Sophie Cangelosi '16

I love MECA in that it provides flexibility in each student’s own creative story.

Describe a body of work that you are currently working on.
I’ve experienced a lot of social anxiety for most of my life, so I respond more to body language and evidence of subconscious intentions rather than words. So, lately I’ve been really interested in the theme of receiving unsaid or unintentional messages. I’m working on a personal project that entails playing with portraiture, focusing on body language, facial expressions, and ways to create visual representations of energy and emotion. My mediums vary depending on the project, but I’ve been using a lot of brush and ink lately.

What made you chose to go into your current field of art?
I definitely blame my parents’ influence. The first time I was introduced to drawing was when I saw my mom drawing a hummingbird when I was 4. Watching someone create and image with their own hand absolutely blew my mind! So I started practicing drawing right away! I was really inspired by the animated movies (like Tim Burton animations and Wallace & Gromit) as well as the children’s books that I was exposed to as a kid, so I think I’ve ended up with illustration because I’ve always loved the pairing of story telling and visual representations. Basically, it comes down to the fact that I am very fortunate to have grown up with my family’s endless support and inspiration to pursue creative endeavors.

How has your education at MECA shaped you as an artist?
I love MECA in that it provides flexibility in each student’s own creative story, so my time here has allowed me to experiment with other mediums and methods of making to the fullest extent. I knew I wanted to pursue illustration upon starting my first year here, but I’m so happy that I’ve been able to experiment with medium, enhance technical illustration skills I was already working on, and develop my own unique language based on both things combined.

What inspires you?
Living in a beautiful, historic, intimately sized city certainly inspires me. My peers inspire me, whether it is my friends or heroes in my field. I also find myself inspired by indulging my senses (i.e. riding my bike and experiencing my route in a much more vibrant way than driving my car).

What do you hope to do after graduation?
I’m planning on applying for residencies and/or renting apartments and living in a few places for small amounts of time. There are places I’ve always wanted to experience living in for reasons having to do with exciting art communities or beautiful natural landscapes to draw inspiration from.

My goal is to work towards doing full-time freelance work in the conceptual illustration realm, doing collaborations with my peers, displaying my work in exhibitions, etc. Basically, I want to really dive in and get the most out of my career. I absolutely love the vibrant culture that exists in Illustration and I don’t want to miss any of it.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Before I started at MECA, my dad told me, “Your education is what you make of it.” I think it’s had an amazing effect on my experience here. It inspired me to take advantage of opportunities to try things out that are vastly outside of my comfort zone. I know it will continue to influence what I take from future experiences, whether it’s within academia or not. All experiences in life have the potential to be educational if you let them.

What else are you interested in?
I love singing. I’ve always wanted to pursue voice lessons. Also, living in the oldest (and spookiest) part of the country is something I am very into. I love ghost stories and things of that nature. I’m interested in pretty much all things I can indulge in: music that moves me (emotionally and physically), great TV and film, great food, all forms of making art, exploring, riding my bike, swimming and floating, spending time outside, and generally experiencing everything I can while I can. I’m interested in almost everything. It sounds vague, but it’s true.