The Beginnings of Visual Artist: Sofi Olona’s Portfolio 

 17-year old junior in Pasadena discusses her hopes as an interactive visual artist in the 21st century and what the future may hold for her

These extensional moments of stressful college applications are emerging for young high school students around the world. Students are pacing back and forth eager to tell admissions counselors every thing about their life. Upperclassmen especially feel obliged to present their hard-earned work. 

For young artists in high school, the process adds a little extra to this operation. In the hope of pursuing their art in at universities and colleges these students need to submit not only a general application but produce an art portfolio. 

These portfolios can range from monologues, art pieces, writing, and more. Students in the arts assemble their work hoping to get accepted. in the hope these counselors will stamp a big green ACCEPT onto their application. 

Sofi Olona is a 17-year-old visual artist who attends a small all-girls high school in Pasadena. She is curating not only her application but tackling her portfolio and allowing her artistic and creative vision to come through the pieces she creates. Olona has been in the arts for most of her high school career and is applying to various universities and colleges with arts programs. Olona discusses and delves into her hopes and inspirations for entering the reality of college arts and the process of creating her portfolio. 

In your journey in discovering yourself as an artist, what inspired you into making pieces?

I honestly think that my inspiration just comes from a very human desire to create. I think if anything, the reason that people don’t create or don’t go on to make something is because they have to overcome the social aspect of making art and fear of rejection, which has been extremely difficult for me. 

Being a young artist you have to have some long-term inspirations and idols? If you had to name two?

As far as a visual artist, Basquiat, and Olafur Eliasson because of their innovative thinking and how they incorporate their world views into beautiful pieces. When it comes to film, I really have been into Agnes Varda over the past few months

“When approaching a canvas I really do just put down whatever I feel like at that moment. I try not to overthink things because that’s when my art becomes unauthentic,” says Sofi Olona who hopes to be accepted into a college arts program. (Marina Muradian)

What do you hope for your future in the arts community?

I really just want to make things. I want to be around creative individuals who support my vision and don’t try to tear it apart. I hope that one day I can work in the arts.

What has motivated you to make these pieces?

Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to get more comfortable with considering myself an “artist” of any sort. I’ve been motivated to explore my creative side because I’m trying to get to know myself better — or to understand myself through expression. 

What emotions have you experienced in creating certain pieces?

I don’t think I notice my emotions very often when creating pieces. It’s more of a weird time warp where I can spend seven hours scribbling on a canvas, and it feels like 10 minutes. I always joke that I “think my feelings,” so it’s much more reflective than emotive. While I’m creating, I’m not aware of the outside world, it’s more that I’m exploring my own opinions and weighing out how to approach different scenarios.