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Social media and art: a new era for creativity - Interview with SOFIga

Posted on03/15/2024 by
Arts and crafts: is there a future for young people?

More and more young people dream of turning their artistic passion into a job, but few have a clear idea of how to go down this path and what opportunities today's society offers them.

To understand more and understand the point of view of younger people, we interviewed Sofia, a very young Italian girl who, in an age dominated by social media and technology, wants to establish herself in the art world.

The story of Sofia, aka SOFIga, is an interesting example of how the world of arts and crafts is changing and highlights what has become a recurring dynamic for those who want to pursue a career in these fields today.

If in the past it was necessary to "do the apprenticeship" in the workshop to learn the techniques and secrets of the masters, today training often takes place in total autonomy, thanks to the Internet and Social media that play a dual role: the formative one, through online courses, tutorials and communities of artists, which allow to acquire skills and compare oneself with other professionals in the sector, and the no less important one of powerful showcase that allows to confront directly with the public, intercepting opportunities and possible clients.

A change that certainly impoverishes emerging artists compared to the skills that used to be acquired in the workshop but that, on the other hand, has the great merit of pushing the artist to use art as a tool to communicate his or her thoughts or to address social issues.

That iportant premise having been made, here is the story of Sofia, 23, a college degree in her pocket and an uncertain future.

What if happiness did not coincide with a college career? Sofia did not have many doubts and decided to bet on herself and her love for art, opening a new chapter in her life ...

"Art has always held an irresistible fascination for me, both as a means of communication and as a tool for creating and decorating artistic objects. A creative fire that, unfortunately, for a time was dulled by my excessive self-criticism, making me dissatisfied with all my work.

During college, however, in parallel with my studies, I started doing performance art in some venues. There, art manifested itself in a new, liberating form, where self-criticism melted away like snow in the sun. I was the creator and the work of art, immersed in the present, a whirlwind of emotions that overwhelmed me and the audience. It was an experience that taught me to live art without fear, with the joy of one who gives himself completely to the moment.

For these performances, I would create handcrafted costumes and masks, crude and imperfect, devoid of refined technicalities. Yet, their raw charm did not go unnoticed: they aroused emotions in the audience and in myself, who took immense joy in bringing them to life.

When I finished college, less and less convinced of the career that lay ahead and more and more in love with art, I decided to try to get better at making masks, costumes and other artistic works.

So I went half-crazy and left Northern Italy on a solo trip, locking myself up in a trullo in beautiful Puglia so that I would have no distractions. Here I started experimenting with new techniques, building masks, sculptures and posting videos documenting my work and improvements on TikTok."

Five intense months, an explosion of creativity that brought new works to life and improved my artistic skills. But not only that: my work found an online audience, unexpected feedback that nurtured my self-esteem and pushed me to believe even more in my path. The first orders were the icing on the cake, the confirmation that my art could touch people and give birth to a profession.

At the moment I mainly make masks and cardboard sculptures, both for performances I do in person and for those commissioned online through my social channels, and I am working on a new exhibition where I will display my statues.

The beauty of art, for me, is in the great communicative power it possesses, and performances are a way for me to bring to the public not only my creations but also a kind of social criticism that I like to represent in a playful and provocative way.

In the last performance, for example, my body was transformed into a cow: an extravagant costume inside a giant yogurt. A dreamlike hallucination in which I suckled a gymnastic baby while a shower of milk flooded the stage. It was an explosion of sensoriality and contrasts that left the audience speechless.

"Visually it was ridiculous, at least as ridiculous as people who drink milk or consume animal derivatives are to me. Let me explain, I see those who insult vegans and criticize this lifestyle choice as people who cannot evolve and who deliberately ignore a problem that is in front of everyone's eyes. Indeed, the meat and meat products industry is one of the most polluting and treats animals as objects. Thus, those who say that they have always made and eaten meat and cheese can be compared to a child who throws a tantrum and does not want to change their habits....

Coming back to my creations, the choice of cardboard as a material is related to its strength, ease of use and not least its low cost, however, the next step is to find a sponsor who will allow me to work with more professional and valuable materials, make giant shows and gigantic exhibitions, at least until I can do everything completely independently.

I am only at the beginning but my plan is to become a world-class artist!
Then again, one has to think big, right? "

The world of arts and crafts, it seems, still offers several opportunities for young people who wish to turn their passion into a job. The road is not easy, requiring sacrifice, passion, talent and a good dose of resourcefulness. New technologies and social media, in this area, prove to be valuable tools for building a career and offer greater advantages to those who have their own thoughts to share and know how to communicate them in an original way.

Our advice for young aspiring artists:

- Cultivate your passion: Dedicate time and effort to your art, experiment and be curious.
- Train yourself: Acquire the necessary technical skills, either through online or in-person courses.
- Be active online: Create an online portfolio and use social media to promote your work.
- Create a network of contacts: Connect with other artists, attend events and exhibitions.
- Never give up: Success takes time and perseverance. Believe in yourself and your dreams.

Follow Sofia on Instagram: @SOFIga or su TikTok: @SOFIga_con_le_corna

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