Meet Artist Sonja Pietrasz.
Sonja grew up in New Hampshire and has always had a knack for the creative things in life.
The idea of being an artist, however, at least at a young age, honestly never seemed like a very attractive or attainable one to her. She had the idea of a struggling artist instilled in her mind and she wasn’t sure if she had it in her to pursue that dream, especially at the risk of not living comfortably, or even feasibly, considering she could end up making next to nothing if it didn’t work out.
But given that, she felt her only true talents lay in creative fields, she felt it appropriate to study art in college. Sonja went to the University of New Hampshire and wasn’t sure at first what avenue she wanted to take, although she wishes she had, because she would’ve gone to a different school. Not to say UNH didn’t do her justice, it’s a good school but their arts program, at least at the time, was strictly fine arts. Charcoal drawing after… charcoal drawing. And although her college career taught her greatly when it comes to her approach and critical thinking around the creation of art, it did not prepare her to compete in the highly digital world of art we now live in.
Sonja commented: I could draw, sure, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to use that skill alone to support myself. The job openings available to me were all for graphic artists, which I was not qualified to be, having only ever touched a computer in one of my art classes, a film photography class. And I was not financially prepared to quit my day job in hopes I could figure it out; rent, bills and everything else that costs money in life came first. So I moved to Boston, got an office job and a steady paycheck. For about four years I worked as a client management consultant at a private jet company, doing everything you could possibly imagine to get the wealthiest of patrons from A to B with a guaranteed cherry on top. It was high stakes and high stress and nowhere near where I saw myself going into school, but that’s often how it goes.
It was in 2019 that my father passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. It was a shock I still don’t think I’m over and further shocking was our finding that he and my grandmother had a great deal invested in stocks, which was then passed down to my older sister and me. This, coinciding with the pandemic, led me to Maine. It was here I decided to do what I knew would make my dad the proudest: become the artist I wasn’t sure was possible.
Since then I have worked to redevelop my skills and hone new ones, taking classes at a local community college in the field of printmaking and learning Adobe platforms on my own. I can and have now created logos for people and have launched an online store as a way to sell my creations, although I thoroughly enjoy participating in art fairs and being able to connect with people one-on-one. I am also now a member of Pickwick Independent Press in Portland, ME, which is a community of printmakers working in a shared space, splitting the cost of equipment and creating a place where artists can collaborate, connect, and showcase what they’ve done. I am grateful for that, for the financial freedom to pursue a career I had lost all hope in pursuing, and for opportunities like this one Tedd Davis was generous enough to give to me.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN…
… It’s a one-woman show back here! Based outside of Portland, Maine, I define myself as both an artist and a craftsman, forever a creator. I work in a wide variety of mediums, from jewelry making to printmaking and graphic design.
Every piece you’ll find here is either handmade or hand-printed by myself, so please excuse slight moderations from piece to piece, this is what makes them unique! All of my prints are numbered and you can find more about the process for each type on my how it’s made page.
I hope you find a one-of-a-kind item that speaks to you or someone you love my inventory does change often (as I only have a single unit of many pieces/sizes) so if you don’t find what you’re looking for this time around, please check back again soon!