In the vast world of social media, where creativity flows freely and personal expression takes the stage, there’s an artist whose work goes beyond mere aesthetics. Meet Soni López-Chávez, a digital illustrator whose art on Instagram has struck a chord with her growing audience. In a heartfelt conversation with our editor Elizabeth, Soni opens up about her unique journey — from job loss during the pandemic to becoming a full-time artist — and the profound impact her creations have on healing and advocacy.
Getting started on Instagram
Soni’s adventure on Instagram began in 2020, a year that brought global uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She shared her story with us, saying, “I launched my art career on Instagram in 2020 after losing my job due to the pandemic. I had an art gallery for six years, but I had to close it down because of COVID.”
With newfound time on her hands, Soni decided to explore digital illustration, a creative avenue she had long been curious about. Her initial experiments with digital art quickly turned into a full-blown passion. She explained, “I always wanted to try digital illustration, and once I did, I fell in love with it. I posted a few images that went viral, which helped me gain more followers and eventually become a full-time artist.”
Art as a tool for self-healing
Alongside her budding art career, Soni embarked on a profound personal journey of self-healing. She began sharing her evolving insights and discoveries through her artwork, turning her digital canvas into a visual diary of her growth. As Soni put it, “During this time, I was also doing a lot of self-healing. I wanted to share what I was learning through my art. That’s where most of my therapy, self-help, self-love pieces come from.”
Visual therapy: an accurate label
Soni’s art isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a form of therapy, both for herself and for those who connect with her work. When asked if she categorizes her illustrations as “visual therapy,” Soni enthusiastically agreed, saying, “Yes, that describes my work perfectly.”
The healing power of visual affirmations
Soni firmly believes that her visual affirmations and artwork can serve as powerful tools for healing at any point in one’s journey. Having experienced her own share of ups and downs, she often turns to her earlier creations for solace, extracting wisdom and clarity from her art.
Advocating through art: amplifying voices
Beyond personal healing, Soni’s art amplifies the voices of marginalized communities, particularly focusing on Latinx heritage. She understands the transformative potential of her work, saying, “I’ve seen a lot of ignorance in traditional cultures, where judgments and closed-mindedness prevail. But I’ve also witnessed these perspectives change with the help of newer generations. That’s why I use my art to offer support and raise awareness.”
Hopes and Impact
As for the future, Soni envisions her art continuing to connect with people and facilitate transformation. She seeks ongoing personal growth, both as an artist and as an individual. Her work has touched the hearts of followers who feel deeply seen and heard through her creations.
In closing, Soni reflects on her remarkable journey as a full-time artist, acknowledging her immigrant roots and the sacrifices made by those who paved the way for her: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be an artist and to be able to be a full time artist. Growing up as an illegal immigrant I never thought this could be possible. What I do is for my self and for those before me that sacrificed so much so I could stand where I am today.” Her art is a tribute to their struggles and a testament to the power of resilience. Through her art, healing, and unwavering dedication, Soni’s story serves as an inspiring beacon in the world of healing and advocacy.