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Meet Sofie Hansen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sofie Hansen.

Sofie, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Coming to LA from three years of working as a marine biologist turned model, actress and photo-artist in Tokyo and the Philippines, hopelessly trying to balance art and science, work and pleasure, love and toxic encounters throughout my travels and my many homes along the way. Here I’ve found myself to be able to connect with an array of people including other rootless souls as well as fleetingly living with grounded individuals that grant strength and re-connection with the breath and body.

I’ve taken inspiration from the people around me as well as my core and personal legend. I have always known I wanted to be a marine biologist and have had a strong sense of direction throughout my early years, but going out there and taking life by the hand will never fail to take you on an adventure with twists and turns, ups and downs. Like a river flowing and entwining with other lives along the way, inevitably separating again when you’ve both lost and gained from the encounter. I’d like to share a piece of my journey, and why I urge everyone to let their duty be to their heart.

I grew up on a farm in Denmark, the small kingdom in Scandinavia so small that it’s often mistaken to be the capital of Sweden or a piece of turf in Germany. There I had the most polarized upbringing one could imagine. My father being a steadfast rock; a man who has lived his entire life on the farm he was born on and a now retired CEO of his electrical engineering company. His values are set in stone and revolve around hard work and carrying out tradition. A man I believed throughout my childhood did not possess emotions. However, he is a man I have immense respect for, a man of his word and always a helping hand to those who need it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have my biggest inspiration, my mom. A woman who has served nearly 13 years in the Danish military as well as working in an Israeli kibbutz, a runway lingerie model, nurse, medium, sexologist, clairvoyant, physiotherapist and working with treating psychosomatic pains. She has done several pilgrimages and has always told me to look at the world with an open mind and heart. The one thing these two opposites could agree on; however and have given with me on my journey of finding myself and my purpose, is honesty. Honesty to myself, my friends, family, lovers and last but not least, to my work as a marine biologist as well as an artist.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
As an artist, I feel myself always growing, evolving, taking in inspiration and letting go of old inspiration that doesn’t do my feelings or vision justice anymore. I stay true to my ever-lasting root of inspiration, my very own twin flame; the ocean and bodies of waters of the world. I started out experiencing the beauty of traditional sciences such as math, being taken aback by the Fibonacci and golden ratio. Seeing how math occurs all around us: in flowers, the fur coats of animals, geographical structures. Art was always an emotional outlet and the more unreliable and chaotic mistress of my biotechnology and mathematics studies. It followed me on my journey through marine conservation, doing underwater photography as well as accompanying me on the social science study I was conducting on dolphins in the Philippines. I would take photos used both for identifying the individual animals as well as taking photos for the media department of the NGO my team was working for. It quickly became eminent that pointing a camera and clicking aimlessly isn’t enough to make people see what you see or conjure up the feelings needed to make a change in people’s mindsets.

Going to Tokyo, I needed money for rent and thus started modeling as a suggestion from my mom. Here realizing that the best medium I’ll ever have for expressing my art is my body. Together with the love of the technicality behind the camera and working with different artists every day, I found myself to be a shapeshifter; a canvas as well as a creator, organizer and art director, body painter and makeup artist. I always love to draw inspiration from the ocean, math and science, symmetry and chaos, love, hate, pain and joy. Drawing inspiration from the culture clash with American pop culture occurring within Tokyo. Here finding beauty in the vast diversity of a city that, just as Los Angeles, promises fulfillment of your most outlandish dreams.

For me, my art is a safe space to give a little piece of myself to the world. It’s where I let my mind wander and connect with my feelings. I’m partaking in a fantasy world created by me and the people I’ve worked with. A world that flows freely between my struggles with my own inner turmoil and mental illness as well as an inevitable tie to sexuality (this coming from a home of very open sexuality due to one of my mom’s many professions being a sexologist) and of course, heartache. All the feelings you encounter along the journey, that to me grants balance in a life of logic and science, work and reality. My art is me, but it is so much more, for it is all the people whose lives I’ve touched and the ones who have touched my heart in return.

Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
Over-saturation and the overload of media outlets. As with everything in this world, I think too much of a good thing becomes a curse. I think it’s beautiful seeing how many people find a voice of self-expression in our world today. But as everyone and anyone speak their mind, attention is often grabbed by the loudest or most controversial voices. I think art is a medium of which you lay yourself bare, provoke thoughts, challenge mindsets. I also think it can be used to soothe the mind and soul, creating beauty in a world that has a tendency to be as cold and painful as it is warm and giving.

I think artists today can use their work to inspire not only a higher form of being but a fuller life to consumers. Artists are constantly challenged by bigger corporations with capitalistic values flooding consumers with empty “art”, using cheap sales techniques in forms of “fast food media”. Cause we are all just that, consumers, as well as creators, but we all choose what we consume, and I think a lot of amazing, talented, hard-working artists gets drowned out by the overpowering commercial-like voice of mainstream media. Take time to support the artists that inspire you and who you admire!

I’ve always said I wanted my life-goal to be so big that I would never be able to achieve it, so I forever would be on the journey of life. However naive and childlike it sounds, that goal has always been to save the world, starting with the oceans. In reality that’s a goal that needs all the hands, eyes and mouths it can get, and if I am to reach just one person and impact them to appreciate the beauty of our world, oceans, bodies, feelings, and minds, it’d be worth all the struggles that come my way. As an artist, as a human, as a marine biologist. As me.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have an Instagram (@sofie.dmg) and a Patreon (www.patreon.com/SofieHansen) you can support at the moment, but I will be setting up a website that has been a few months in the making. I sporadically occur in various magazines with either my photo shoot organization and/or my own modeling. Otherwise, I will continue to collaborate with amazing and talented people, I am only just getting started on the beautiful journey that ties life and art together.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Art direction by me; Photographers throughout: Koed Karuichi, Ryo Ishikawa, Mutz Ishisawa, Kishi Toi, 中崎, Mike Tokue, Tio, Tessin, Sofie Hansen.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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