in partnership
(Image: Sophia Trinh)

Artist of the Week: Sophia Trinh

Sophia Trinh is an American Vietnamese watercolor artist from Seattle.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Sophia Trinh: For as long as I can remember. I learned my primary and secondary colors in kindergarten while falling in love with wet-on-wet watercolor painting at Seattle Waldorf School. What mediums do you work with? I work with watercolors, ink, acrylic, and gouache; however, I love playing with new mediums like indigo and gold leaf. I am currently taking ceramics classes and learning how to center my clay on a wheel.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
My artistic process starts with a sketch, which forms the bones for my primary medium of watercolor. Watercolor requires a lot of patience since the layers can "muddy" the work in progress if you are too rushed. Most days, I know what I will paint beforehand, but the beauty of this medium is that I am still continuously surprised on those occasional days when the final product does not emerge until the paint has completely dried. One of my favorite joys is the ability to be in the moment and enjoy the artistic process of watching the watercolors bloom on paper and form an emergent landscape.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art comes from?
My work is inspired by Mother Nature and the natural environment, which sustains us.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, food, profiles, etc.?
The most important beat for me is getting into a flow state of mind- time passes, and I create a painting that has allowed for me to process an emotion or create a painting that will bring joy into someone's life.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
I have a few that I keep in my personal collection. One of my favorite pieces is an intimate portrait of a uterus, which represents our connection with Mother Earth. In 2022, I find it deeply distressing that we still debate a woman's right to her own reproductive system. The painting is a way for me to anchor myself in the belief that all women should have the right to decide what to do with their bodies.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Growing up with severe eczema greatly influenced my artistic journey and life. I learned at a very young age how the natural environment influenced my body and that when I am immersed in an artistic project, the pain and itchiness I feel subsides. I am also able to take emotions of pain and anger and transform them into something that is beautiful and healing.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
You can see my portfolio on my website or my Instagram at @philosophiatrinh for process videos and latest work.

What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
I am honored and thrilled to be the featured artist at Refuge Outdoor Festival on Aug. 12-14. I will paint in nature and lead a workshop on watercolor and self-love, and we will write love letters to ourselves.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
I don't drink coffee, but I enjoy an iced Vietnamese Coffee on special occasions.

About 'Artist of the Week': Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.