Paulina Luz Sotto Talks About Her Breakthrough As An Abstract Artist in Ways She Least Expected
If Paulina Luz Sotto were to talk about something that came unexpectedly in her life, she would definitely talk about her passion for art.
Growing up, she never saw herself as an artist. In fact, she thought she was going to be a professional golfer. “My childhood was pretty much golf all day, every day,” Sotto shares. “I was a junior golfer, so I was really working towards getting a golf scholarship for college. It was really golf and school. I would sometimes miss a month of school to go abroad to play in tournaments. I would travel all around Asia and the US. Everything was golf, golf, golf.” As Sotto naturally has charm and confidence, she doesn’t play by the rules, and she is also not predictable—in every good way. After many years of hard work and competition, Sotto eventually decided that playing golf wasn’t the path she wanted to take. That’s when her doors opened to the world of creativity and art.
Sotto graduated with a degree in communications from the Ateneo de Manila University. She’d always thought about pursing art since high school, but she had a few doubts at first. Sotto says: “I was into art in high school; I took art classes. I thought about taking art in college, but then I realized, ‘What are the chances I would make it as an artist? It’s pretty hard and the chances are pretty slim.’ So I decided to just focus on advertising and PR.” It was only after she graduated from college that Sotto’s interest in making art into a career intensified. Her career as an artist started out as a fun hobby and she would share her work on Instagram.
“What happened was, I started painting abstract paintings just for fun,” Sotto recalls. “Like every millennial, I would post my paintings, and eventually when I had a few up there, my friend asked me if they were for sale because her mom wanted to buy. When I tried to sell them, everyone kept asking for more.” She also mentioned that she had no intention whatsoever to sell her artwork—she really just painted for fun. From there, her artwork gained popularity and her following started to grow. More and more people were interested to get ahold of her work, and it truly is interesting to see the power of social media and its role in boosting her career.
When asked where she finds inspiration and how she would describe her artistic style, she says that she’s obsessed with neat and clean lines, and that she loves abstract art. As an artist, she’s spontaneous—much of her inspiration flows from her doodle work and sketching. Sotto is a spirited and fun, young artist, who is all set to reach the heights of her artistic career. As she continues to grow and work on her paintings, we’re all excited to see what’s in store for her.
Who is your biggest inspiration in art?
Obviously my Lolo, Arturo Luz. He’s a National Artist. And I also want to continue his legacy because I’m the only one in my entire family that does art and paints. I actually grew up with him, but he never really taught me anything about art (or at least the technical stuff). He wasn’t pushy about anything—he was just my grandfather. It was only recently when I appreciated him as a National Artist.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, all this is still doing well. Art is really difficult—it’s not like a desk job where you know you’re going to get paid by the end of the month. I could go on for months without anything, and it’s scary. It’s very unsure and uncertain. So I can only hope that in five years, I will still be relevant and people will still like my work.
If there was a moment in your life that you’d want to re-live again, what would that be?
I’d love to re-experience my college days. I was partying a lot. Now, I just can’t. I’m such a lola. I remember I was in a club one time, and I said to myself, “Wow, this is the happiest I’ve ever been (at that time)!” (Laughs) The carefree days are always nice to reminisce about.
What is your favorite place in the world?
I love New York. I was born there, actually. The first time I went back since I was born was during my honeymoon, very recently. Musical theater is also my other passion—I love watching Broadway. That’s why I love New York.
What’s your favorite Broadway musical?
Dear Evan Hansen. We saw the original cast when we were in New York and it was amazing! I also really like Next to Normal. Not a lot of people know that show.
If you had a super power, what would that be and why?
I’d always think that I would like to read people’s minds, but I think that would just cause more fights (laughs). So maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I’d have it if I could control it.
Photographs by Daniel Soriano; Makeup by Patrick Alcober for Make Up For Ever; Hair by Nikko Bruel
This article was originally published in Metro Society February 2019 issue.