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Meet Sonya Sparks of Sparks Gallery in Gaslamp

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonya Sparks.

Sonya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been inspired by art. When I was young, I created sculptures, painted, and explored photography. I studied art at the University of San Diego but decided to major in Business Administration for more flexibility in the job market.

I started off working in international wholesale and provided German translation services. I transitioned to web development and search engine marketing, which allowed me to be creative in the digital realm.

After a while, I felt it was time to start something new. I decided to combine my interest in art with my business background to start an art gallery that focused on local artists.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Switching from a desk job to becoming more of a public figure was definitely an adjustment for me. People always want to know about me personally and how the art world works, but really, I was starting off just wanting to share the stories about the artists I was showing and not my own story. When I started it came as a bit of a surprise since I had always worked in the background.

I also decided to have children right after starting my business, so I was (am) juggling quite a lot of balls in the air in managing the work/life balance, but I would not change it for anything.

Sparks Gallery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Sparks Gallery specializes in showing a large range of work by professional contemporary artists living in Southern California. Every couple of months we curate and switch out work to either feature a single (solo) artist or a themed group show. We pride ourselves on being locally-focused and showing quality craftsmanship in a diverse set of mediums.

The gallery resides in a historic industrial brick building in the Gaslamp Quarter and allows us to offer the gallery as an event space. We are available to rent it out for private parties, art group events, and even weddings.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think success (in a traditional business sense) is a profitable business that has long-term prospects for growth, prosperity and community impact. On a personal level, success for me is helping to fulfill the needs of my family and participate in the community, as well as having goals and being able to reach them, while providing an experience and value to those who have interest in what I do.

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