This week I noticed Sophie Long’s brilliant Valentines day cards on social media and had to ask her about them. Sophie is a Bristol artist known for her wonderful animal paintings. I worked with Sophie on the fabulous Prilic exhibition in Bristol last year and I love the vibrancy of her work.
Sophie can you tell me what prompted you to do your Valentines Day collection.
Last week I painted a few cute “in love” animals for my Affordable Art range especially for Valentines and they were a massive hit. I often get sent suggestions and asks about what animals I paint and potential requests of certain work. I had been asked a few times if cards would be on the agenda this year and at that time I suppose I hadn’t thought about it. Which then got me thinking, Valentines can be serious for some people and others not. People in relationships might be looking for that serious heart warming card, but if you’re trying to tell your crush that you fancy them, then an “I LOVE YOU” card maybe not the way to go. It’s much easier to tell someone something potentially embarrassing with a bit of humour involved. And that’s where my cards stemmed from. It’s all tongue and cheek.
What has been people’s reaction so far?
The response has been brilliant, I’ve had so many comments and messages from people telling me how much they love them and how much they’ve made them laugh (and personally, what is life without laughter?) They are non offensive adorable illustrations with a naughty innuendo. I suppose it depends how much of a naughty mind you have.
About your cards you have said ‘I’d be lying if I said writing some of these didn’t give me severe anxiety.. but I like to please my audience… ‘ Can you tell me more about that?
Yes, that’s exactly right. If you looked on my website or any of my social pages 48hours ago, you’d see nothing but colourful animal portraits and prints of my work. These valentines cards and pieces somewhat differ to my other stuff. When I uploaded the first few I the thought that crossed my mind was, “If these pieces offend people then I could lose respect as an artist and also customers” which is a big thing. As they were so well received I gained a little confidence to do more. You still won’t catch me saying some of them out loud!!. Ha.
The cards are fabulous do you have further plans for them?
It’s early days but the plan would be to paint cards for all occasions and get prints made to give the option of buying an original or copy. I’d love to see my cards being sold in shops or online, I just need to find the right company for my humour, as apparently it’s not always well received.
What else are you working on this year?
This year is getting busier by the day which is great. I’m awaiting my Upfest outcome so fingers crossed for that. It’s always a highlight of my year.
In April I have an exhibition with The Roys Peoples Art Fair in London. Lots of planning and new pieces of work to be revealed for that, so I’m very excited.
I have a couple of garden murals in the pipeline, along with potentially painting a campervan, so lots to look forward to.
I am planning to do a solo exhibition this summer, I’m still looking for the perfect location to display my work, but that is my mid year goal – and one I’m making sure I hit.
This year I really want to get my work out there, be accessible for people to see and own.
These wonderful hand drawn illustrations are available on Sophie’s website: https://sophielongart.co.uk/collections/cards