Interview with Sonja Lehto


NAIVA BRATISLAVA brings for you an interview with the unique naïve artist Sonja Lehto from Finland, the winner of the PRIX FOR STORY 2021

In her optimistic colorful pictures, you can feel the joy of everyday life. Her paintings really tell stories and often raise a smile. 

What was your path to art?

Everything starts from the childhood of course! My grandmothers used to read tales for us children. One of my aunts did art-painting herself and brought some papers and colors for us. And we found the drawing and art fascinating. Important was always the doing itself, not the result. Later, as adult, I was studying some art and participated some painting-courses, but I got bored of the teaching, because they just taught me still-life and landscape stuff.


How do you perceive naive art? What makes it unique for you?

I was looking for something, that would be my own personal art. For me, this is naïve art: It is representative and free at the same time. Difficult topics also are handled with love. This is why naïve art is fascinating.

Do you have a favorite themes and motives that you return to in your work?

Favorite topics!? The world is so big place! I like people and animals. Also, I do like children of course and because I am mother and grandma myself, I have so many stories to tell. You can also see things from the point of view of the colors. Stagnation is not a good thing, but you can look from new perspectives cats, rainforests, giraffes or Adam and Eve. Naïve art has a lots of foundation pillars and building blocks.

Where can we see more of your work? Whether online or live.

I am on Facebook as Sonja Lehto - hakutulokset and on Instagram as Sonja Sofia Lehto. And I have my own website

Do you have any advice for a person who would like to try painting?

For everyone, who has the desire towards painting, I will only say, make your own research and do your thing.

Thank you for the interview.