Illustration wasn’t the first word that came to Colombian artist Sophie Prieto’s mind when she was asked to describe her drawings. It was, rather, her peers who classified her structural drawings as illustrations. “Even though I don’t intentionally create my drawings to fit the illustration category, I agree that they suit the medium – and love that they do,” Sophia says. “But I find it difficult to pinpoint a specific moment when I began to draw illustration-like works. I like almost all creative media and enjoy learning new things, but I lean towards illustration because I find it to be an easygoing art that can be made at any time and requires neither a specific space nor material.”
Sophia’s geometric drawings are reminiscent of minimalist industrial designs. With her muted colour schemes – which consist mainly of red, grey, black and white – and simple subject matters, Sophia places more emphasis on her meticulous line work and inventive compositions. “Right now I’m very interested in the world of publishing. I like collaborating with people whose work I admire in order to produce a publication; discussing ideas and obtaining images that might make up the pages of a book is truly exciting,” says Sophia. “I recently discovered comics – but not as they are normally understood. Publishers like Cold Cube Press and Fosfatina are questioning the very idea of a narrative by deconstructing it to create an alternative mode of storytelling.” In this way, Sophia, who has worked closely with Cold Cube Press, is central to this narrative reinvention. Rather than tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, the illustrator conjures up enigmatic scenes that require the viewer to actively engage with her drawings and imagine much of the storylines.
“One of my favourite pieces that I’ve worked on was for Cold Cube 05, a publication by Cold Cube Press, in which I reinterpreted Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I thought about the fact that Frankenstein tells two parallel stories (the monster’s and the scientist’s), and decided that my images should also have a parallel dimension. This took the form of QR codes that you can scan to get access to more drawings, Sophia says. Looking to the future, things appear bright for Sophia. “I am starting a publishing company called Lágrima, for which I have two projects on the way. One is a collaborative piece of work, a series of postcards made by a number of Latin American artists. The other project consists of two books, accompanied by CDs, in which I illustrate the music of two local artists.”