Interview with artist Sofie Gaspard (sofieg)

Sofie Gaspard is a French artist living on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. She makes abstract acrylic paintings and she’s in love with color. Her interview was done in French and translated into English.

Cette interview a été réalisée en français et traduite en anglais.

Sofie, tell us about yourself!

I’m Sofie, and I’m in love with color! I’m French, and I live on Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean. It’s a French department located between Madagascar and Mauritius. I am lucky enough to live here with my 19-year-old son. For 23 years I’ve enjoyed this place that’s very rich in colors, where I enjoy the sea and mountains and take long walks.

How did you get started as an artist?

I have always been creative. I was a hairdresser, but I had to close my salon due to health concerns (allergies) four years ago. Since then, while looking for a job, I occupied my free time by progressing in abstract painting where I am self-taught. So I started off by doing a lot of experimenting.

What kind of art do you make? Tell us about your process.

I make abstract acrylic paintings. Over the course of my experiments, starting from no knowledge in this art, I have experimented with painting techniques such as glazing to make gradients, painting with paper collage, sand. There are several styles because I’m always experimenting. It’s very varied.

I chose acrylic paint because it dries quickly and rinses off with water. The pigments mix well with each other. You can paint with different tools such as a knife, fingers, brushes, spatula. I love abstract art. It frees the imagination, both mine and (I hope) the viewer’s.

What do you love about your work?

I like to work with acrylic paint and materials. I love the colors, the shapes. By painting, I let my intuition work, I escape, I can spend hours being completely elsewhere. Either I dream, or it allows me to let off steam. I would like to be able to make a living from it.

What challenges have you encountered while developing your art business, and how did you overcome them?

As I’m self-taught, I’m not always sure what I’m doing. At first it was difficult to show my work; I didn't know if my paintings would please people. I started by showing my paintings to family and relatives.

Now the challenge is to make myself better known. I'm starting to exhibit in restaurants, and I’m looking for more places to show my work, but it's really tough during this time of COVID. Galleries, take note!

How was the process of getting your business online?

I was new to social media, so I watched a lot of videos to learn. I now post on Instagram and Facebook, and have started posting on Pinterest.

The hardest part was figuring out how to publish my paintings, how to stage them, and how often. Now I follow a content calendar. I haven't gotten over how much time we spend making posts!

I created my online sales website (also self-taught). Now the difficulty is to make it all work for me. It takes a long time to become known.

What prompted you to choose Canvy app to display your work?

When I started on social media, I wanted to find settings

What do you love about Canvy?

Canvy makes it very easy to crop and put paintings in different places, even changing the color of furniture, objects, and walls.

I like its ease of use, and that it’s simple and fast; you can even put your artwork behind an object. It looks classy, clean, crisp, and very realistic.

We know the power of being able to effectively display your artwork. How did it feel to be able to make those images and use them for your business?

I like seeing my paintings in different places and different positions. The images allow people to imagine where they could put my art in their homes. Canvy makes my art look good, too!

Why do you make art?

I started making art to fill my free time. Now I would like to develop it more and

Tell us what you've got coming up next in your business. What are you most excited about creating this year?

I would like to make a living from my art, to exhibit more. I have no particular idea what to work on, because it's my imagination that works. I go according to my impulses.

When I show a person a canvas, I love to listen to what they see. I'm surprised when it’s completely different from what I see. It’s magic!

In the near future I’d like to have my own real or virtual gallery for myself and other artists. I started from nothing four years ago, and I'm quite proud of my progress.

You can find sofieg and her abstract art here