Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophie Mo.
Hi Sophie, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I am a London-based illustrator, designer, and a tattoo artist. Born in Lithuania, I have moved to the UK about ten years ago to pursue a career in arts. After graduating with a first in BA Illustration & Visual Communication at Westminster University, I was fortunate enough to work and try myself in various roles within creative industry – digital design, print, all kinds of media assets, book illustration, digital art working. I have also have had a tattoo apprenticeship in my first year of living in London (which was brief, but leaving it was a right thing to do at a time), but glad I got to try myself in graphics and build a portfolio and a clientele as an illustrator first.
Tattooing has always been a huge interest and a passion of mine, and I’ve gone back to it about three years ago and have been loving it ever since. I am currently based at Parliament Tattoo in North London; however, I really enjoy traveling and tattooing all over UK as well as internationally – one of my favourite perks of the job. I also believe that once you find yourself and direction/environment you want to stick to, people in the community are some of the most incredible and supportive. I’ve met some of my closest friends through tattooing too.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think smooth sailing and arts go hand in hand. Tattooing especially has become an incredibly over-saturated and competitive industry over the last couple of years, yet a lot of it relies on social media, and sometimes it feels like people would rather fight for amount of likes and followers over quality of their work and any effort in education or history of their craft.
I think said social media upkeep is sadly a very current struggle for many. As independent artists (and most tattooists are), we have to be on top of everything: socials, admin, visuals, copy, editing of all sorts. It’s exhausting. The further technology develops, the harder it gets – there’s always a new feature that, if you don’t make the most use of will then push you out of app’s algorithm.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Tattooing these days takes up most of my time, but I really miss illustrating. Books, magazines, brand collabs. I love doing them. I’d probably say I’m mostly known for my portraits? There is some other imagery I always get as references that I’ve done, but that’s probably the most asked for in both tattooing and illustration work.
I have just launched my second course on Domestika, which is an incredible online learning platform. The course is called ‘Turning Personal Artwork into Commercial Illustrations’ where I get to share a lot of my knowledge gained over years of working freelance. My first one is a little more beginner illustration level, but it’s done very well on the platform. Domestika’s excellent, and I’m feeling very proud and grateful for having been asked to film a follow-up course.
Little White Lies cover for Titane movie that was a tattoo I’ve done (and designed) was a huge tick off my list. I also got to work as their internal illustrator for a while, which was an incredible experience. One of the issues I got to work on won a D&AD award.
I don’t really like setting myself from others as a selling point. When I get picked out for whatever work there is I’d like to think it’s because I provide desired quality and a right attitude towards whatever it is. All I aim for is it to do good work that gets progressively better with time and learning from incredible artists I get to meet on a way.
What matters most to you? Why?
I place integrity above all else. I do strongly believe everything both in work and personal life, at some point, is or will become reflective of your intentions. I like to surround myself with people that do what they do out of a place of love, hold themselves to strong moral standards, and always try to do and be better.
As internet has such an impact on most art platforms, and there is so much information and content out there to consume, it’s becoming harder and harder to get noticed. Arrogance is an easy bait. I try to stay away from that.
- Website: www.sophiemo.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sophiemoillustration/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiemoillustration
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiemo_
- Other: https://www.domestika.org/en/courses/4176-turning-personal-artwork-into-commercial-illustrations/sophiemoillustration