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Artist Spotlight

How Sofia Lachkar Explores Herself and Her World Through Creative Process



Home » BLOG » Artist Spotlight » How Sofia Lachkar Explores Herself and Her World Through Creative Process

Sofia is a writer, art journaler, feminist activist and entrepreneur. She strives to live a meaningful life, by putting art at the center of her life and sharing her passion with other people. She loves to challenge herself continually, in all the areas of her life.

How do you live a creative life? How do you live a creative life?

I strive to see the beauty of the world around me, whether it is while travelling or in my everyday life. I strive to translate my observation and my feelings about it into my art.

Why do you love art journaling?

What I love the most in art journaling is creating without rules, just letting out my feelings, thoughts or expressing my sensitivity. Sometimes, I have something special to say, sometimes, I just want to empty my mind, or to play with some supplies to relieve stress. It helps me express my anger, my sadness or my doubts, or my joy, my energy, my enthusiasm, or, it can just be a quiet moment of creation.

Art journaling is my me-time, the moment when I recharge my batteries, when I focus on my inner life.

Art journaling has also allowed me to meet other creative people, and some have become friends.

The incredible effect of art journaling is that, since I  began, my creativity has  improved and increased in other areas of my life :  my job, writing, motherhood, …

You use so many bright colors in your work. How does this reflect your personality? 

My art is my life. It’s hard for me to create just by being focused on technique. I need to have a purpose, something to say, a story to tell. My art is a way to explore my inner world as well as my understanding of the world around me. It’s also a way to go deeper in my convictions and activism.

Colors are therapeutic and so meaningful to me : I use them because they reflect the way I feel, I think or I need to express myself at a particular moment.

My fave colors are warm ones : red, orange, yellow… they represent my energetic, warm personality. I also love to mix them with gold, silver or bronze. Those metallic shades add some character to my pages.

I have also started to use some blue and green, they help me  to calm down, to express serenity.

To be honest, I tried to make some minimalist and neutral pages, but in the end, I feel like those pages are not me, and I always add some pop colors to my spreads!

Using colors is like a joy-therapy to me : I always feel energetic when I look at colorful patterns or spreads.

What is your biggest barrier to creating?

Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed. When I have too many projects on the go, I struggle to choose one to focus on. I try to learn to be less dissipated and to be more deliberate about what I want to create.

How do you get over that hurdle?

I reduced the number of projects I was involved in. I decided to definitely close some that I was struggling to finish. I think twice about the fact to begin a new challenge or class. I was a workshop addict, now, I only participate to those who touches my soul. For 2019, for example, I have 2 priorities : Get Messy and Riet’s daily challenge. They will be my base for art journaling. I will surely go on other projects but I will choose them closely.

What has been your biggest lesson when it comes to creating art?

Dare. Sometimes, we can be nervous about a new technique, a new experiment, a new tool… but everytime I dare to go beyond, I am so proud and glad. We don’t risk anything, except an ugly page. And what is it ? Nothing more than a page with some paint or paper or ink on it. Understanding that helped me in life too. I has been outside my comfort zone more often since I art journal.

 

What is your favourite art journal page you’ve ever made? Why is it your favourite?

My favourite page is the one I called Sisterhood.

I love everything about it. The black background, which brings deepness to the spread. The several pictures from women in different postures, the links I drew between them, my thoughts written in white. I like the energy of this page and every time I look at it, I feel the power of sorority.

Describe your art journaling process.

I don’t really have a process. Generally, I begin with the prompts, or sometimes, a quote I have read somewhere, or a picture I have seen in a mag or on the web.

Then, I often have an idea of what I want to do, and I get started. And usually, it doesn’t end the way I had imagined. But that’s what I love in creativity : letting go control and being open to the flow of art.

I  used to create my pages in one go, but I am learning to be patient and to create over several periods of time, to stand back and go deeply into my process and my art. It’s very interesting to see how I can evolve in my practice. Of course, it depends on the topic, the time I can devote to my task  and my mood.

Art journaling is more about instinct than organized process to me, even if I am experimenting new ways of creating, to  improve my practice.

Have you ever actively disliked a page you’ve made? What did you do with it?

Oh yes ! I have disliked many pages and I am totally ok with that. When a page doesn’t suit me, I just turn to the next blank page and I start again. A few years ago, I was judging severely my art. Now, I am more attached to the creative process than to the result, even if I love having an esthetic page, of course!

What do you do when you don’t know what to make?

I take my “Moleskine” notebook (hello Moleskine fangirl!) and I pick some magazine pieces, or a quote I love and I get carried away…

I also like to look for some inspiration around me : my moodboard on my wall, patterns in my home decoration, or in my “inspiration notes” in Evernote (an app to take and storage notes). I used to use Pinterest but it can be too tempting to follow the links and waste my time, so I avoid it now.

What are your must have supplies? What is your journal of choice?

I love Moleskine notebooks, of course ! But I also use mixed media or watercolour papers, and I make my own albums.

My fave supplies are watercolour and acrylic paints : I love to use those different textures on my spreads. I am addict to stamps too, they offer so many possibilities of use.

I also love collages, so I always have a big storage of scrap papers and glues.

And I have several POSCA markers, they are great to add bright colors, to write on pictures, paints or any medium (even wood, glass or plastic).

Hum… okay, you can see that I am really addict to art supplies…

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In How to Start Art Journaling, we’ll walk you through the art of art journaling, including how to start doing (🙌) and make your very first art journal page (even if you’ve never even opened an art journal before).

Have you ever been through artist block? What did you do to overcome it?

For years, I was feeling guilty when it was happening. I had a creative burnout two years ago and, for months, I hadn’t created anything and was feeling badly about it. Now, I take some break if I need it. And I come back to the basics: I pick up one of my favorite supplies and just put it on a page. Sometimes, I look for some inspiration in the Get Messy prompts or community. When I see something that I like, I try to replicate it. I love to look at other artists, online, in a museum or an exhibition. I try to take care of my Artist Soul. I love to go on an Artist Date with myself, a sketchbook and a pen. I draw what I see outdoors. When I draw a street scene, I don’t have to overthink about my subject. I just have to observe, and put my brain on Off… and the magic always happens!

What tips do you have for beginners?

Don’t overthink, just start. Just take some supply (a pen, a paint brush, some pics, whatever you want, whatever you have at hand) and make one page. And after that, you won’t stop ! 😉

We are a great, an awesome community but the risk is that, when looking at what other artists create, you feel intimidated. If I had a tip, I’d say avoid comparison and if you feel impressed, switch off your computer, your phone, your apps, sit at your desk, forget about what you have seen, take a deep breath and begin to create your own art.

Start with inexpensive supplies, if you are new to art. Experiment, and you’ll see which techniques you prefer. You’ll buy more quality supplies when you are more comfortable with practicing.

And you’ll become a compulsive art supply buyer very soon, believe me!

What’s the best art advice you’ve ever received?

Be deliberate and keep showing up. If you wait passively for the inspiration to come, you’ll wait forever. If you make something, even the most little mark on your page, you’ll regain your creative mojo.

You art journal in multiple languages, can you share about language barriers with GM being in English only and about how working in both languages helps?

Since I took to art journaling, I have taken this habit of writing in French and English. I didn’t speak English in my daily life, I just used to read some blogs in this language. Until I joined Get Messy. Since then, I have created in both French and English.

As my mother language, French is for feelings, introspection : all my deep thoughts, my long journaling are in French.

I use English more for action, and self-encouragements. I find that the English language is better for dynamic messages.

Now that I art journal, I have noticed that I use English expressions more often in my daily life. I can even use some English quotes with my relatives.

GM has helped me to improve my English, and just for that reason, I am so glad to be part of the community! The main barrier is that, sometimes, I am  frustrated because I’d like to participate more deeply to some conversations and my language is limited. So, sometimes, I don’t participate as much as I would like to. But I take  great pleasure in reading everyone’s contribution. And I cannot live without my dictionary now! I am also thinking about buying a small one (English-French) to alter it in honor of this adventure with GM!

To me, having English as a common language is real luck, not a barrier. It’s a real blessing to talk with people all around the world ! And I wouldn’t have this opportunity if I didn’t speak English…

What does community do for your creating?

I love to share, encourage and be encouraged by the other members. Community brings support, kindness, another look at your art. You are not alone anymore, and you have so many inspiring artists around you that you are pushed up in your creativity.

Who would you like to celebrate in the Get Messy community?

Hm… that’s a difficult question…I loved Tiffany’s work, she inspired me a lot this year, by mixing memory keeping, scrapbooking and art journaling. I am an absolute fan of Sarah Rondon, her sensitivity, the depth of her art, her kindness…  I was impressed by how Riet’s and Holly’s arts and styles have evolved. I can’t mention all the artists I love in this community…

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Sofia Lachkar

Sofia is a writer, art journaler, feminist activist and entrepreneur. She strives to live a meaningful life, by putting art at the center of her life and sharing her passion with other people. She loves to challenge herself continually, in all the areas of her life.

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