#quarantineinbloom by Sophia

Sophia on her work:

Usually I try to sketch and carry a sketchbook with me most days, whether at an exhibition, lecture, or simply out and about. However, the current pandemic has left me furloughed from my full-time job, but still actively freelancing regularly. I am thankful for this flexible form of employment. I am, as the days go on, creating a series of drawings called #quarantineinbloom, centred around the vast array of plants that I am lucky to have in my home, along with those that I forage on my daily walks around my local area. I enjoy drawing in detail, with thin pen strokes, using pens like you would a pencil, by shading and building up forms using hatching to build definition. By drawing plants and flowers, I am able to focus on individual growing forms that change with time and the surrounding environment and it allows me to create in the moment and not be such a perfectionist.

The plants I’ve sketched are in different life stages; some I am re-growing from vegetables, some plants are still very young or budding, some have slightly wilted in the sun or others are just a single branch or flower. I have been told I have drawn the series, quite detailed at times, like architectural components slotting together. Given my background in architectural design, I guess I do see them as forms piecing together and I process the individual components quite meticulously as I draw them. Sometimes I try to be a lot freer and experiment with colour, yet I definitely feel more confident using black fine line pens, so the more colourful additions are remaining in my sketchbooks for the time being.

I use my drawing time to break up my days, as a form of art-based therapy, with my headphones in, either listening to music or a podcast. This mantra, however, is with the exception of the English Lime Tree that I worked on across two days due to the scale of it. When I am drawing, I zone out from what is happening around me and I lose track of time – in a good way, it’s something very routine to me now, like daily exercise where you can completely release. My mind focuses on only the drawing and as someone who can get easily distracted, I don’t when I draw. It has definitely felt like a massive mental release. I have also learnt even more about plants and flowers. With those I don’t know of instantly, I research their characteristics, identify them and love the process of learning. Coming from a family of keen gardeners, I have found myself even more interested in learning about native and non-native species and which seasons they bloom in. The process has sparked some great conversations about plants with family and friends.

I think that drawing this series has helped me feel productive and positive in these turbulent times, I will look back on this collection and be reminded of the positive drawing sessions. It also makes me happy that other people are enjoying my sketches and can see the progression with each one.  I have spoken to friends in similar employment situations, who have told me my sketches have also inspired them to get back into creating, I am very grateful to be surrounded by lots of like-minded and creative people. I have also been partaking in online art classes with people around the world and I have even moved onto scanning and printing a selection that I have been sharing with friends and selling online. I think art has definitely brought many people even closer together.

A little bit about the author:

Sophia is a freelance architecture creative working in London. During the lockdown period, she has been furloughed from her full time job as a Social Media and Marketing Manager for a Festival and Event App but still maintain her weekly freelancing job as an Architecture PR and Marketing Consultant for a London based Architecture practice. Sophia’s background is in Architectural Design, however she recently completed a Masters in Architectural History last September, in which she wrote about warehouse culture  and the housing crisis in her thesis, music festivals and cultural appropriation (a range, she knows).
Sophia also loves to draw and have propelled her creativity into drawing and sketching through lockdown and has been working on a sketch series called #quarantineinbloom which is a set of drawings of foraged flowers and plants, along with those she is lucky to have in her family home. 

  • To connect with Sophia or see more of her work go to:
  • Instagram – @sophiasketchstudio
  • LinkedIn – Sophia Edwards

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