We sat down with talented local artist, photographer, and star of our latest mini campaign, Veronika Sola and discussed life as a creative and a Mother.
You're a photographer and an artist primarily, I love your opening statement on your website about being driven and inspired by people, colour, form and feeling. How does that drive what you do for work, and who you choose to partner with?
The one thing that unites all of those elements is energy and character. So I always try to ask myself and my clients what energy and attitude they want to portray and how I can demonstrate it best with a variety of tools such as colour and form. I believe images should have depth in them and make you feel something. Creative synergy is also important in a working partnership and I love collaborating with anyone who wants to create unique, meaningful but also fun work.
What is your typical creative process like when you're working on a project or does it vary from project to project? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Yes every project is different, but typically involves collecting and moodboarding images. After spending a few hours on the look and feel, I start to see a pattern for the overall idea and then I dig deeper and start layering it with finer details.I find that after a certain amount of time, I need to distract myself with something very different ie going surfing, or just going for a quick walk. I find that when you take regular breaks from thinking about one thing, you often get solutions and stronger ideas. It’s like your brain takes a moment to breathe but then comes back even stronger. I love looking at painters' work for colour inspiration like Yayoi Kusama. Nick Knight is my forever muse for pushing ideas in the image making realm. I love observing light in nature and taking inspiration from that. For my artistic projects I often borrow ideas from neuroscience and psychology. I really love exploring concepts of our mind and psych and applying it to the artwork itself. But really inspiration is everywhere, even in the mess that my 4 year old creates on the daily.
You had your first solo show 'dreamland' in 2020, how did that go for you? What was it like having a solo show?
Oh it was a big dream come true. It started off as a submission with one image ready and no solid plan, but grew exponentially over 8 weeks. Everything about it was unexpected in a good way. I almost chickened out of it but so glad I didn’t. Creating a personal show is a really vulnerable experience, you put your soul out into the world for everyone to see and you need to be ready for any judgement that may come your way, so support system is everything and I was very lucky to have met all the people on the way who believed in me and supported me. A personal show definitely makes you grow so much as an artist, so whilst scary I highly recommend it to all the creatives :)
I know you love to surf and spend time with your beautiful son, Luca. What are your most favourite things to do when not working?
Ooh yes, surfing and spending time with the ocean has recently been the best therapy. It makes me come alive and forget everything, as soon as you start to think you lose your waves and you don’t want that. It’s a total mind reset. So aside from spending time at the beach and nature with family and friends, I do love going dancing, visiting galleries, testing new recipes, vintage shopping for a vase or just having a good laugh with Luca, he is my funny guy.
How do you find balancing your career and being a mum?
It’s definitely a challenge and it forever feels like there is never enough time for anything and that I am behind...But over the last 4 years I’ve learnt to not set overly high expectations on myself and be a bit more realistic with what it is that I can achieve in a day or a week. I think what has been working for me is setting up a bit of a plan at the beginning of the week and communicating with my partner about all the duties that we need to do. Whilst routine is boring, it allows you to stay focused and stay a bit more sane and somewhat balanced.
Do you have any cherished rituals that help you to maintain balance throughout the day?
Recently I have really been inspired by the work of a spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, who teaches about awareness and presence. When the mind gets busy and you get out of sync, he often recommends to pause and watch the clouds or the flowers/plants around you. So I’ve started doing that a bit more often these days, just stopping from time to time and appreciating the living world around me. It may sound odd, but something really shifts when you just stare at a flower. So I buy more flowers now too.
Do you have any advice to offer young female creatives venturing out into the working world?
Spend time exploring and defining yourself as a creative. What do you stand for, why do you do the work and what do you like? There are many creatives out there but we all have different stories, so find yours to tell. I'm still refining mine, it's a process and something to enjoy as a journey. Also, experiment with ideas, find a mentor and don't be afraid to reach out to those who walked a few more miles than you, you never know how they might help you with your career. Dream big and go for it, but most importantly don’t compare yourself to others :)
Find out more about Veronika and her work here.