Maker We Love: Sophia Fang Art

We are huge fans of snail mail, both sending and receiving. We love that you are too, especially sending multiples. We have been growing our card pack offerings, and happy to have Sophia's beautifully illustrated Houses of PGH Postcard Pack for you. Learn more about Sophia's story below.

Maker

Hi! My name is Sophia Fang, and I'm the owner + creator of Sophia Fang Art

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To me, art is a medium for warmth and comfort. I think often of a Chinese phrase called jie di qi, or "being connected to earth's breath." In other words, it's about being in touch with real life, of keeping your feet grounded while your head is dreaming big in the clouds.

And jie di qi is exactly what I hope to create with my art. My watercolor paintings are my love letters to the simpler things in life and the hyperlocal treasures around us. I craft intentional snapshots of colorful slices of life: a steaming bowl of soup, a home that sits quietly on a corner, a coffee shop filled with good conversation.

I hope to celebrate our interconnectedness and refocus our attention on the symbols of community. Because once we do, the mundane becomes the magical.

What is your story?

The short story is: I'm a startup marketer by trade, a creative dabbler by nature, and a social impact creator by purpose.

The longer story is: when I moved to Pittsburgh two-and-a-half years ago, I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed fresh grad, with big ideals about working at the intersection of technology x social impact and empowering entrepreneurship. Through my work at Honeycomb Credit, I was helping small business entrepreneurs every day and saw them achieve their hopes and dreams.

At the same time, I picked up watercolor painting in my free time. As a way to feel more connected in my new city, I began taking walks around Pittsburgh's eclectic neighborhoods and started painting the things that caught my eye and felt distinctly Pittsburgh. I'll have to admit, while I was proud of my art, I was also very critical of it. I had a lot of creative anxiety around selling my art publicly despite getting positive feedback from friends and family. Whenever I felt like I was finally ready, another part of me would wonder: have I painted this to the best of my ability? What if I just make one last tweak...

One day, things finally clicked. The "perfect" painting didn't exist, and if I couldn't even take the first step towards showing my art to a wider audience, then I would be the only one to blame for not giving myself a fair chance. Inspired by the entrepreneurs around me, I made the decision to just try and never look back.

To gauge customer interest, I decided to do a test run with a minimum viable product. I applied to a small craft fair and printed a batch of my watercolors on a janky old printer. In my head, I thought, "If I can earn enough to cover my vendor fee and break even, I'll consider today a success."

To my surprise, the customer response was overwhelmingly positive, and I sold out for the day! The fair was also a great opportunity to see how people interacted with my artwork and figure out which prints were the most popular. Since then, I've been working on improving my printing production, building my social media presence and online shop, establishing vendor partnerships with like-minded businesses, and most importantly, following my heart on what I paint. At the end of the day, watercolor painting is something that brings me joy, and I want to continue nourishing my creative spark and improving upon my craft.

Neighborhood 

Shadyside! Or as I say, welcome to the shady side—we've got some cute Victorian houses.

What one product do we need to know about and why?

My Houses of Pittsburgh postcard pack is a collection that's very close to my heart. It includes 6 watercolor illustrations of colorful houses found across Pittsburgh. I hope that it captures the whimsical joy of these neighborhood gems and offers a snapshot into the rich history of architectural styles in the area!

In three words, why do you love Pittsburgh?

Where magic happens.

How can people find out more about you?

Website: https://www.sophiafang.com/shop

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sophiaqfang/

Facebook: https://facebook.com/sophiaqfang

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