We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonya Sklaroff and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sonya, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?

I don’t wait for inspiration to strike. It is always important for me to be in my studio working even if I do not feel inspired. I am constantly creating and that motivation to make my art fuels my vision. The inspiration ultimately emerges as I work.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

For my entire artistic life I have honed my skills as a traditional figurative painter. I always worked from direct observation, either en plein air (outside) or from the figure. I became known for my representational and beautiful renderings of New York City, and I was proud of the career accomplishments that I achieved exhibiting around the world, gaining the recognition from museums and collectors internationally. But at a certain point, I felt that my artistic vision was not being fully realized, and in the past several years I have begun to experiment with non-traditional techniques using abstraction, mixed media, and incorporating fantasy and imaginative elements into my work. Many of my supporters were surprised by my artistic transition, but in the end I feel that an artist can only grow and progress by breaking out of her usual routines and exploring innovative methods of working. I’m excited to express a more personal vision through this new body of work.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

I live and work in New York City so one does not have to travel far for excitement. Pre-pandemic I’d definitely take my friend dancing, to a Broadway show (American Utopia was a recent favorite), to some of my favorite cafes near my studio in Noho, and of course to one of my favorite spots, Coney Island. However, now during the time of the pandemic, things have changed drastically. So at this particular time I’d take her for a day long walk! I’d take her walking all over the city – Washington Square Park, Noho, the West Village, Beekman Place, Chelsea, Tribeca, the Highline… There is so much still to enjoy and discover in New York even though many of the usual experiences have been put on hold.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I could not have succeeded without the support of my family. I grew up in a household where all aspects of the arts was appreciated: music, dance, literature, the visual and performing arts. I was encouraged to make art at a young age and I have continued my practice as a creative person throughout my entire life. Other artistic forces have influenced me as well: my RISD professor the architect Friedrich St. Florian; my graduate school advisors Glenn Goldberg @glennandgoldberg , Judy Glantzman @judyglantzman , and Faith Ringgold @faithringgold ; the painter Chuck Connelly @chuckconnelly ; and the jazz dance legend Sue Samuels @jazzrootsdancecompany.

Website: www.SonyaSklaroff.com
Instagram: @sonyasklaroff

Image Credits
In the Studio Photo Credit: Alison Gootee.
All Artwork photographed by: John Berens

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.