Teaching Classical Art Since 1993

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I did very well, much thanks to Sofia Art Academy! I have gotten scholarships up to $40,000, I was accepted to all the colleges I applied to, and am going in the fall to my dream school, Parsons the New School of Design in NYC under a fashion major!"

Francie Tomalonis


Hello! I am Jeremy, a 17 year old living in Dallas. Recently I went on a college visit to Baltimore, specifically to visit the Maryland Institute College of Art. I had brought many of my pieces that I created at Sofia Art Academy. The interviewer looked at my art and described me as a “master” in taking what is, the real world, and representing that on paper. Me? A master? Wow! I had no idea just how great my skills are. I learned all those skills at Sofia Art Academy. I have always had a natural predilection for art but everyone at Sofia Art Academy has supremely enhanced my skills.

I had grown used to looking at the art on the walls at Sofia Art Academy, holding those as a standard. However the skills taught at Sofia Art Academy are not taught in any school art class (at least not one I’ve been in). Because of that, everyone I show my Sofia Art Academy work is immediately impressed. I’ve heard parents say “We have no idea where s/he gets that talent from!” But it’s not only talent, it’s taught. Sofia, Igor, Jaime, Nina can practically teach anyone how to draw phenomenally. My experience at Sofia Art Academy has augmented my artistic ability 100 fold.

Sofia Art Academy is a gathering place for artists. I have made several friends there who all share my passion for art. I have also introduced friends to Sofia Art Academy and they too have loved it. At the moment I attend classes twice a week. They are definitely highlights of my week, at each session I get to relax and do something I love. It also helps that the people at Sofia Art Academy are wonderful people.

All in all, I wouldn’t trade my time at Sofia Art Academy for the world. I know that’s a cliché, but because of my time there I am a better artist and a better human being.

- Jeremy Cain

Aloha! My name is Francie Tomalonis, I am 17 and I have been with Sofia Art Academy for 5 years. I am honored to be the artist of the year '08! I recently graduated from high school this March and am attending college in the fall.

Sofia has been in my life for a long time now and I can not tell you how grateful I am that I have her as a teacher. Around my 11th grade year I was not sure what college I wanted to go to and if I was truly a good artist. I didn't think much of going to a great art college because I figured that there was no chance for someone that was just terrible at regular academic school! If you are reading this now and you are a young artist or your child is an artist struggling at school there is hope trust me, artists are just special people!

I decided around the summer '07 that I had to go to art school because that is where my passion is. I attended a National Portfolio Day in November '07; where you get your portfolio reviewed by many college admission people. I was extremely surprised to see that they all liked my portfolio; with no complaints! One woman from Moore College told me off the bat that I would definitely be up for some scholarships. NPD is a serious deal and some of the kids were crying due to their portfolio review, which did scare me but, I did very well much thanks to Sofia Art Academy! I think that the admissions people could see that I knew the basic skills of proportions, structure, blending, and shading; they like to know that you have and know the foundation of the basics.

I have gotten scholarships up to $40,000, I was accepted to all the colleges I applied to, and am going in the fall to my dream school, Parsons the New School of design in NYC under a fashion major. Parsons is the Harvard of fashion schools in America, one of my favorite designers Marc Jacobs graduated from there along with others like Donna Karen, Tom Ford (chief designer of Gucci), Anna Sui and recently the designers of Proenza Schouler.

I am very happy that I have been with Sofia Art Academy throughout the years, and thank Sofia, Igor and others for all the help and support they gave me. The program at Sofia Art Academy is a gateway to success that has been proven throughout the years with its past Alumni. I thank them and love them very much!

- Francie Tomalonis

I have always had a passion for art, in one form or another. Whether I was trying to learn how to draw by myself or being instructed in art classes in elementary school, I knew that art was a form of magic that allowed one to express to others how the artist sees the world. I have always been told by teachers, friends, and family that I have a talent, perhaps a gift. During college, I choose a degree other than art. However, while at home during the summer of 2007 my mother happened to see Sofia Art Academy and promptly told me about it.

I began studying drawing at the Sofia art Academy in June of 2007. At first, I just wanted to focus on drawing. I quickly progressed in skill and ability. Starting approximately at a low level 3, within a few months I had achieved a high level 3, perhaps a low level 4.

When I was invited to the live model classes, I was thrilled. This was also my first taste of painting. I became a bit discouraged when my painting did not match my hopes for the portrait. Igor and Sofia always reassured me that I had taken on a large challenge for a first time painting. They worked with me, and constantly lifted my spirits.

I was still focused on drawing, but now I had a new challenge. I wanted to learn how to paint. Igor presented me with the opportunity to be the first student to paint the "tea kettle and cup" still life. I took the challenge. Ivan, Igor, and Sofia all took turns teaching me something new during the process of the painting. It was a true honor, and surprise to me, when I saw my painting in the front window.

I started to feel a real comfort at the studio. Sofia Art Academy is place I always look forward to going to see everyone at the studio and picking up a pencil or brush. The friendliness of everyone, the relaxed atmosphere, and the passion for both learning and teaching of art at the studio is something that has made it one of my favorite places to be. I have decided to attend the University of North Texas in the fall and get another degree, this time in art. I know that even after I get a degree in painting and drawing from the University of North Texas, I will still tell anyone who asks where I learned art, "I learned at Sofia Art Academy."

- Jason Delezen

I grew up traveling around the world with my family while my father served in the US Army. After visiting the incredible ruins in Spain and Cyprus, and visiting several historical sites in Italy, Rome and Greece, I became fascinated with the Older World Classic style of art. I currently use my talents to create custom theme rooms.

A self-taught artist, I enjoy the creative freedom this gives me. I continue to broaden my knowledge by taking workshops and courses in art and design, and have been studying with Sofia Academy for 8 months now. With no prior formal art instruction, I found that I was missing some of the fundamental skills required to take my artwork to the next level. Sofia Art Academy has given me that foundation and has inspired me to reach for new heights.

- Tyler Wisdom

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