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Guest Spotlight: Sophia Parker, Creator of ThePaintGrind Creative

This month’s special guest is Sophia: artist and creator behind ThePaintGrind Creative! Her stationery art is truly breathtaking - simple yet so intricate, clean cut and refreshing. Make sure to check her out for some one of a kind pieces!

My name is Sophia, known to many as “Soph”! I am the artist, designer & calligrapher behind ThePaintGrind Creative. I was born in CT and lived there till I was 7. I then grew up the majority of my life in MA, then NH for a few years, but moved down to NC in 2015 with my husband Ben! My “HusBen” is the most supportive and is also part of ThePaintGrind - he’s an engineer, quite handy with power tools and builds acoustic guitars from scratch as a hobby. He’s in charge of manufacturing ALL of our custom acrylic sign/wooden stand orders (not to mention he feeds me and makes sure I sleep) :). I also have two very loyal and loving co-workers:  Chip Pickles (a 4 year old American Cocker Spaniel) and Chase (a 2 year old black lab mix). When I’m not working I volunteer with the Junior League of Greensboro. I went to Union College in Schenectady, NY, a small Liberal Arts college, and majored in Studio Fine Art & Graphic Design!

Ashley: How old are you?

Sophia: 29

Ashley: What made you start your business?  How long ago did it begin? Sophia: Art has always been a huge part of my life. I started taking private art lessons when I was 7 and have been refining my skills ever since! I started taking on commission paintings a year or so after I graduated college. In 2016 I made @thepaintgrind Instagram, and in 2018 I became an official small business owner! 

Ashley: What made you get involved with calligraphy and stationery work? Sophia: I have always been a lover of office supplies and “back-to-school” season at Staples - splurging on new pens, journals and stationery ever since I can remember was a constant. Although I dabbled in lettering and faux calligraphy, I didn’t REALLY start until 2016. I took a few intensive calligraphy courses and designed my wedding stationery, not knowing at all what I was doing, and the rest is history!

Ashley: Have you ever taken calligraphy classes before? Or was this something that was self taught? Sophia: Yes! I’ve taken over 20 hours of calligraphy classes which was SO helpful in building good habits and a solid foundation. I try to take a calligraphy class any chance I get – there’s nothing better!

Ashley: Is this your only profession? If not, how do you find the time to both?! Sophia: No, but I am lucky enough to be a full-time creative. I am a Graphic Designer for a MarTech company in Boston and take on wedding invitation clients plus commission work during the evenings and weekends. Life is crazy, at times it’s certainly hard to balance, but I absolutely LOVE the work I do and I have learned the hard way that sometimes you have to say “no” to stay sane!

Ashley: Your work is so intricate, but also so clean cut and unique! Where do your ideas and inspiration for these pieces come from? Sophia: Thank you so much! I am so flattered. The majority of my inspiration in terms of subject-matter comes from the clients I work with, their vibes, vision and love story! In terms of general inspiration? I love listening to music while I really gets me in the zone.

Ashley: Do you ever use stencils? Or is it completely free hand? Sophia: I don’t use stencils, but I do use rulers and t-squares when sketching architecture (I can’t draw a straight line to save my life!!)

Ashley: Have you ever had struggles throughout this journey of running your own business? If so, what would you tell those who think about giving up? Sophia: Literally every other day! I feel like this should have a disclaimer to take my “advice” with a grain of salt since I really don’t know what I’m doing 🤣 but here are a few words that have resonated with me (and I too try to remember on the daily)! You’ll have good days and bad days. There will always be someone out there who is better and more successful than you - know that to stay humble, but don’t compare yourself to them. Learn from your mistakes. Trust your gut and let things go. At the end of the day, if you love what you do, don’t give up just yet. It’ll all work out.

Thanks for sharing Sophia :)



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