A Walkthrough of the Encompassing Art of Sophia Soliman

Sophia Soliman

Sophia Soliman is a 25-year-old illustrator and photographer. Sophia majored in Arts & Design and Animation at MSA University and graduated in 2019. However, her journey with art started when she was just a little girl. In 2011, Sophia Soliman decided to bring her love for art to life and hasn’t stopped ever since. 

Sophia Soliman

Sophia Soliman’s art is nothing short of encompassing, kind, and light on the heart. With a deep love for illustration, photography, 2D animation, and even singing and playing the violin, Sophia Soliman never fails to show that love in her work. Whether it is through her customized artwork, personal projects, or just the general vibe of her style and work. You will always be able to see Sophia’s personality, love, and care in her work. 

We sat down with Sophia Soliman to know more about her journey! 

When did your love for drawing and illustrating start?

It started pretty much when I was a little girl, maybe as young as 6 years old. I then stopped because I wasn’t very good at it and some of my friends at school were bullying me. 

Sophia Soliman

Fast forward to 2011, my new year’s resolution was to not let anyone tell me what I could and couldn’t do. I started sketching at midnight and have been drawing ever since. I was aiming for realism and life-like portraits until a professor (thank you Dr. Weaam) saw me sketching and pointed out to me that I should aim for children’s books. It was like an instant light bulb and I felt like I found my calling there and then.

What is your experience with creativity blocks and how do you overcome them?

They happen to me more often than I’d like. Unfortunately, they’re very overpowering. With my history with anxiety, there are normally a lot of layers to them. When there’s a project with a tight deadline, I usually have no other choice but to push through. But when it hits as hard as it sometimes does, I let it take its flow and try not to force it. I give myself some time to breathe. I do some skincare, watch movies I know I like and treat myself to a Cinnabon hehe. 


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A post shared by Sophia Soliman ; (@sophia_soli)

When I let go of the pressure of “creating”, I get back on track faster than when I fight it.

Tell us all about your creative routine, any strange rituals to get the creative juices flowing?

I don’t think I have anything particularly special but… before I work I always make coffee and choose my mug according to how I feel that day. I then play my favorite series, podcast, or true crime documentary and listen to it while I draw. Also, I like to take twenty minutes or so to look at references and look for new things to try, or different color combinations to experiment with.

How did you decide to start Wherever The Light Is together? Tell us about an average work day with your husband & wife team for wedding photography.

My husband, Mo’men, and I started Wherever The Light Is back in our second year of college. Like any other college students, we were trying out different things and experimenting with our skills in different fields. What we didn’t know is that we would fall in love with wedding photography and find ourselves passionate about it. 

Wherever the Light Is

Something about capturing photos of people in love has its own magic to it.

An average work day on a wedding day would start with grabbing a quick bite, preparing our gear, and calling the bride or groom to make sure everything is A-OK. We arrive at the agreed-upon time. We cover the event until we can’t feel our feet and go back home and sleep DEEPLY after a long day’s work. 

In your opinion, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being in the art scene?

The advantage, in my opinion, is that you can just put yourself out there and get to express your thoughts and feelings with countless people. The artistic community is always so supportive. Just the fact that you can reach out and learn from other artists is definitely a plus. 


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A post shared by Sophia Soliman (@sophiasolimann)

The disadvantage, on the other hand, can be the peer pressure of having to create a certain amount of art in order to be remembered or seen. The competition is extremely high. People are treating art as a mass production field. It can be heavy for artists to have to make so many pieces in such a short amount of time.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career whether personally or professionally? And how did you overcome them?

This is a tough one. On a personal level, my biggest challenge was my mental health. I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder a few years ago. Before that, I’d never seen a therapist, I just knew something wasn’t right and that how I felt couldn’t be normal. I would get short bursts of energy followed by weeks of barely being able to do the minimum.


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A post shared by Sophia Soliman (@sophiasolimann)

Once I started to take care of myself, see a therapist and sort out my thoughts, I was much better able to manage my time and energy. I learned (and am still learning) to control my thoughts. I learned when to push through and when to be gentler on myself. This almost always affected my work until I took steps to accept the help I needed and embrace who I am!

Both of your Instagram accounts display such love and happiness, but they don’t leave out the hardships of life, how do you motivate yourself to sustain your work as a photographer and an illustrator?

I always make sure that as much as I show the good moments of my life, the difficult times are just as important. Instagram became a highlight reel and it’s so toxic when you only consume aesthetically styled moments. As for motivation, I’ve been very blessed with my support system. I sincerely doubt I’d have done half the things I did if it weren’t for my husband, family, and close friends.


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A post shared by Sophia Soliman ; (@sophia_soli)

Tell us about a highlight in your creative career

The most recent highlight was having the book that I illustrated published in the US last Ramadan. The book is called “The Best Ramadan”, written by Eman Kourtam.

The feedback was overwhelming and a joy to the heart.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring creatives

Never stop practicing. Always look for ways to improve. Don’t underprice your services even if everyone else is.

Reach out for opportunities, don’t wait for them to come to you. 

What are your goals for the future?

Hopefully reaching out to publishing houses abroad and working with more authors.

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