We had the good fortune of connecting with Sofia Naveira-Castro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sofia, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I moved to NYC when I was three years old- my mom was a teenager at the time, pursuing a career in architecture at Pratt.
I was there through her entire college experience so I really got to watch her work her butt off. She would make these really intricate models out of wood and I’d always be playing with the excess supplies left in the classroom.
Sometimes I’d fall asleep under her desk during finals.
I think having that kind of exposure at that age really sparked my interest in creating things. I wanted to be like her and do the same things alongside her.
She would draw me a picture of Ariel from The Little Mermaid (she was my fav) and it just made me sooooooo mad that I wasn’t able to draw her as well as she could.
That just kinda stuck with me for my entire childhood- I needed to be better than her.
I wasn’t very good at academics so I put all my energy into drawing instead. I ended up getting accepted to Highschool of Art & Design where I learned about the entertainment industry and had friends that exposed me to schools like Calarts and ArtCenter.
I actually got into ArtCenter after highschool but the timing wasn’t right- I was 19 and lived on the other side of the country so Id never been on my own like that.
Eventually it worked out a few years later when I received a full scholarship to attend. Now I work for a studio as a Visdev artist in LA so I’m really thankful I stuck it out this long.
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 was pretty self taught and my preference will always be in character design, but I’m mostly proud of my environment pieces.
I used to haaaate the idea of drawing backgrounds it made my head hurt and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with perspective.
At ArtCenter I was forced to face it or Id fail a class and lose my scholarship, so I burnt those lessons into my brain and cried a bunch but eventually it all just clicked and I was finally able to explore a whole new avenue of art.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I haven’t been out a lot because of the pandemic but I really like going to Malibu. They have a place called Broad Street Oyster that has the best lobster rolls I’ve ever had.
I also really like going to Kura Sushi a lot which I know is really boring but it reminds me of when I lived in Japan briefly and we don’t really have conveyer belt places on the east coast.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my MOM for one she a real one frfr
My group of friends in highschool i owe a lot to- I still talk to them and they’ve always been really encouraging about what I’ve wanted to do.
Huuuuuge shoutout to my partner Ric who I’ve known since I was 14. He was there for me at my lowest. I don’t think I’d be where I am without him.