Sophia and a Little Bit of Whimsy

Some of my favorite memories involve me sandwiched between dining room chairs, in a cave of stolen blankets. A wonderland of my own making, lit from the inside with fake candles and children’s laughter. Whimsy feels like a word lost to childhood, lingering amongst scattered memories. Something to be found only in stories and songs, but this whimsy has not died, it is merely lost. Ask any child and they’ll tell you if something is lost then it can be found. They’ll jump up and down, put on their cape and crown and embark on a quest. Adventure is not just a children’s sport, we too can embark on our own quest for whimsy, and that is exactly what artist Sophia Streu does in their art. 

 

Me: So as president of Campus Creators, what do you create?

 

Sophia: I’ve tried so many different things. I even did sewing at some point, but um I was bad at it. Now I work a lot with posca pens. I also like acrylic a lot because it is a really forgiving medium and it’s easy to work with.

 

Me: Such variety, I love that. How did you develop your artistic style? I know you’re not one to stick to one form of media.

 

Sophia: It kind of developed when I stopped telling myself how to make art. It was something I didn’t realize I was doing for a while. I think it’s like that with many creators. Like with the internet, it’s easy to get into the trap of wanting to be like other people, but then you think who are you?

 

Me: How do you deal with that pressure?

 

Sophia: I definitely pull a lot of inspiration from fellow artists and everything, but I realized that what I create doesn’t have to be good for me and it doesn’t have to be good for everyone. As long as I am enjoying the process, it’s worth it.

“Game Over” by Sophia Streu

For Sophia, the process is marked by returning to a state of childhood. During our conversation, they pulled out their sketchbook, and inside was a picture of them in a pink tutu. The kid in the picture was wearing an open-mouthed smile, looking excited to be caught in the moment.

 

Me: Did you do a lot of art as a kid?

 

Sophia: I did a ton of art as a kid. I just always loved it. I got in trouble for it too, like when I colored my hair with Sharpies.

 

Me: *laughs* classic. Do you think that has anything to do with your art now?

 

Sophia: Yeah I’m learning to bring the wonder back to life. I very much live my life like I am still 10 years old. Our 10-year-old selves were so much happier than our 20-year-old selves. What can I say, I love a bit of whimsy and magic. I just enjoy thinking and doing silly things. 

 

Living life more light-heartedly is a way to light up the mundane for Sophia. They recently started carrying around a sketchbook with them, where they put anything from drawings to stickers. It serves as a repository for the wonders of life, where photos, words, and drawings all meet.

 

Me: How else do you imbue a sense of wonder and whimsy into your life besides art?

 

Sophia: Honestly some days I like to treat myself like a child. I create a little checklist reminding myself of my chapstick and gum and stuff like that. *Laughs* It’s kind of dumb, but I like bringing my snack and feeling ready for the day. It’s little self-care things like that.

 

Sophia has an interesting perspective on self-care. While self-care in popular culture brings up the image of face masks and relaxing with a book, self-care does not just exist in a state of rest.

 

Me: So what does self-care look like to you?

 

Sophia: For me, I’ve found you can still prioritize self-care in a way that is still active. Like self-care can be a day in bed and a face mask. Every now and again you need those days, but those aren’t the only things you can do. You can do things you like, or get up and be active. I’ve been learning to take on that lens because it’s a way of introducing self-care into my day-to-day life. 

 

Sometimes self-care looks like waking up our sleepy childhood self and once again looking at the world with bright eyes. It can be taking a walk if you’ve been working two hours without much progress. It can be spontaneously dropping in on a friend, writing bad poetry you will never show anyone, or putting on some music and dancing your heart out. The essence of self-care is self-awareness. As children, we were so in tune with our needs. We know the cure for boredom is fun, and the cure for fatigue is a long nap. It’s never a bad idea to step into the mindset of a child and really take care of our needs. Sophia has inspired me to rebuild that blanket fort, so I may get back in touch with my inner child. I want to put on my cape and join them on this quest for whimsy. 

 

If you would also like to join this quest, check out Sophia’s socials and Campus Creators:

@soupinss

@skeebledee

@oncampuscreators

 

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1 Comment on "Sophia and a Little Bit of Whimsy"


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Sophia Streu
1 year 2 months ago

Wow! This is so well written! Thank you for taking the time to interview me~~