Portrait of the Artist: Sophie JB

b.1993, Irish Artist Sophie JB did her first painting at 11 months old; aided by her enthusiastic mother who eagerly placed a paintbrush in her hand. Sophie has always been an artist.

JB began her third level studies in Art in BCFE in 2011. It was during this year, under the guidance and mentorship of artist Dominic Thorpe that she had her first public art show. “Sharing Space”, opened by Prof. Philip Napier, showcased community artwork.

JB featured portraits of some local school children as well as of her peers as school kids. Her work attempted to bridge a gap between the local art community and the residents of the area so that they may share they live in as opposed to merely co-existing.

Always fascinated by humans and their nature, Sophie developed a keen interest in psychology which she furthered during her time in the National College of Art & Design. This led to her pull towards portraiture growing. Finding however, that modern art education in NCAD seemed to focus almost exclusively on concept, she opted to study abroad on Erasmus for a term in The Latvian Academy of Art. It was there that she was able to focus on disciplining herself, improving her technical skills by drawing, painting and sculpting from the human form.

She went on to obtain a joint honours degree in Fine Art, Painting and The History of Fine Art & Design/ Visual Culture in 2016 from NCAD. Very soon after this, JB fell seriously ill with Encephalitis (a viral infection which affects the brain). Though thankfully she made a full recovery over the next few years, this event renewed her lust for life and appreciation for all aspects of it. Based on the realisation that life truly is
short, she aims to celebrate and draw the viewer’s attention to the beauty which exists in life and nature especially.

JB held her first solo show entitled “Irregular Regulars” in the Glimmer Man Pub, Stoneybatter, in 2019. The show was comprised of a series of paintings of some of the regulars in the pub where the artist herself works and frequents. A bunch of truly colourful characters; she aimed to draw the attention of her sitters and those surrounding them to their appeal. Painted exclusively on found materials, JB is acutely environmentally conscious and sees value in that which others may not.

Most recently, JB’s work – a self portrait – featured in “The Very Good Boys Present a Night of Art and Music with our Friends”. Sophie JB currently works as an Artist, Art Director, Personal Tutor and Life Drawing Teacher
and she aspires to keep making art for the rest of her life.