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Meet Sophia Pauley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophia Pauley.

Sophia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always loved to draw. As a child and teenager, I would spend most of my spare time drawing and creating artwork, and devote much more time and effort than any other subject at school. I realized that visual art was what I wanted to do, not just as a hobby, so in my final year before applying to university, and encouraged by school and family, I dropped my (sensible) plans to study history or law and took a foundation year at the Cardiff Arts Academy to prepare my portfolio for art school.

Four years at Edinburgh College of Art have whizzed by; I have loved almost every moment of it. I have naturally linked my artwork to other interests – swimming and water polo – which has driven my enthusiasm to create work which evokes my experience of a specific place. The work produced in my final year has given me a platform and funding to continue making work as a practicing artist.

I am currently working in my studio in Edinburgh thanks to the Artists Collecting Society Studio Award which I won during my degree show. This is funding a 12-month studio residency as well as a stipend for materials and workshops.

Has it been a smooth road?
From time to time there has been the question of whether choosing to do an art degree was the best thing to do, after all the arts can be pursued as a hobby, alongside another career. I could have chosen a more defined career path at 17, but once I had decided to choose to do visual art, I have not looked back.

I have found it difficult to be taken seriously at times, but in a way, this stigma has only made me more determined to make ‘doing art’ work and make work that I want to produce, and others want to see.

What is important is to be able to be resilient in the face of setbacks and be receptive to criticism, but have the confidence to move forward. In the arts, there is always another opportunity waiting.

Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
Talking about money and the business side of art was unheard of at art school and to a certain degree frowned upon – I hadn’t thought of ever making work for business reasons.

Since graduating the opportunities that have arisen have all in some way or another been business-related. Winning the Pittenweem Arts Festival Bursary Award kick-started this side of my art practice and was a great opportunity to see how the general public viewed my work.

Selling some work is important, because it allows me to continue as a practicing artist, and produce new interesting work. I specialize in geometric abstract paintings which take inspiration from architectural and water-related environments, such as swimming pools, lakes, and the sea.

I pay particular attention to the quality and precision of the painted surface, valuing its simplicity and beauty and aim to leave a dramatic resonating impact whilst enticing the viewer to the surface of the canvas.

I am grateful for the Artists Collecting Studio Award as this is providing me with the studio space and funding to create more ambitious work and further explore this relationship between painting and sculptural elements in my practice.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Unit 7a, 78 Albion Road Edinburgh EH75QZ
  • Website:
  • Phone: 07525472877
  • Email:
  • Instagram: sophia_pauley_art

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