Sofia        Laskari

Fine artist and illustrator

I desire to say that art chose me, but in fact, I chose art myself. I was born into a family of artists and creative people. At the beginning of the 1880s, my ancestor, Abraham Lipskerov, was a publisher of the popular newspaper “News of the Day”. His children and their children, too, were either writers, poets, photographers or cartoon makers. Hence, I thought to myself that perhaps I might be able to follow my family’s wonderful path of creativity.

           Art has occupied me for as long as I remember. Starting with coloring books and modeling sketchbooks, I have now settled on fine art. The only thing that could comfort me on a rainy day is, certainly, art. My head is constantly buzzing with millions of ideas that could be expressed on a piece of a medium. Whenever I enter the magical world of art, I cherish the sensation of losing track of time. Therefore, surrounding myself with art on a daily basis to extend the magnificent experiences is absolutely crucial to me, which I believe I can achieve with your help.

           I was able to convince my dad that art is my treasured, lifelong passion, and I would do anything to make a living off of what I so strongly love, even though I had not had a chance to appropriately study art back then. At the age of 12, I had my first working experience with a famous Russian artist and sculptor Aidan Salakhova. At those times she had a wonderful studio in “Vinzavod”, the center for contemporary arts in Moscow, Russia, where she worked on her projects and had university students come by to work alongside her. This voluntary desire of mine to learn from her provided me with vast experience and education and allowed me to feel that wonderful creative atmosphere. I practiced various techniques and was supervised by Aidan when working on my projects. Before A-levels, I was involved in a workshop with another Russian artist – Svetlana Rumak – who introduced me to her technique and helped me find my own style. Without a doubt, her input in my artistic life was enormous.

           In addition, A-Level Fine Art and History of Art have also played a big role. In my first year of A-Levels, in my first Art MOCK exam, I had produced an acrylic painting of my granddad, which amused my dad and, in fact, made my granddad cry. It went on to get over 2000 likes on his Facebook. Despite Art and History of Art, I had also chosen History and English literature that allows me to have a wider knowledge in other spheres of art and it’s amazing how all of these subjects are connected. Interestingly, at the end of the school year last summer, I entered the RA summer exhibition and was shortlisted. Constantly I create a large number of paintings, mainly portraits in my own style that were inspired by various artists such as Frida Kahlo, and this summer I was working there with one of Aidan Salakhova’s students, who taught me immense amounts of academic material. Now, Estonian artist Max Taling, who is interested in my personal work and desires to have an exhibition with me, distantly mentoring me and gives advice on areas that I should improve and work on more.

         Besides Art, I’m also very passionate about boxing, which I have been doing for 4 years at a professional level. Currently, I’m an official member of England Boxing and fighting for ABC East Brighton Boxing Club. Long-time ago I had a choice of entering the Women’s National Boxing Team in Russia or move to the UK to receive a better education. My choice is quite evident.