We had the good fortune of connecting with Sohani Holland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sohani, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance requires you to be conscious of the life you want within each moment. When you become aware of your own needs and flow, it is easier to navigate to equilibrium. And, as we interact and relate with others, it is also important to acknowledge that this balance point is unique within each of us. The core of what I love, what brings me joy, that has not changed, but how these essential elements have integrated within my life has naturally evolved, as my perspectives and responsibilities shifted. In the earlier stages of my life, my schedule was focused on gathering work experience, learning about business through helping others build theirs. Over time, I developed enough knowledge to know I wanted more command of my day. As someone that used to work primarily in an office setting, I needed to make more room for my creation process. I needed to balance the amount of time at a computer with movement and the act of making art. My preference is to blur the demarcation between “work” and “life” and to simply have balance, in my life, by making my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being paramount. I thrive when I am in harmony. I show up more alert and innovative when I tend to all parts of myself. Now I have the flexibility to create my day and week to mirror my moods and thoughts. Once I consciously tend to all of my ideas, everything gets accomplished with ease, and I am prepared when I need to adapt to change. I listen to myself first, then I decide how to align all other tasks and directions.
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.
Integration is a recurring theme in my artwork. The art begins with my life experiences and then incorporates the environment. Often present are other bodies and collaborators, along with their thoughts and desires. Every piece is an evolution from the one prior and is an opportunity to explore. With each new beginning, I consider what I wish to further investigate. Elements are deliberately selected, and learning while beautifying becomes the motivation. At the heart and origin of my creative process is dance. I started taking formal classes while in kindergarten, and have been grooving ever since. From movement, I learned how to use my body as an instrument to process sound and emotion. At the same time, I was intrigued by fashion as a tool of transformation. Color and clothing could shape my mood and alter the way I interacted within social settings. In addition to math and engineering, I was formally trained in film photography and printmaking at Cooper Union and Harvard University. This was the first time I understood how to blend the arts and the sciences. However, it wasn’t until I learned weaving that it all clicked. Working with fiber required tactile manipulation. Through touch and movement, I was making from my sensual creative center, and there was a contemplative quality in the labor that allowed me to slow down and witness the experience. These projects became about living in the art. Each piece has a history. They become archives of stories, decisions, and time. I experiment with curiosity and joy. I am inspired by nature. Ultimately, my art process is all about play and the interconnectedness of life. Through weaving, I get to revisit my personal and professional skill sets, as well as incorporate theater, hospitality, and architecture. My work is installed in restaurants, retreat centers, and private homes. I continue to design interactive temporary structures for group engagement, and host a series of accompanying workshops. My art also lives on stage, on the big screen in three films, and in both print and digital fashion editorials. I am most proud of my journey and the evolution of the work. I did not begin creating with expectations. My only knowing was that I had to continue, and I had to share. I made a list of experiences I was moving towards, and I am so grateful for every collaborator I have met along the way. Each experience occurred because of an invitation. As I openly created, another opportunity would be presented. Working with like minded organizations and welcoming locations allows me to bring my whole self to each project and develop custom pieces that enhance and benefit all involved.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I moved to California for its diverse natural environment. At the height of the LA Safer at Home orders in 2020, I rekindled my relationship with nature and began spending more time outdoors. My new Happy Hour is beginning the sunset in the Santa Monica Mountains and ending at the ocean in Malibu. Renting bikes and riding along the beach trails are always a must. It is the endless number of short-distance day trips that inspire me, like visits to the LA County Arboretum. For longer rides, I enjoy either heading into the desert towards Palm Springs and Joshua Tree or into the forests of Big Bear Lake and Idyllwyld or driving north towards Ojai, Santa Barbara, and the lush wineries. It is amazing that in one week in Los Angeles, you can really access it all.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate this to my family, and I thank them for providing an upbringing that encouraged my full self.
Cover image: Marcel Sison, Image 1: Brian Bombarda, Image 2, 5, 7: Mae Koo, Image 3: Knockingbird Creative, Image 4: Dan Dupuis, Image 6: Renee Chou, Image 8: Arlene Ibarra