Sophia is a Creative Strategist on the Synthesis Brand & Marketing team. With a background in branding and illustration, and having spent a couple of years in the US, she transforms the intangible to tangible by crafting creative visual narratives from data and insights, and finding new and eclectic ways to build the Synthesis brand.
The last song I listened to
The last song I listened to was ‘Gyakuonjinshu – chorus ver –’’ by Kanho Yakushiji. He’s a Japanese monk musician that mixes traditional Buddhist sutras with modern beats. I listen to a lot of his tracks when I want to feel calm and focused.
My favourite quote is
“Young architects can change the world by not building buildings.”
— Virgil Abloh. It speaks to being able to take the creativity and lessons you learned from your degree and apply it in other fields. Abloh himself had a Master’s in Architecture, but is known for his prolific contributions to the fashion industry. What you are trained in is not limited to the scope of your industry, and you can always make it into something bigger.
The place that means a lot to me
It’s not a stationary place, but I really like the feeling of sitting on trains and looking out the window. The Vermonter Amtrak train from DC to Vermont that has stunning views of nature, the Metro North to upstate New York that runs along the Hudson river, the scenic train to Mt. Hiei in Kyoto – I love watching the scenery pass by, and it makes me think about how vast the world is. Trains to me are a transient, liminal space – a vehicle for self reflection, where you know that eventually, you will reach your destination.
When I need to feel inspired
I go to museums, attend exhibitions, read poetry, play video games, and watch new TV series or movies recommended by friends. I like to be inspired by the creativity of others.
The best gift I gave recently
I gave the poetry collection ‘Pilgrim’ by local Singaporean poet Lisabelle Tay to a friend. Highly recommend it if you enjoy interpretations of diverse mythology and folklore!
I daydream of travelling to
Montauk in NY. It’s the one place that I had really wanted to visit before I left NYC but never got the chance to. I still hear Clementine saying “Meet me in Montauk.” to Joel from the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The best bit of advice I ever received
“Don’t do what you love, but love what you do.” From author Seth Godin’s The Practice.
A memory I’d like to relive is
I constantly recall this memory from Ise Jingu in Mie, Japan. The shrine is dedicated to the Sun Goddess so the ground is considered incredibly sacred. There are huge old cypress trees growing in the area, and their barks have become smooth from thousands of people touching them for good luck.
As I was walking, I saw a young father before me with his baby in a carrier on his front. He put his hand on the cypress bark, then proceeded to place his baby’s hand on the tree too. Seeing such a small hand on an enormous natural form stuck with me. A life newly brought into this world, and a life that has been on these grounds for centuries. The juxtaposition between young and old. The relationship between humans and nature. A parent’s love for their child. This single action made me think about all these things, and is a testament to the power of visual communication.
As a child my dream was to be
A riding instructor! I had a huge horse phase as a kid where all I drew were horses, had a horse-themed birthday party, and collected My Little Ponies…
My ideal pet would be
Ceratogyrus darlingi – a tarantula with a horn. It’s like a unicorn but an eight-legged version, and they make for very cute and low effort pets.
I am most looking forward to
Planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park with my friends next fall, hopefully!