Artist: Sonia Romero
Business: sheridesthelion (she rides the lion)
Web sites: soniaromero.com, sheridesthelion.etsy.com, myspace.com/soniaromero
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
What do you create?
I create many things, including mixed media linocut prints and paintings. My subject matter currently includes animals, trees, children, food, life in Los Angeles, my strange humor and hopefully a little magic.
Where and when do you do your creative work?
My studio is located at the foot of the San Gabriel mountains in northeast Los Angeles. It’s the best of both worlds, city and country. My house is a live/work converted garage. I work all days at any times.
Do you have another "day job"?
I am a fine artist full time and always have been. Occasionally I teach or do guest workshops. I teach children, teens and adults, in general art and printmaking.
Where and what did you study?
I studied at the Los Angeles County Highschool for the Arts, in visual arts, and the Rhode Island School of Design, in printmaking. My education continued in the Los Angeles art scene, where another set of skills is needed, such as press savvy and relationships with artists and galleries.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from Google images, antique paper goods, museums, news, people I meet, social situations, fairy tales, illustrations, special moments in my day to day life.
What motivates you?
I have always been motivated. I think its because the alternative is utter boredom and sloth, and that doesn’t make me happy. You have to be self-motivated to make it as an artist.
When did you start doing this?
When I was conceived.
Do you remember getting into art as a kid?
I grew up in a family of artists, including both of my parents. I have been creating artwork from the beginning, and showing and selling artwork since I was around seven.
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
Well, if we are talking about selling art, I have been doing that for many years. However, I just opened up my online Etsy store in May of 2007. My Etsy store showcases my smallest and most shippable work. I thought it would be a great way to increase exposure. Web presence is becoming increasingly important to artists in today’s society. New customers can link to my regular site (www.soniaromero.com), and my regular customers can conveniently make purchases with credit cards and shipping.
How did you choose the name for your business?
She Rides the Lion is a continuing motif in my work. I am very attracted to the sweet and innocent/strong and ferocious duality. Yes, I am a Leo.
What do you love most about creating your work?
It gives me a sense of satisfaction and allows me to interact with the world in positive ways.
What's the most fascinating place you've been?
I spent a year in Rome, Italy, which was very inspiring and exciting.
A book you love:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Read it!
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I’m an artist, I’m talented, and I do something with that talent.
What achievement are you most proud of?
My artwork has brought me many great achievements throughout the years. I met President Clinton and had a show at the National Gallery when I was 17, I had my debut solo show last year, and I am working on my first permanent public art piece as we speak. I guess what I am most proud of is that feeling inside of me that this is what I should be doing.
What advice would you give women starting their own business?
Create a wonderful product that you love, make an excellent presentation of it, and learn how to promote it full time.
What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
What do you love to do in your free time?
I love to squeeze babies and frequent farmer’s markets.
What are you working on right now?
I am creating 13 linocut designs that will be blown up into 13, 4 x4 foot tile mosaic murals for the Macarthur Park metro station in Los Angeles. Public art, baby!
What do you hope to achieve next?
I am applying to grad schools this year. Onwards and upwards!