We recently connected with Solange Sarria and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Solange, thanks for joining us today. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?
When I was reading about Leonardo Da Vinci in a history class during my Junior year at Coral Reef Senior High I realized that an office job was not for me. Da Vinci was a Renaissance man and I wanted to be like him when I grew up. Up until that point I had consumed my free time with gymnastics, drawing and choir rehearsal. I wasn’t like other kids. I didn’t care for video games or sports. All I cared for was channeling my emotions, expressing myself creatively and inspiring others to FEEL in the process. I knew that whatever I did professionally would have to involve creative problem solving, movement, using my hands and people.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’ve been flowing between a variety of industries since I came out of the womb! Being an artist is very diverse for me, shows up in everything that I do and really depends on what i’m learning in life. There’s a visual, musical and physical element to my creative expression.
Many people know me as a Transformative Holistic Hairstylist that focuses on all natural hair textures. I began cutting hair for fun as a teenager, got my professional license to put myself through college and started my first salon business at 25. After 4 years co-owning my first award winning salon, Concept 5 Studio, I decided to open Sodada Salon. I felt called to make a social impact within the beauty industry and focus on healing hair so clients can feel beautiful, naturally and authentically.
People often struggle wearing their hair naturally in Miami due to the hard water, humidity and familial pressure to chemically straighten it. As a trained sculptor and clean product enthusiast, I am able to work with any type of hair texture to create custom styles for a minimalist and eco-friendly lifestyle. My clients often say that I have changed their lives and their relationship with their hair in a liberating way! I save them lot’s of time in their home hair care routines, money wasted on bad haircuts and confusion over their hair struggles.
While growing my hair business in my 20’s, I spent my free time singing jazz at local bars. I had been in show choir at the top magnet schools in Miami during my adolescence. Competing and gigging as a singer occupied most of my young academic career. Music has never been something I could walk away from. As my salon business grew it began to impact my singing career. Eventually, after many breakdowns, I decided to walk away from running a 5 chair salon and downsize to my own private clientele. I now have the bandwidth to perform locally again! I sing in a variety of genres and languages including jazz, soul and r&b. Most of the songs I cover or compose talk about love, relationships and spirituality.
In college I studied Fine Art, focusing on mixed media painting and assemblage sculpture. I attended college at SAIC and later FIU, exhibited my work in a few group shows and now receive commissions for paintings. I love to create abstract and conceptual pieces, often working intuitively with my clients and curators. My paintings reference the ocean and the healing properties that cleansing in salt water provides. In the paintings I use anything from watercolor, ink or oil. My sculptures tend to be conceptual, referencing the transformative process of holistic hairdressing. In them I use artificial and real hair on the exterior, chicken wire as a skeleton and adorn them with found objects as symbolism.
The physical component to my creative expression stems from years as a gymnast. In gymnastics we learn calisthenics conditioning, deep stretching, defying gravity and creating our own routines. From gymnastics I transitioned into yoga and got certified as a teacher from Ahana Yoga. There I became an Ashtangi and later got into Martial Arts. Bringing balance to my body, mind and spirit is one thing, learning how to defined myself is another and has been one of the most empowering choices I’ve ever made. In my yoga classes I teach breath work to reduce anxiety and movement to release tension. I guide students into being the boss of their bodies, showing them how to creatively be their own healers in class and at home.
Do you think there is something that non-creatives might struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can shed some light?
Emotions are super powers. They are intuitive signals that act to guide us. Of course some emotions come from unconscious places and unresolved wounds, but it’s not always the case. When I create art, or music, emotions are what guide my expression. I use them to fuel my work and know a piece is complete when I feel at peace with it. Some things can’t be explained with words. We are sentient beings and often music and art are the mediums that liberate us whether we are the artist or the viewer. I’ve found that everyone has the ability to be creative but not everyone chooses to express themselves creatively. What separates a creative from a non-creative is the willingness to be vulnerable and transmute their soul’s desire into something tangible.
Alright – so here’s a fun one. What do you think about NFTs?
I am thrilled about NFTs. I have yet to create my own but it’s absolutely on my ‘To Do’ list. I remember talking about the absence of royalties for visual artists a few years ago and I believe that NFTs are the answer. I also remember my dissatisfaction with the ‘white cube’ and art institutions who don’t teach artists how to be entrepreneurs. The narrative of the starving artist gets to shift now that NFTs are in the mix.
- Website: www.solangesarria.com
- Instagram: @solangesarria
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/sodadasalon
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/solange-sarria
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnxUmlP7_KySNEG6slgoUiw
Celia D. Luna, Jeanne Canto, Lidia Pineda, Brian Saavedra, Solange Sarria