subcultalk with visual artist Julia Sophia from Erfurt, Germany

For this subcultalk, we had the honor to talk with visual artist Julia Sophia from Erfurt, Germany. 
Julia Sophia is also the host of the beautiful Painting Workshops "Express Your Inner Emotions With Colorful Lights" which take place at her studio and art gallery in Erfurt, Germany.

And for now, get to know her better in our interview with her!

What is the art you make?

It's about capturing real moments and trying to transform that energy into something new. The focus of my art is on direct experience, simplicity and leaving questions open. I'm not really a storyteller - my work is much more of a feeling. There can be a lot of story behind it, but you don't have to know it to understand it. It's just like music. You don't have to know the score of a symphony to enjoy it - you can just enjoy the sounds.

In my Painting Workshops "Let color and form speak creatively", I always try to convey to the participants how strongly color can affect us and pick up on emotions, bring the unspoken to light and give our inner life a voice again. My main aim is to dispel any doubts that arise as a result of being judged or because of school education.

There are no mistakes and I try never to regret a decision I have made. I always emphasize the meditative aspect through versatile paint application and am very familiar with many different techniques. It's a continuous, natural flow. So for me, making art is a non-intellectual, body-centered, emotional process. The intellectual part comes afterwards.

Color is my primary language, the main composition to each work. It is animated by the rhythm of the gestures, like a visual melody that comes to life on the surface.

How did you find your way to your art? 

It all started with an early near-death experience.
A feeling and a light not of this world and an angel in the form of a woman protected me until I was put into an induced coma. This stroke of fate opened the door to painting and being creative became my greatest fulfillment. My family always told me how different I was afterwards: calm and patient, much more centered, more observant. From then on, I looked at and studied the world and its aesthetics more intensely. I was completely plastered for months and people mourned me for it. Until I started painting the plaster in bright colors. The effect was ultimately very simple and yet it stayed with me for a long time. People who met me from then on didn't ask about the accident but smiled at the little pictures. 

I became creative very early on as a child and could spend hours on my own. My talent was quickly recognized at school, so I was also encouraged outside of school. After graduating from high school, I didn't go to university in the traditional way but decided to complete an apprenticeship as a wood sculptor in order to train my knowledge and pave the way for my future artistic career.Since I have always loved color, I switched back to canvas and over the years, after countless acyrl works and sketches, I realized that I could only express the strong intensity of color through oil.

What is the reason that you continue to practice your art? 

It belongs to me like my breath, an everlasting natural flow that gives me the freedom and the feeling that anything is possible.

What is your personal highlight during your entire time as an artist?

The opening of my first studio and cultural space in Erfurt's old town in 2019.
It was such an incredibly colorful and diverse day, in addition to the first collective exhibition of various artists, many musician friends played in front of the studio and some interested creative people had a wonderful time together.

A space for the complete development of my artistic career was born. 

It all started with an idea: sharing and illustrating creative processes, consciously wasting time and allowing calm and patience to come into play, to create something of one's own. An equal and fairer exchange with each other and, above all, for each other!

This was followed by many exhibitions, concerts, intercultural events and the "Open Studio". I also launched the culture and art magazine "Mina Sinima". Tolerant and equal encounters and sharing original ideas have been an integral part of my life ever since.

I have worked in the middle of this diverse and welcoming place and have loved and lived creative work since my childhood. Always with a political interest in taking a clear position and demonstrating it to the outside world: Atelier Reservoir stands for a tolerant and diverse democracy and opposes discrimination of any kind through its principles.

When do you feel most productive? 

Mostly very early in the morning, I still feel so pure and untainted then. For me, it's the best time to apply paint, when no thought has yet awakened in me and everything happens automatically and intuitively. The light in the morning is also my personal favorite atmosphere.

What or who inspires you? 

Inspiration usually comes naturally to me when I'm working with my hands.
The act of painting is a way for me to communicate something that I can't put into words. I don't really think about it - I'm just there, in the moment, being natural and letting my intuition guide me. I find inspiration in the many people I meet along the way and in my travels to distant cultures, as well as in feelings and moods. Capturing them is my greatest interest, and always radiating positivity through many color combinations.  

But I am also influenced by historical events, my present and the future.
I'm actually inspired by anything that can add value to my paintings - that can be nature, culture, certain musicians and artists who suddenly become catalysts for a new painting.

Music is also one of the biggest "sources" for me when painting. The rhythm dictates my style and so I become one with my inner self and the harmonies of the songs. Depending on what mood you're in. But above all, I swear by "lounge music" like Zero 7, Moby or Air, because they awaken such incredible virtuosity in me and I can really get into my flow. 

In which "small" things do you find the most joy? 

In nature, with its countless plants, beautiful, strong trees and the diverse animals that live in them, even a small daisy can bring a smile to my face when I come across it briefly at the side of the road. Nature can give us so much strength and yet it asks for nothing in return. I think this intense relationship with nature comes from the fact that I grew up very close to the forest, surrounded by greenery. 

But walking the Way of St. James in 2018 also made me realize that we are part of something much bigger: Our earth whose beauty is unique. I also write poetry myself and love to read, it fills my inner being like a fifth sense that replaces all other senses. It allows me to briefly escape from reality through my imagination.

Do you have a vision or a goal that you are working towards? 

There are many, but I tend to call them self-created futures. So it changes from time to time, but I often see my paintings in small galleries by the sea. They always remind me of that.

What is a well-lived life for you personally? 

Being mindful and tolerant and always showing the people you love the most that you are there for each other. Above all, living and sharing peace! 
I've always been a bit of a hippie, friends used to think I came from a time capsule straight out of the 60s. I wish I really was!

But good food, traveling, yoga and deep conversations and books also enrich my life a lot. But above all humor, it is the last resort for me, which always gives me the strength not to take life too seriously.

What do you do when you feel "stuck"? 

I take a break for a day, start something new or just leave it behind me. I always tell myself that there are no mistakes, you can't do anything wrong and after a round of yoga or meditation, my mind is much more open to the supposed situation again.

How do you deal with setbacks? 

I accept them as best I can, I think everything is a development process that you can grow from if you have the right mindset. 

What do you do when you feel lonely? 

I cook paella or go for a long walk in the park with my dog. 

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?

I practise yoga, my aunt Gauri taught me lots of assanas and breathing techniques when I was 16, as well as Sanskrit. It helps me to calm down very quickly, recharge my batteries and find my inner peace. 

What is your favorite feeling? 


Love for myself and love for others, love for the people who always believe in me and are there for me... true love can overcome everything and change the world for the better. 

What is your least favorite feeling? 

Every feeling is good if you accept and process it properly. I think everything of us, every little part of us belongs to us. We are emotional beings and can grow by simply accepting every feeling. So instead of suppressing feelings, I allow each one and learn to appreciate it more and more. If there is perhaps one feeling that I don't particularly like, it is indifference. It can take us very far away from our personal truth. 

What are you most afraid of? 

Of the increasing hatred, intolerance and anger of people in Europe, their distorted values and the direction we are moving in. Our democracy seems to be in danger. But climate change and the extinction of species also cause me enormous concern. We only have a small window of time left and I personally am not giving up hope, but I know that it will be very close for us to save our planet.

If you could only listen to one song until the end of your life, what would it be? 

Zero 7 - In The Waiting Line.

Your favorite guilty pleasure? 

I like to dance alone in my apartment to the 90s that I heard on "The Dome" hits when I was a kid.

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to answer all our questions, dear Julie Sophia!

We hope you found Julia Sophia's subcultalk at least as inspiring as we did.
If you would like to meet her in real life and even get creative with her, check out her Painting Workshops "Let color and form speak creatively", which take place regularly at her studio in Erfurt, Germany.

Until next time!
Kat and Team subcultours
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1 comment

Ein tolles Interview mit soviel Tiefe, Gefühl und Ehrlichkeit.

Sylvia Buberl

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