Sophie Argetsinger: “A Way to Understand and Hold onto the World”

Artist name: Sophie Argetsinger

Featured Work 1: “Protector No. 5: The Wild”

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Sophie Argetsinger‘s drawings and illustrations are graceful, poignant and full of life. She conveys mysterious, novel, playful and somber narratives with great detail and sensitivity. She illustrated the wonderful zine, “OMG I’M GAY,” a collaboration between Autostraddle and Everyone is Gay. Her recent series of “Protectors” addresses various challenges in modern life and benefits numerous related non-profits through their sale.

In Argetsinger’s own words,

The Protector of the Wild [above], also known as The Beekeeper, is a healer of wild creatures and places. It has the ability to draw chemicals and other toxins out of living things, soil, water, and air. The Beekeeper is a shy, shadowy creature covered in leaves, with two humanoid hands and a single eye. When still, with its eye closed and its hands tucked in, The Beekeeper looks very much like a mound of earth covered in vines. Still, to help avoid detection, it works mostly under cover of darkness. It can purify an area of 10 square miles of land (and its inhabitants) in one night, which is impressive for a single being, but unfortunately is not enough to hold back the tide of pollutants generated by humans. It has 7 insect apprentices–a hercules beetle, garden tiger moth, wasp, longhorn beetle, praying mantis, and scorpion–who it sends on special solo remediation missions. There are 10 insects and other creatures hidden in this portrait for you to find. Profits will go to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Other Featured Works:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

Art to me is a way to understand and hold onto the world, a way to make a small part of it my own, and a way to connect to other people. I’m a shy, somewhat non-social person, and I tend to use art as a way to reach out to people.

2. What did you make in the past and why?

As a child, drawing was a way for me to map out my imagination and make it more real, as an adolescent, it was a way to figure out and process my emotions.

3. What are you making now and why?

I make art now as a way to try to understand the world. Since the election, I’ve most recently been working on a series of “Protectors”—imaginary creatures that work to protect humans in some way. So far, I’ve finished “The Protector of Truth,” “The Protector of Justice,” “The Protector of Refugees,” and “The Protector of Immigrants.” Funds from the sale of prints and the originals are going to various organizations.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I would like to figure out ways that my work could effect more real positive change in the world, however small.

5. What else would you like to say?

Art is important! Thanks to all the creators out there.

Artist Supplied Background:

Sophie Argetsinger has been drawing animals, monsters, and imaginary worlds since childhood. Through her illustrations, she enjoys connecting to nature and animals, as well as escaping into other worlds, and allows the viewer to do the same. She particularly likes drawing monsters and other ‘undesirable’ creatures in an accessible and relatable way.

Sophie graduated from Smith College and is currently working as an illustrator and book designer in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Sophie is most recently the author/illustrator of the graphic creation story, “A Tale From Beginningless Time.”

Find her on her site and @sargetsi.

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers
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