Sand Oner forged her own path from the start, following her instincts, finding her tribe, painting and drawing a whole world of real life dolls. With variations and personalities inspired by the fierce women in her life and the world, Sand’s artwork, design and mural has captured the imagination of her many devoted followers and inspired them to honor their own dolls-queens of beauty and power. , just as she honors hers. Sand is living proof that with enough passion and vision, anything is possible.
LA WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?
SINGLE SAND: I knew I was an artist when I was 9 years old. I had this doll that I drew and I remember my teacher going, “Oh my God! You’re such a good artist,” and I loved the sentiment, I loved the praise. I really enjoyed the feeling and it stuck with me.
What is your short answer to people who ask you what your job is about?
I paint dolls for today’s modern dreamers. The hustler, the go-getter, the person who wants to get out of the norm. Through my art, I represent obstacles that can be overcome by pursuing your dreams and creating a successful and profitable business.
What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
If I wasn’t an artist, I would be a chef or a pilot.
Did you go to art school? Why why not?
I didn’t go to art school. I hated my art teachers. I didn’t like being told that what I drew had no substance and that I had to draw plants, landscapes and real people because what I drew would get me nowhere. So I decided not to go to art school because I didn’t want anyone to tell me how I should do my art. I am therefore self-taught and I believe that the way I do my art is the best.
Why do you live and work in LA, and not elsewhere?
I love LA; I grew up in the East LALA is the city of dreamers and money makers. If you have guts and a fire inside of you, you can do it in this town. People love and appreciate the art here and it’s so full of opportunity if you know how to take advantage of the resources that have been presented to you.
When was your first show?
I had my first art exhibition in 2011 when I was 15 and so many people came and it made me so happy. That’s when I realized people gravitated towards my art and it was something I could actually do.
When is/was your current/most recent/next show or project?
I am currently allowing my warehouse (Sand Factory) to become a place where artists can organize an event, their first art exhibition, a pop-up to start their business. I now help other artists thrive with the resources I have.
Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to show or work with?
Michael Turner, I love his works. I was very inspired by his art growing up. He’s a comic book artist and I always thought he was so amazing. I would buy his comics at the liquor store near my house and draw inspiration from his drawings over and over again. He drew these beautiful women.
Do you listen to music while you work? If yes, what?
I listen to Lo Fi music. It is a style of music that involves rhythms. It’s very relaxing music.
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