My first encounter with Sosa at GidiFest 2015 in Lagos was quite something. I had become fond of her unique Instagram aesthetic and kept up with her numerous, compelling projects-in truth. It'd be hard for anyone to ignore her style and statement. Our refreshingly brief confab informed my thoughts on the woman: Dainty. Daring. Diaphanous: A girl on the rise.
A self-described creative, Sosa is a Holland-born, London-based visual communicator, digital artist, wordsmith, fashionista extraordinaire, art enthusiast and more. Sosa says creative, I say "Creative Renaissance Woman." With a folio boasting marques like Isa Arfen, Too Good London, and Also Journal to name a few, Sosa is anything but average. What's most interesting is that she's her own muse - a look through her personal blog will rouse your interest. Her depth, her ability to translate her thoughts through pictures, her exceptional way with words? Unreal. The multi-faceted artist of Nigerian descent lets us in on her world in this exclusive chat in Lagos.
On who/what creates our limits:
Two things, the systems we’re born into and ourselves. Of course financial restrictions apply to certain ideas, sometimes there’s just no access. For me, the fear of mediocrity has stopped me from doing a whole lot of things. A lot of us are perfectionists, half the time, I’d rather not bother trying than produce something that’s not the best of the best. Because in the past when I have produced sub standard work, it’s done a number to my confidence. This is changing however, I’ve started to realize that it’s something I have to fight and there’s a lot to learn from trying.
The term 'creative' is over-used. Sosa wants you to know what distinguishes her from the rest:
I totally agree, the word creative has been milked to the last and it makes me cringe a little these days, but what can we do? I think that for me, what distinguishes me from the lot would be my adaptability. My skill set and experience has enabled me to be malleable to pretty much any environment or role I’m placed in; from styling, photography, graphics to writing and PR. Also I’d say it’s my exploration of creativity within an academic context; I’ve been blessed enough to be properly educated in a creative environment since I started at A levels.
Being multi-talented can be conflicting. Finding balance is difficult.
It is indeed. It’s a blessing and burden. I often find myself in a position where I know I can do something but I also know someone else who’s more specialized who could probably execute it better than I can. It’s also brought a sense of unrest, because I really do want to do everything. But in order to build a name for myself, I understand that I have to start with one major thing. And that’s me having to teach myself patience.
Sosa, a modern-day feminist:
In the wise words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, we should all be feminists. I have always been a feminist, even though I didn’t know it as a child. It’s incredibly hard to be a woman in such a sexist world. I grew up in Nigeria as an only daughter with three brothers and as you can imagine, this means that I’ve spent most of my life being told I can’t do things I watched my brothers do with ease. I was never okay with that and I never will be. I think it’s time for the world to focus more on what women are capable of and less on what we look like. It’s time for the world to unlearn gender roles, it’s a long and gradual process. But it’s necessary for progress.
Like most of us, Sosa is still on a journey to self discovery:
To be honest, I really don’t feel like I have fully figured myself out yet. Every time I think I have, something happens that makes me think ‘hhmm not really’. This self discovery of a thing is endless. That being said. Who I am right now is a person who is looking for my voice, looking for God. Trying to be the change I want to see in the world wherever I find myself. Expressing what is on my mind and what I am learning with whatever medium is available to me and hoping to find myself more and more in the process.
Every version of Sosa is an original:
It’s funny, people often talk about how in general, ones online presence isn’t an authentic representation of ones self. But I think for me it’s quite accurate. Everything I put out here is me, myself, my interests and outcomes, thoughts and ideas. I think that Sosa the creative and Sosa 'the girl' are indeed one and the same. This will become more apparent with my next few projects.
Sosa's current project is:
Music ! I’m working on transitioning to the music world and having that be my main outlet. Of course I will handle my own visual identity, creative direction and whatnot. The plan is to put together an audio-visual experience consisting of all my own original material.
On her obsession with nature:
Who am I not to appreciate the amazing work of the Creator ? It’s just calming and perfect.
Sosa's art in one word:
Sosa isn't big on mentors but she's full of admiration for a few like-minded creatives:
I mean of course there are people I look up to. Simone Konu of Also Journal being one of them. She’s brilliant. And people's career paths I admire and would like to emulate parts of. But ‘obsessed’ is a bit too strong a word for me.
On the importance of collaboration:
It’s so important to have the perfect team of like minded people on a project. In as much as I feel like I’m talented and I can do a lot blah blah, it’s always important to listen to other people's thoughts and ideas. You can learn a lot from others.
On the rise of African creatives:
There’s such a huge spotlight on Africa now in the middle of the trend I call ‘race to the roots’. And the creative minds in Africa are booming. I just went to see 1:54 art fair; a traveling fair of curated African art and I was so blown away. So much amazing-world-class-thought-provoking art. People are acknowledging the motherland much more now. It’s really beautiful and it’s only the beginning.
Sosa currently aspires to a collaboration with sustainable fashion brand, EDUN. When not in a creative bubble, she's either attending gigs, going to see gallery exhibitions or watching Netflix and chilling, grapes in hand.