Remember feeling lost in a crowd even surrounded by faces on your phone? That’s when I stumbled upon Sophi Knight‘s words, and it felt like she’d read my mind. Life, for her, is all about the connections we forge, and social media feeds filled with perfectly posed strangers weren’t cutting it. It was time to hit reset.
Sophi’s not just another face on Instagram, she’s a Toronto-based triple threat: model, actress, and influencer who’s landed gigs with agencies like Wilhelmina and Next Models. But her art goes way beyond the camera’s flash. It’s fueled by a childhood steeped in creativity and empathy, a fire that burns bright in her quest to explore the messy, beautiful world of human connection.
“I feel as though being an influencer can be done while being a model simultaneously,” she says, blurring the lines between her digital and real-world selves. Sure, the career comes with its ups and downs, but Sophi stays focused on the bigger picture: storytelling. Whether it’s through the lens, on set, or in a carefully crafted Instagram post, she’s driven by a desire to capture life’s intricate beauty.
Picture an afternoon spent with photographer Arthur Da Costa Oddos. They weave a sensual, intimate journey on film, inviting viewers into a space that whispers, not shouts. This collaboration is pure Sophi: art that resonates on a soul-deep level, a testament to her commitment to projects that spark genuine connections.
We dug deeper in our interview, exploring the tightrope walk of authenticity on social media, the kaleidoscope of emotions that modeling brings, and the dreams that paint her artistic future.
Sophi, could you share your journey of building such a significant social media presence and popularity?
It was sort of a gradual thing. I think I attribute my success in the beginning to photoshoots me and my best friend since childhood Arabella would do for fun. We would get dressed up, her family had a professional camera and it really was just a hobby, something we could do on the weekends. Then when I started modelling I would share those pictures and just really consistently post as I went about my life. I think being consistent and having fun with it were key. Instagram wasn’t as big back then and the concept of working with brands was so exciting, and was something I never dreamed I could do as just a girl from Toronto. It felt like something I could do on my own, I’ve always liked being productive and Instagram let me do that.
How do you define success?
To me, success is the ability to rise from the ashes of failure. Meaning not everything you set out to achieve you eventually accomplish, road blocks and dead ends are a part of life, and are as natural as it is for the sun to rise each morning. I think Shakira said it best, success is to “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off get back in the saddle.” It’s important to be kind to yourself, don’t be too one track minded. Success is in the journey, many of my accomplishments I owe to small everyday habits I’ve picked up along the way, and from accepting my short comings with humility and a good attitude.
Studies have indicated that social media platforms like Instagram can sometimes lead to increased unhappiness. Based on your experience and understanding, what advice would you give to people for maintaining a healthy relationship with social media?
I have a very complicated relationship with social media, I took a break from social media a year or so back that is still on going. My issue with social media was I had a crisis of identity. The content creators I watch tend to be the funny, informative and authentic ones, which is why I watch a lot of YouTube, I find the creators tend to be more raw and unfiltered, which I can relate to more.
There’s two sides to social media that I think need to be addressed, creation and consumption. I started on social media at a very young age, and I have always loved to model and create, that still remains true, but my life has also developed in so many other ways as I’ve gotten older and I found it difficult to incorporate those changes into my social media content. I felt trapped in a box that was only one part of my life and it didn’t feel genuine.
“I think the most powerful and beautiful part of life is connecting with one another.”
For me to return to social media creation in a healthy way I would need to put out content that more aligns with who I am as a person. I don’t fit neatly into a box and trying to portray myself as just one thing would be disingenuous, I wear sweatsuits most says, I also love to dress up and be glamorous but I would be lying if I said that’s the daily norm. I like being goofy, but I also like discussing emotions and connecting with others on the more painful and difficult parts of being human. I think the more truly authentic you can be online the more satisfied you feel with your online presence. Since what is social media if not an extension of who we truly are? I have not found a way to bridge that gap yet so take my advice with a grain of salt, there are many people who have a niche and are very content focusing on that subject, and all power to them, but for me that would be what it would take to have a healthy relationship with content creation.
The second part of a healthy relationship with social media is changing how and what social media you consume. I think one of the pitfalls or social media is the ability to be everywhere at once, and just like how we choose the people the people who we surround ourselves with in real life, you need to do the same when were online. I think the most powerful and beautiful part of life is connecting with one another, so if after consuming social media you’re left feeling less connected, or inadequate then its time to change up the content you’re watching. I think the most underrated quality is authenticity, that doesn’t mean you only have to share the ugly parts of life, but it does that you get a real picture of life. I know my life sure as heck isn’t perfect, nothing ever is, and it’s reassuring to see that I also am not alone. I also recommend following creators that share yours interests, I know I love history, and musical theatre so watching content related to those topics brighten up my day
The most important and special place to be is where you are at now, so if you find after scrolling on social media you feel less satisfied.
In your modeling career, what was one of the biggest challenge have you faced so far?
I’d say the biggest challenge I face was dealing with self doubt and insecurity. Fortunately, I’ve come to a much much better place, and I think I owe that to modelling, it forced me to confront my demons in order to do what I love. I have always been a showmen, I love to preform to dress up to embody different characteristics, I find it very empowering and fun. As a child I would dress up and put on shows for my parents and their friends, and eventually convinced my parents to put me in modelling and then acting (but that’s a whole other story). But somewhere along the way I became too self aware, I let external forces influence my self perception, something I think happens to us all a little bit as we get older, but there came a time where I was letting those doubts interfere with what brought me joy. I slowly stopped repeating negative self talk and once I got out of that pattern I now can see how ridiculous my mind set was.
“If after consuming social media you’re left feeling less connected… it’s time to change.”
Could you give us some insights into what goes on behind the scenes in your modeling shoots? What aspects of this collaborative creative process do you find most fulfilling?
While on a shoot you typically arrive and go straight to hair and makeup, I always show up no makeup, in a sweat suit unless the client says other wise. One of my favourite parts of modelling is getting to know the rest of the crew, they tend to be incredible creative and interesting people who have a real love for what they do, and its fun to see everyone in their element.
The most fulfilling part of a job for me is when we start shooting, and getting to see everyones vision come to life. Everyone have a part to play in making the shoot a success and it really motivates me to do my best to honour the work of the whole crew who took the time and let me be a part of their vision.
When you are acting, you’ve transitioned seamlessly between different roles and genres. How do you prepare for all the diverse roles?
For me, technique is everything. I think the name acting is a bit deceiving because what you really want to be doing is embodying the character. You can act mad or sad, what I really need is to experience what the character is experiencing in that moment. To do this, I need to trick my mind that what is going on in the scene is really happening, there should be no separation and no room to think about the appropriate way to respond, you just do the appropriate response because you feel it. That means really understanding the facts of each scene, what is transpiring? Who are you interacting with, what do they mean to you? I like to make sure I have a connection to everything in a script and have a visceral reaction to it, people hold judgements on just about everything they come into contact with based on their experiences so with acting its no different. I also find out what my objective and just really put in the work to really understand what my actors goals are. I think good acting is a mixture of technical work and intuition. I would say preparing for a role I like to really study the material and leave no boxes unchecked but I also lean into feel the uncomfortable emotions that make us human, the things that we suppress or hide, accessing those emotions and sharing them is what makes for a beautiful performance.
Are there any particular types of roles or genres you’re eager to explore in your future?
I really would like to play a few different kinds of roles, but in particular I really like warrior type characters, someone with a strong mission and moral compass who through the story is called to action, a good example is Katniss Everdeen in hunger games. I also would like to play more flawed characters, no body thinks they’re bad, so creating that bridge is really interesting cause you have to find where the character is coming from and what is motivating them, you can really have fun with it. Also I would love to be in a period piece or anything in the fantasy genre like House of the Dragon would be a dream come true to be a part of.
“I think the most underrated quality is authenticity, that doesn’t mean you only have to share the ugly parts of life, but it does that you get a real picture of life.”
What was the last movie you watched and loved?
What comes to mind first is actually the tv show ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ on Netflix. I just finished watching it and really enjoyed it. I loved that the show weaves in stories from Edgar Allan Poe in a modern content. I thought it tackled some really big topics in a very poetic way like the price of success, generation trauma and the pharmaceutical industry. I also really liked Killers of the Flower Moon, The Anatomy of Fall, and the Curse was really good!
In an interview, you mentioned, ‘My role model is my mom.’ How important is her opinion in your decisions?
My mom is the most important guiding force in my life, she was the one who believe in my and helped me pursue acting. She would help me learn my lines, and take me to all my auditions and to set.
I have always been an emotional person, even as a child I felt very moved by things and couldn’t ignore the heavier topics and aspects of being human. I think more people are uncomfortable with that or tend to sweep that stuff under the rug but my mom wasn’t and she always made me feel I could talk to her about anything and she embraced me for who I was. My dad passed away when I was 10 and she raised three kids on her own. My mom didn’t have it easy, I have so much respect for any single mothers out there because I have seen first hand how much they do and how hard they have to work.
She was incredibly wise and I admire her strength, she was a force of nature. In my teen years she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she fought hard and strong, she had to face a lot and she was incredibly brave. Unfortunately she passed away a few years later, but she left me with a lot of knowledge and I love and thank her for that. Now I try to live my life in a way that honours her, I am not perfect, but I wouldn’t be the person I am now without her.
Based on your experiences, what advice would you give to individuals aspiring to enter the industry?
Don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s okay to fail sometimes, the only real failure is not going after what you want. Celebrate your successes ten times more than you beat yourself up for your losses, and really just have fun with it. Joy is a magnet to good things!
The most important thing in life?
The most important thing in life is to be kind to others and yourself. Treat others how you want to be treated and ground yourself. You are here for a reason and we all have lessons to learn along the way so love yourself and be grateful for everything. Remember there’s only one you in this world so be kind and cherish yourself, and that will extend to the people around you.
Photographer: Arthur Da Costa Oddos arthurdco.com @arthurdco
Model: Sophi Knight at Next Models Miami @sophiknight