Sofia Nuila is an artist from El Salvador who is the latest contributor to our Support The Art of El Salvador series. In this interview we got a chance to learn more about Sofia, her influences and her thoughts on Salvadoran art.
SA: When did you start making art?
Sofia: I’ve been drawing since I was little. When I was in elementary school, I used to draw in my notebooks like everyone else.
SA: Tell us about the moment you realized art was your passion?
Sofia: I’ve won a couple of art contests in the past and my parents always encouraged me to keep drawing. But there was a moment when I felt like I wanted to follow another career path, I wanted to be a vet or something like that. I never would have imagined that I could make a living doing art despite having won many contests with my art before.
I suddenly got the idea of taking art more seriously when I was in the last year of middle school and I met a friend who is extremely good at drawing. He used to sketch a lot during classes using a ballpoint pen, he drew very fast and showed me a few of his sketches, which were amazing. This inspired me to get better and then I started to learn digital art from YouTube tutorials.
Support The Art of El Salvador Shirt #5 designed by Sofia Nuila
SA: Did you go to school for art? If so, how was that experience?
Sofia: I didn’t go to an art school, but I studied graphic design. The experience was rough, but it was worth it because I learned a different set of skills.
SA: What/Who are some of your artistic influences?
Sofia: I think video games, anime, high fantasy, and aesthetic color palettes from vintage pictures of the 80s are my sources of inspiration.
SA: Looking through your work there's obvious inspiration from fantasy, but the themes are based in nature. How did that come about?
Sofia: I love to draw video game characters, fantasy-like characters, and birds. My profile is full of fanart, fairies, warriors and I think you’ve noticed I have a lot of bird art too, there’s a reason for that.
I like to draw birds because they are smart, beautiful creatures that people take for granted. Because of this, in September, GaNu (Gabriela Nuila), Kachemo (Guillermo Girón) and I host a small challenge where you can draw birds following a prompt list. The challenge is called “Septembirb”, and anyone is welcome to join it.
SA: What kind of tools do you use to make your art? How has that changed over time?
Sofia: Right now, I’m using Photoshop and Clip studio but when I started to upload art on social media I used to mix traditional art with digital art. I made the line art with a mechanical pencil and then I scanned and colored it in photoshop. Now my illustrations are 100% digital because it’s more practical.
SA: What hobbies do you have outside of art?
Sofia: Games have always played an important part in my life; I like to play Nintendo Switch games and pc games.
SA: What are some of your biggest goals as an artist?
Sofia: I’m a very private person, I don’t share my goals out loud hahaha. But in short, I want to keep improving, try new things, sharing my work but not in a daily way because I don’t like to feel enslaved.
My artistic journey is far from done and learning is what I appreciate the most.
SA: What are your thoughts on Salvadoran art today?
Sofia: The talent is incredible and diverse and if I'm being honest, I wish for better opportunities for all of us.
SA: Which Salvadoran artists other than yourself would you recommend to someone trying to learn more about the country's art?
Sofia: I highly recommend taking a peek at their work:
Gabriela Nuila: @ga.nu
Guillermo Girón: @kachemo
Karla Zepeda: @karlaz26
Sofia González: @sofiagonzalez_i
Jackeline Quinteros: @chambonaizer
Julieta Perla: @julie_perla
Ángel Lemus: @angelflemus17
Vane Ramos: @vanerramos
Sonia Lazo: @sonialazo
Fátima Anaya: @ladyalouette
Miguel Membreño: @miguelmemb
It was hard to choose, there are so many excellent artists here.
SA: What part of El Salvador are you from?
Sofia: I was born in San Salvador but I have lived in Antiguo Cuscatlán and Santa Tecla all my life.
To support Sofia and receive updates on her work follow her on Instagram @sofia.nuila