowly do more showings in person, such as an exhibit in a studio space that I share with a friend in the Casket Arts Building in Minneapolis. A truly fantastic experience, and I met lots of great people and other great artists.
So, step by step, I start getting out there. Scary and Fun, and I’m amazed and grateful with the fantastic feedback as I follow my friend’s advice: “you are ready Soraya!” Yes, I am ready to conquer the world, starting with America and then even further.
NY Glam: Tell us about one of your projects which you are very proud of.
My instagram. It sounds weird and compared with millions of followers: I am nothing; but, I started only a year ago and with no experience. My kids help with the setup and postings and when you start scrolling from the beginning up until now then you see me as it tells my story. I learned to get more out there with my art, my style, my house, and of course my love for my kids and cats and my goofiness!!! I am growing and the feedback is amazing, there are so many people who love my style and what I make. My self-confidence is growing and I start having fun with it. More and more projects are getting out there. It is truly me, my story, my life and I’m proud of it. I was not so sure of myself and the first selfie was scary. My friend told me she did a happy dance when she saw me posting my first selfie – she knows it is a big deal.
NY Glam: What does “being creative” mean to you?
It cannot be learned and you cannot get rid of it (I tried). It is deeply embedded in you, in your blood and you breathe it. It is who you are and, at least with me anyway, it gets more intense over the years. It is like a creative bomb exploded in me.
NY Glam: What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Many people come to me saying that I made their days. They were happy seeing me. So that’s it…. I want to make people happy, with my creations, with my art, with my clothing style. Happiness and love is the key to a good life, right??!!!!??!!!!
NY Glam: What role does the Artist have in Society?
To tell a story, speak of important subjects or even ones others don’t dare. Stimulate and support good goals, other people, animals, nature, and Mother Earth. Art is important as a language without words; it spreads love and happiness. Binds people together and builds (art) communities.
NY Glam: What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?
That we need to speak up, speak loud, and come up for animals and Mother Earth who needs help. And, to provide for people who need our support, respect and love today. No matter what color, belief or sex they have!!! It is crazy how people treat each other as it is much more important that you are a good human today, not where you come from, or how rich you are or how you look!!!
NY Glam: How has painting influenced your life?
I grew up with it as my papa was a painter. Always the smell of paint, the sound of the knife on the canvas when I try to fall asleep. Unfortunately I did not treasure it much when I was a child, however, when I grew older I learned how fortunate I was.
NY Glam: What art movement or artist would you say influences your work most?
Mostly my parents. And, to start painting my canvases: Jonna Jinton from Sweden. I am following her and she is an amazing person, painter and artist. In her YouTube video about starting she says: “Just start, don’t doubt yourself, don’t think.”. That was so liberating for me and opened my eyes. I thought, you know what: I’m just going to do it! I hope one day Jonna knows what she means to me and that she was my inspiration to start canvases.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you this year?
More art, paintings and big canvases (my dream), growing my Instagram presence and starting my book – so much more to do. All depends on how many more empty canvases I have.
NY Glam: Can you share with us three favorite things about your city/culture?
Our friends and art community here in and around Minneapolis. My kids are finding their path here. Autumns in the Midwest plus nature and wildlife not the mosquitoes though).
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website