By Anes Lee
#StopAAPIHate Voices is a collection of interviews that feature artists from the online exhibition #StopAAPIHate: The Voices Behind the Movement. The artists share some insight into how the movement has impacted them and their art, as well as shed some light on their own personal journeys as creators.
This interview features talented Sri Lanka and India-based artist, Sonia Jain.
How did you get your start as an artist? What made you want to start making art?
Colours have fascinated me since time memorial and I always found pleasure in painting. The creative side in me always wants to experiment with different mediums, styles, and concepts. Art is a way for me to express my deepest emotions, thoughts, and feelings. To continue with my passion I pursued my Master’s in Fine Arts from Punjab University in Chandigarh, India. Along the way, I have participated in several exhibitions in India.
After marriage, I moved to Sri Lanka. Life saw a lot of changes but one thing that remained with me was my art. Inspired by the natural beauty of this Island, I did a solo exhibition with nearly 50 paintings and received an overwhelming love & response to what was my first international exhibition. And the journey continues to date…
Expressing through colours connects me with a feeling of great joy and positivity. It is like a source of happiness for me when I feel lost. Painting fills my heart full of hope and provides me with the deepest inspirations for life. I wish you can see the same in my art.
How would you describe your overall collection of works? Do they fall under a particular style or medium?
My work is a constant search for the best way to interpret the ideas that I have about myself and the world I live in. My painting style is completely organic and spontaneous with colours, patterns, and textures using mostly acrylics as a medium whilst working with other mediums as well. My works come alive with emotions through the movement of brushwork, nature and subjects surrounding me. I love to experiment with colours so the backgrounds of my paintings are abstract with some figurative art. Working with multiple layers of paint I scrape away, scumble over, scratch through, and finally, add my gestural marks with a brush. I aim to stimulate viewers to appreciate their own remarkable capabilities of observation and perception. The real beauty is how we perceive and interpret what we see. I want viewers’ eyes to play. The emotion carried and transferred by each piece is powerful, and easily conveyed to the viewer. I do let my imagination and creativity run wild than being caged.
Do you have any inspirations or favorite artists?
I find inspiration for my art from daily life, travel experiences, nature, and current events. I like to play with common themes twisting them around in order to give them new meaning. Abstracting images from the imagination and views of daily life is the beginning of each piece. I pull much of my inspiration of form and color from nature and my love of interpretation of the beauty around us. My emotions and interests seem to evolve with each piece of art. I thrive on the diversity of styles from all genres and find each artist has unique perspectives and expressions. Art has always been my therapy. Whether working through difficulties or celebrating accomplishments… it has to remain the balance in my life.
How do you think the works you submitted for the show tie in with the #StopAAPIHate campaign? Were there any particular messages you wanted to convey?
My works “The Secret Key” and “Souls” exhibited for #StopAAPIHate recognizes differences in perspectives and viewpoints of different souls and symbolizes optimism. Through my works, I want to give a message of positivity. The key is to recognize and respect differences that each soul is unique and the world would be a happier place with a positive outlook. I hope that the vibrant colors in my art inspire them to be positive, to collaborate, to nurture, and to support. We, as humans, are more alike than we are different. Just as colors come together to form beautiful art so do people to form a supportive community. It takes a village to raise a child or to bring about monumental change. I believe my vibrant colors play a small part in building our community.
What advice would you give emerging artists or people thinking of getting into art?
The message I would like to give all emerging artists and the ones thinking of getting into art is that never fear perfection otherwise you will never be able to reach it anyway. The insight and experience of others are a valuable source of inspiration and motivation. Life throws curveballs. And while there might be blockers to success, it’s imperative to keep pushing with the knowledge, mistakes will be made and failure is inevitable.
Even the world’s most successful individuals have experienced their fair share of setbacks and hardships. There’s much to learn from their challenges as well as their success. Luckily, they’ve condensed their wisdom into meaningful quotes that you can store for later use.
So, I would like to leave you with some of those quotes to get energized and inspired at work and in our personal lives.
“ACTION is the foundation key to all SUCCESS.” – Pablo Picasso
Creativity takes courage” – Henri Matisse
Last but not least, I would like to finish with this beautiful saying:
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso
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