Sofia Roman has been drawing since they can remember. Born and raised in Manhattan in the 90’s, Roman was inspired early on by the art of Keith Haring. “I feel like I grew up with him”, they say. “I’d see his work around New York City and had a few books about him at home that I still like to flip through”.
Roman would spend a lot of their free time as a child drawing in sketchbooks, journals, and diaries, as well as doodling on the edges of paper in a pop art style. “After school, while waiting for my parents to pick me up, I’d try to create my own set of neopet-like creatures or make bookmarks for my friends” they recall. To this day, they still draw creatures that are often inspired by otherworldly nature. They are “intrigued by all of the craziness that exists beneath the sea and what has yet to be discovered” and have “a weird affinity for insects and animals that people would normally consider ‘ugly’”.
In 2008, Roman moved to Maryland where they attended high school. At the time, they took particular interest in Salvador Dali and Jamie Hewlett’s work with Gorillaz. They finds themselves “very drawn to gestural and expressive art”, especially the work of Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, and Basquiat. Roman also notes their deep connection to music as an inspiration for art, and tends to visualize ideas for drawings and animations while they listen.
Although Roman endured a bit of an initial culture shock after moving from New York City to Maryland, they say that they’ve since “grown very attached to the DMV area and the people here”. Now 25, they currently live in Washington D.C. with two other creatives, their dog Kiki, Hazel the hedgehog, and Squishy the axolotl. They have aspirations to use their creative space to set up a mutual aid station, community garden, and local craft markets on their street.
Roman has recently embraced their identity as bisexual and nonbinary (they/them), which has been very positively impactful to their life and expression as an artist. “In life, I choose to love freely, radically, and without boundaries. In general, you haven’t met all of the people who will love you, and love can find you at any age”, they say. “Knowing this fuels my fire to create art for myself and for others. Feeling confident in my queer identity makes me feel more empowered in forging new relationships, fostering the ones I have, and creating art with good intentions.”
Check out the details that we photographed of Sofia Roman’s ‘Sacred Hearts’ Triptych.