rtist, painter and self-taught photographer Myan Soffia once spent her days as a television graphic designer. Today, her beautiful, dream-like photographs of the American West Coast are seen on television as set decor, in books and magazines, and in private collections around the world – and also now available as part of the URBANARA art
collection. We spoke with Myan to find out when she first picked up a camera and how the city of Los Angeles influences her work.
When did you take your first photo? How has your style developed since then?
I am not sure when I took my very first photo ever. I know as a child I would always play with my Dad's cameras and I took some really awful shots! But the first time I remember trying to be creative with photography was when I was in college. I took a black and white silhouette of tree branches overlooking the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and got really excited when it came out like I had hoped. It was such a basic photo, but it helped me realise that I could control the outcome.
I am always trying to learn and grow, so my style has changed so much since then, especially with the help of digital cameras and Photoshop. But my goals have shifted – I used to simply want to document a city or place. Now my goal is to not only document, but to take images that will hopefully capture a dreamy memory of a place. I want the viewer to feel like they are standing where I was standing when I took the shot and that we are sharing the same memory.
I want the viewer to feel like they are standing where I was standing when I took the shot and that we are sharing the same memory.
What makes a good photo?
I know everyone has a different opinion on this but for me, I respond most to photos that convey an emotion or intimately captures a scene. I love chiaroscuro in a photograph and I love pretty blurs and bokeh for effect.
What is your home like? What do you have on your walls?
I like to describe my home as a cosy chaos filled with books, art, old cameras and musical instruments. I have such a messy studio, there is no doubt that an artist works in there! On our walls I mainly have a mix of oil paintings I have done, photos I have taken of our son, our pets, and of Los Angeles. Sprinkled throughout are photos from our wedding, family, friends, art from other artists that inspire me and lots of iron candle sconces and plenty strands of twinkly lights.
Your images feature of lot of light and colour. How does living in Los Angeles influence your work?
Los Angeles is my absolute favourite muse! While living in downtown I realised I wanted to document the city as I see it: magical, vibrant, & full of life. I owe a great deal to this place as it has allowed me to find myself artistically. I truly hope that I am able to capture the amazing energy and spirit of Los Angeles. I would love to be able to share that feeling with viewers.