Meet Miranda Sofroniou: Surround Yourself With Pets, Plants and Books

Striving to arouse a sense of wonder from her art is illustrator, Miranda Sofroniou. Born in the UK, but currently based in Australia, Miranda is inspired by her times of travel, adventure and nature – and the truth is in the lush end result!

Her work has donned the cover of Flow Magazine, as well as inside Frankie Magazine, Taproot Magazine, on postcards for British Airways and now her designs are appearing on Nerida Hanen Fabrics. Miranda takes a moment out of drawing to talk to our blog editor, Jacqui Taylor, about her process, managing motherhood and her aspiration to create a homewares collection.
Hello Miranda, thanks for chatting. Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself such as where you grew up and where you live now?
I grew up in the UK, and lived in London for 10 years before moving to Australia in 2017, I’m now living in Thornbury, Melbourne.

Do you refer to yourself as an illustrator or an artist or both?
I would say a bit of both, everything I do is created by hand using traditional techniques such as watercolour and gouache paints, pencil crayons and ink.When did you first start drawing?
I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember! I grew up in a creative family so it was a normal activity to be painting.

What has changed for you due to COVID-19? And how have you adapted your work to manage during this time?
It definitely has been a huge change as my work is really inspired by travel and visiting new places. Due to the pandemic and not having the option to go to new places it has been a real shift and opportunity to explore the ‘everyday’ When we had the really strict lockdown here in Melbourne we could only go within 5kms of our homes, I explored every corner of my 5km bubble and discovered some hidden gems and delighted in the small things such as the greenery and nature that grows in the cracks of pavements and the street gardens.

Miranda, when and how did you meet Nerida Hansen? Were you familiar with Nerida Hansen Fabrics?
Two or so years ago Nerida Hansen contacted me with the opportunity to create and sell some of my designs as fabric – I was thrilled as this was always something I had wanted to do!

What was the inspiration for your Readers collection?
The inspiration for the Readers print came from my enjoyment of reading. I wanted to create a cosy print that encapsulated that feeling of getting stuck in the new world of a really good book and not being able to put it down, to be so invested in the story that you will read it everywhere and anywhere!

Are you ready to see your designs as either apparel or homewares?
Yes! I am completely in awe of people who can sew and I love seeing their creativity with using the fabrics to create all sorts of designs.

Describe your typical day.
Currently very baby centred as my little one is just about to turn six months! I try and fit in some work around nap times and have worked on a few exciting projects over the past few months, including creating a chocolate box design for an LA based boutique chocolatiers.
Who has inspired you the most to date and why? Whose careers do you follow?
My dad is a fantastic artist and I have always been so inspired by how much he lives and breaths art, wherever he is he will always whip out some paper and start sketching or painting. He has such a huge knowledge of art history and has always encouraged me to look at the world through a creative lens.

There are so many amazing contemporary illustrators whose work I adore and follow including Beatrice Cerocchi, Charlotte Ager, Kirsten Sims and Belynda Henry.

Do you have a dream collaboration or project?
Over the past year people have really taken care and pride in surrounding themselves and their homes in pieces that bring them joy and I would love to create a homewares collection.
What is in the pipeline for you for 2021?
This year seems to be flying by! I have an exciting book project about butterflies coming up and I have a road trip to Sydney planned for a few weeks (COVID permitting) so I’m hoping that will reignite my inspiration and I will be doing lots of painting and documenting the trip.

Name three words that best describe your style of art.
Colourful, patterned, nature

What advice would you offer to those that are starting out as an artist?
Practice your craft, get your work out there and don’t give up!