August 1, 2019

Following the ‘Arrow’ to her dreams

Sonia Fields’ designs are featured at local boutique.

Blue Arrow Boutique is one of Superior’s retail hot spots, specializing in women’s apparel, accessories and gift items. Shoppers go there to look for unique, fashion-forward apparel. Sonia Fields, a UW-Superior sophomore art major, said the store’s success and strong reputation made it even more flattering that her designs were featured on T-shirts and stickers there recently — a unique and invaluable opportunity for an emerging artist.

The opportunity came about when Anndrea Ploeger, one of the store co-owners and a UWS art major alumnus, met Sonia at an art event at the Superior Public Library. Sonia had prints and pins for sale and Anndrea was so impressed she asked her if she would be interested in doing some custom work for the boutique.

“She gave me an idea of what she was looking for and then gave me creative freedom,” said Sonia. “I sent her four designs and she selected three to use on apparel and stickers. I was so excited.”

“Sonia was organized and professional from the beginning,” said Anndrea. “The designs are completely her style, which is what I was drawn to when I first saw her work. She did a great job translating what we needed for successful designs while staying true to her artistic voice.”

Sonia Field's sticker designs

Art is her life

Sonia said art has been a part of her life as far back as she can remember. “I feel like I wouldn’t even recognize myself if I wasn’t creating art,” she said.

In high school, she dove into every art class available and even created a mural for the school’s art room. When it came time to choose a college, Sonia said the small class sizes, coupled with the beauty of the Twin Ports area, drew her to UWS.

“I feel like I’ve actually gotten more opportunities here at UWS than I would have at a larger university. My professors know me well and are so supportive. They have helped me in so many ways.”

Sonia’s can-do attitude and openness to new things have undoubtedly also opened many doors for her. Recently, the chair of the UWS mathematics department, Steven Rosenberg, approached her about creating illustrations for math problems for a math competition – a challenge she accepted and completed with little difficulty. She is also working with an author to illustrate a children’s book.

“It’s all about mindset,” she said. “I just put myself out there and I’ve already been given so many opportunities.”

Visions of the future

Sonia said she thinks it’s a fallacy that artists can’t make a good living, but admits it requires openness, flexibility and creativity – something that comes naturally for her.

“I have two dreams that I visualize all the time. They are very different but I feel like either would be perfect for me,” she said. “The first is to live in Sedona, Ariz., and open a tattoo studio. I want to be part of the movement toward tattoos being looked at as a legitimate form of art. My other dream is to live in New England, give tours of historical sites and architecture, and have my own art studio and gallery.”

As for her artwork, it’s already being purchased and treasured by many people – whether on T-shirts at Blue Arrow, or juried art shows at UWS.

“One of my professors, Tim Cleary, even bought one of my linoleum prints that was in the juried art show last fall for his daughter. That meant so much to me, and inspires me to keep following my dreams.”




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