We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophie Roessler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I really can’t do anything else. I am painfully bad at math, to the point that at 27 I couldn’t balance the cash drawer at the end of the night at the pizza place I was working at. I can’t pet sit, while working for an agency a dog I was walking got hit by a car and had its leg broken. I’m terrified of waitressing. I no-showed at the lingerie store after being reprimanded for my tardiness. Thinking about not making art feels like the ultimate failure. There have been so many times over the years where I have decided “I’ll just quit” to take the pressure off, but I keep coming back to it. I can’t escape art making. When I draw it feels like meditation. Pursuing a creative career is the only option.
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 like to describe my work as a teenage fever dream. The adolescent girl world is filled with crushes, yearning, escapism, sadness, angst, and rage. It’s a tightrope walk, a radical ambivalence. I captures these feelings of confusion within my drawings through a personal collection of iconography extracted from popular culture. The works are a stylized childlike fantasy, the emancipation of the teenage spirit through dark humor. It’s taken me about ten years to get to the point that I am at now. It definitely was a struggle with a lot of ups and downs. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is persistence and building a supportive community. Artists want to help each other when we can! My work isn’t exactly mainstream, so I’ve had to figure out who the audience is that likes my art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love asian food so I’d definitely take them them to Thai town. There’s so many places to choose from but one of my top choices is Jitlada. For drinks we would go to Koreatown. There are some good dives if we want to hop around easily. I also need a bar with booths a low light, so we would stop by at The Prince for a cocktail (and maybe some fried chicken).
Of course we would see art! My favorite galleries are on the west side. Regen Projects has shown some of the artists who have been my biggest inspirations, like Sue Williams and Raymond Pettibon. Jeffery Deitch is close by and they always have exiting group shows. For a museum setting we’d spend an afternoon at The Getty Center, the architecture alone is enough to impress any visitor. I also love neon signs so we would go to the MONA (Museum of Neon Art), which is small but impactful.
Chinatown is good for walking around, such great colors.
I’m a big beach bunny so I wouldn’t let them leave without spending at least one day out there!
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?
My creative community here in LA is who has supported me the most. Without their constructive feedback on my work I would have never improved as an artist. My friends have really taken the time to look at what I am doing and influenced my direction, and how to articulate my ideas.