Sophia Markelj: Nurtured Curiosity

Artist Statement

Nurtured Curiosity is a photo series reflecting on how the feeling of curiosity is passed down from one generation to the next. My father and mother’s inquisitive nature nurtured skills of perception and introspection in their children; specifically, in me and my sisters as we journey into adulthood and my younger brothers as they discover who they are. However, this trait is also being passed down in a special way to the youngest child in my family who watches my father’s every move with his childlike curiosity. He is developing the skill of foresight and strategy, observing his parents and older siblings closely. In this photo series, I wanted to examine how a nurtured curiosity such as this has become one of our family’s most valuable strengths.


Describe how you envision the end result of your project. If it is a work in progress please indicate your planned completion date.

I envision building on this photo project throughout my life as my siblings and I get older and develop our individual personalities and lifestyles. I am curious to find more parallels that may occur between my family members and how those moments contribute to my idea of a “nurtured curiosity” present in my family.

What inspired you to create this project? Include any relevant artists.

As you can imagine, my family inspired me to develop and create this project. I have always been fascinated with the inquisitive nature of my parents and began to see how those were passed down to my siblings and me. My work is also inspired by my desire to bring back a sense of play often lost in adulthood, by creating juxtapositions and playful photographs.

Describe any challenges you faced creating this project, and the solutions that helped you to overcome these problems.

Some challenges I faced in creating this project was coordinating my family of seven people, whom I all had to convince to partake in this shoot. However, after initial approval, I took the styling, production and creative direction into my hands and altered it to fit my family best. In doing so, they placed more confidence in me and opened up to create this story together.

What are you most proud of about this project?

What I am most proud of in this project is the emotion I received from each family member in the photographs. This series took a while to develop by the nature of having so many models and due to the complexity of the concept I wanted them to embody. These images make me feel something while looking at them and I am reminded of this gift of curiosity that has been passed down and how thankful I am for an overall light-hearted and playful attitude in my family.

Have you had any success getting your work out into the world? Do you have suggestions for other artists?

My suggestion for getting work out into the world would be to submit and submit again, and to most importantly be confident in the few specific photos you are submitting, rather than submitting a large amount that you do not love each individually. Not being afraid to put yourself out there is important and being hopeful and believing in yourself makes a big difference.

Sophia Markelj: She/Her

Sophia Markelj is an emerging photographer and current student in the Image Arts Photography program at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, where she is specializing in portraiture, editorial and food photography. She has refined skills in storytelling, creative styling and in technical aspects. Sophia has learned the importance of captivating the viewer’s attention and is inspired by quirky, colourful images. She enjoys creating juxtapositions in her work and is always looking for ways to push her creativity.

Instagram: @bysophiamarkelj