We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Sohpaul and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, how do you think about risk?
As a creative person it’s very important to take risks in order to make and introduce new things to the world. Stepping away from my artistic style or choosing a different medium is vital to grow as an artist. I’ve definitely discovered a lot about my creative practice through this process. Risk taking makes people uncomfortable but it’s very important to grow as a creative person.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I always had an interest in art, but it wasn’t until high school that I decided to take it seriously. I also loved comics and cartoons, so my love of design was heavily influenced by my fascination with pop culture. After high school, I studied design in university and got into the media arts program. After university, I worked as a user experience designer. But I was still making art and having art shows on the side. Eventually I decided to quit my design job to focus on art full time simply because it fed my soul. I still do design but only work on projects that fit my personal ethos.
I found inspiration and motivation from street art, streetwear, and of course my roots. Street art has this rawness and boldness to it. It’s experimentational and when mixed with a “do what you can with what you have” attitude, you get very interesting results. I strive to have this approach in my process. And I try to think of the context of where my work will live. If it’s in a gallery, if it’s on a wall outside or on a t-shirt, what changes and how would the space impact the work?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are a few places I definitely would want to check out and would recommend. First, I would take them to the Grand Central Market. It’s a great vibe and lots of food options. Then around the corner is the The Bradbury Building and I’d show the building where a few scenes from the original Bladerunner film were shot. After that I would go to the Broad. It’s always so fun and it has work from some of my favorite artists. For dinner, I would recommend Badmaash LA. My friends Nakul and Arjun can cook a mean poutine, Indian style.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Sabreena Haque, a henna artist and now tattoo artist.
Raghu Alla, Founder of Popshift
Photography: Harleen Grewal @greywalldesignstudio Ariella Ilona @a_ria_h Models: Guntaj Deep Singh @guntajdeepsingh Simran Johal @xx.smrn Gabrielle Cheema @gabriellekaurcheema Mitsu Solanki @mitsuluvsu