My Art, My Life, My Story, My Testimony
I sat down to chat with Sophia Taylor of Sophia Taylor Photography to have a conversation about her life as a photographer in the Bahamas. Not only did we discuss photography but painting, spear fishing, depression, work ethic, culture, history and so much more.
This conversation is what I would call passionate. That is also the best word to describe Sophia Taylor. Passionate about her work her life and all that makes her a human being. I thought we would have a nice artistic conversation but what I got instead was a newfound respect for this artist and her struggles to be FREE.
This is not to say that she is shackled in a prison of bars but the construct of being free as a human being to express yourself in a way that is instituted by God Himself. This ability to be free is what we all search for in one way or the other but often times life tends to take over and we give up that dream to live the life and cards that are dealt to us.. not sophie.
Another amazing fact about Sophia Taylor is that her primary language is actually Spanish. As her mother is Costa Rican while her father is Bahamian. This duality of life was not a hindrance but a strength, as many person with diverse backgrounds often struggle with their identity. This was never and issue that held her back as she embraced the foundation of both her parents and their ancestors from Africa. Culture… African culture and life that we all now live is so ingrained in her that its spills over into her work.
This level of freedom is not easy to come by as it requires a process to be carried out. One of self awareness, struggle, acceptance of what is and the search to be at peace with oneself and the world.
To be truly free in a society that marches on the same tune can be a difficult task as society will always try to ensure that you conform to the normal standards place before your. However through her work as a photographer, her work as a painter and the freedom of being a spearo… thats right a spearo girl opens the door to be set free.
Often times you may find that most painters use photography as inspiration to their painting. Take a photo and then paint it. When it comes to true creatives such as Sophia Taylor however, inspiration comes from within. The ability to sit at a blank canvas and project your emotions and feelings into a work of art is left for the few artist of the world that are born artist.
Sophie paintings are often vibrant with strong hues of color particularly blue to represent the ocean. To fully understand the power of blue here is an excerpt from The Color Wheel Pro: Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.
When you see her work you fully understand this.
Discussing her photography background, something that many may not know is that Sophia learned much of her art in school. Photography is often a craft that many are self taught. While nothing is wrong with either.. the fact that persons like herself go out their way to study their chosen professional craft is what often sets them apart from many.
This passion however came at a high cost for her and a close friend. Working the art of dark room exposure she unknowingly at the time, exposed herself to dangerous chemicals that caused cancer in her friend and affected her body personally in other ways.
This is true love, sometimes thrusting yourself into your passion you tend to throw caution to the wind and live in the moment. However more than just passion was driving her as she was still struggling internally with the thought of being free.
Taking a trip back to the beginning of her career as a photographer, we discussed what inspired her at that time and how she survived throughout the years.
What many persons at the time may not have known is that Sophia Taylor… much like myself and other artist went through a dark period of depression. This state can be seen in her work as with many other artist. Finding your voice or a way to voice your feelings through art is a common theme amount many artist.
There is a saying that when life gives you lemons make lemonade, as nice as this sounds to be strong unfortunately there are times that you just cant find the water and sugar for that lemonade and life is sour. These times tend to lead us to habits that are not always good for our health nor the people around us.
There are many like Sophia and myself who went through this dark time in our life. The good news is that we had people close to us who we loved so much and realizing the hurt we were placing on them helped us see the light. At the same time there have been many who never came out of the dark hole.
The sea can be therapeutic in that it allows you to feel the power of the ocean yet lets you want to hold on to life to enjoy the beauty of sea life and the feeling of freedom.
The sea has its own way of healing us. The ability to “FLY” beneath the waves is beyond therapeutic….
Learning how to spear fish from a family friend, sophia taylor took to the lessons like a dolphin to water. This love of the sea did not start with the lessons however she grew knowing that her grand father and father were also skilled in spear fishing.
Culture can sometimes get in the way of freedom as being a female it was somewhat looked down upon for a lady to go out diving and spearing fish, fighting with monster lobsters and punching sharks. Yes that’s right Sophie actually punched a shark, listen in for that story.
No there was no preaching in this conversation just a strong reverence for God and what He has done for her in her life. Life tends to be messy and many do not ever make it out of that dark place in their life. Battling internal and external injuries is harder than most may care to know but to those struggling with these issues Sophia story matters.
With a list of physical injuries, eating disorders and countless surgeries it can be overwhelming to most people but as sophie discusses through God’s grace in showing her love and love of her family all things can be turned around for the better.
Be sure to listen in to the full conversation as it became an emotional one, with many topics that will give you a better understanding of this Bahamian Artist and her lifestyle.