Sophie Mahir Contemporary Artist – My Journey So Far.
Once an artist, always an artist – isn’t that’s what they say?
In 2018 I officially re-launched my Art Business after a 10 year gap. During which time I re-trained in business coaching, NLP, and hypnosis. I worked with various mentors in online business, marketing and Social Media. Different, right?
I then set up and ran a successful coaching business (The Business Freedom Academy) from the south coast of England. Before selling up and travelling the world working on my laptop. I helped mostly holistic small businesses to set up and grow online.
Now I’ve started my own brand The Artists Marketing Academy, which is both online and off, here in Perth, WA. As well as a Meetup Group: Perth Arts. I’m excited as I get to mix all my experience, skills and passion together finally.
I have designed my own perfect life.
I have a mix of creativity when I work on my abstract and semi-abstract canvases. Then I satisfy my ‘inner geek’, when I help my fellow artists to get great with their marketing and Social Media. I life with my lovey fella in the Perth Hills – all is good.
But my life didn’t start out that way.
Tobias School Of Art
Initially I did my training at an ‘alternative’ college called Tobias School Of Art, where I studied ‘colour’ intensely for 3 years. There I first explored the idea of a colour having it’s own identity, and how putting them together could change their shape, size and intensity. Ultimately I graduated with a Teachers Qualification to teach children in Waldorf Schools.
I went on to teach at the Brighton Steiner School for 8 years. Teaching painting, drawing, clay sculpture and history of art. Finally leaving to pursue a professional career as an artist myself. I remember the day I handed in my resignation letter; it was a decision I would never regret.
When I left the security of a full-time job and registered as self-employed it was exciting. I could finally set my own goals, earn my own money and establish a real business.
I didn’t realise how difficult that would actually be, having absolutely no previous business experience. But I gradually got some help and discovered I loved the business-side of things too. So I went on to achieve my art goals until I reached a sort of ‘saturation point’. I felt under pressure to paint, and soon I was producing quantity over quality, and I knew it was time to stop and do something different.
As part of the business process as well as wanting to work more with the local community where I was based, I got some help to set up Newhaven Arts a local artists group, supporting the professional growth of artists and creatives.
I set up my very first Open House back in 2001. Called The House Of Colour I started out with a solo show, but soon realised it could work even better if I had other artists join me.
I then approached The Brighton Festival, who already had well established trails throughout Brighton, to see if we could join in. The answer was yes, so I set up and ran the Newhaven Artists Trail for the first few years. We soon had 10+ houses opening their doors and I worked with the local community groups and council to broaden the reach of art and artists in the area.
Now I’ve come full-circle and have the chance to start back up with all the knowledge I’ve gained.