sophia a zhou

February 2014

© Sophia Adalaine Zhou

Selkies are mythical creatures found in Scottish, Irish, and Faroese folklore. They are believed to live as seals in the ocean but shed their skin to become human on land.

In continuation of my photography series assigned for class, and in relation to last week’s photo regarding pop music and pop culture, something else that is popular in our culture and society right now is the “selfie,” a contemporary urban slang word for a self portrait. However, whenever I hear this word, all I can think of is the selkie, which is much more interesting in word and concept. This week’s photo in the series can be considered a selkie selfie.


Selkie Skin 1
Selkie Skin 2
February 2014

© Sophia Adalaine Zhou

Two other photos I liked from my selkie photo shooting earlier this week. Mike and I spent some time indoors capturing more of the seal skin body paint, because it’s quite cold out in the snow and the make up took quite a while for me to apply, so we wanted to enjoy it. I’m a selkie native to the northern lands. :)

An overwhelming gravity of ideas
May 2014

© Sophia Adalaine Zhou

There is a popular story of how Sir Isaac Newton, the physicist who formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, was inspired by the idea of gravity and came to develop his laws of physics. In this story, he was sitting, or napping depending on the story version, under an apple tree when an apple fell on his head, and thus prompted Newton to derive his universal law of gravitation.

There are times when inspiration comes like a sudden flood, and images and ideas materialize in my mind so quickly that I find myself artistically stagnant, unable to manifest any as tangible art because I feel overwhelmed. I find it a very strange feeling, the opposite of an artist’s block, where I find myself wanting to make so many pieces because I have so many ideas, but it ironically makes me unable to work on anything because I’m intimidated by the process of making the intangible tangible. It’s often difficult to translate what’s in your mind’s eye to someone else’s eyes, sensibly; sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the gravity of it all.


This was my second commission for Narcotics Anonymous, in 2013 with the same person and chapter who commissioned me before. In this two-part design, he wanted me to create a simple piece he could use as a pre-event teaser/fundraiser that’s related to a second design that would be colorfully weird and elaborate and used for chapter fundraising at the event. So I decided to make this hand-tree where the first shirt would be the black and white art outlines as if the tree is during early afternoon, and the second shirt would be thoroughly detailed, colorful, and in a fantastical sunset. He (fortunately) takes care of seeing the art through the printing process, and sent me my own last summer; so now that I’m finally done with school and have time, I thought I’d share this project I had another great time working on! ^__^


Title : (help)
Artist : Sophia A Zhou
Date created : December 2012
Date printed : July 2013
Edition sizes: 98 (13” x 10”)

This is a high quality Limited Edition Photographic Print, 13” x 10” in dimension size.  It is produced with a Noritsu photo printer that exposes light-sensitive Kodak Professional Digital Paper that is then run through a chemical process. The prints are therefore real photographs, not inkjet prints, and are rated as archival. 

The piece is hand-signed and numbered in the white border on the front of the print.

Don’t worry, there is no watermark on the actual print. :)

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