Skip to main content

Sophia Orr, a senior at Faith Lutheran High School, has been painting and drawing since childhood, but it wasn’t until high school that she began to take her love of art seriously. Today, she is making a name for herself with her deep and reflective oil paintings, including a special one she calls “Introspection.” 

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we pay tribute to Sophia for illuminating the topic by sharing her story. 

Why did you choose to focus on fear of the dark and fear in general? 

“I struggle with anxiety and paranoia, so this topic is personally meaningful. My paintings have the double meaning of being afraid of not just the dark but what could be in the dark, the idea of convincing yourself that something is there to hurt you. My work depicts being left alone to the darkness of your thoughts and negative self-reflection, hence the name Introspection.”

How has your painting changed your life?  What is your thinking about fear and mental health?

“Painting has allowed me to express my fears and emotions in a medium that speaks louder than words. Mental health is a difficult topic that is equally as difficult to discuss and express with just words.” 

What is your advice to young people about fear and managing their mental health?

“My advice to young people about managing mental health is to not self-isolate, which is easier said than done. It is very important to have familiar things that are going to help you rather than falling into the fake comfort of a mental illness. Many people fall back into bad habits just because it is comfortable and familiar to them. I believe the best way to break that cycle is to find and hold onto people or things that you care about and make them your new familiar.”

What are you planning to do after high school?

“I plan on getting my BFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in Marketing so I can one day become an Art Director.”

Faith Lutheran High School is a family affair for you.  Tell us about that.  

“My mom, Anna, is Director of Faith Lutheran Online and my dad, Jonathan, is Director of Innovation and Continuous Improvement.”

Sophia and her paintings will be at Downtown Summerlin’s Farmers Market on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. If you want to meet this inspiring young artist, don’t miss it!