Meet the beautiful and talented Olivia, artist and founder of Art de Olivia. She managed to turn her creative talent into a business and very successful brand. Olivia is also a wife and first time mom of a beautiful baby boy.
Being a creative and first time mom myself, I’m really interested in knowing how other moms that are in the creative field, balance it all and stay productive whilst still being a hands on and present parent.
What I love most about Olivia’s art is her message behind it all and her positive outlook on life. Her art truly reflects this beautiful mommy’s heart. Some of my favourite pieces are her popular blessing blocks and her inspirational messages that is the core of her artworks. I recently popped into her studio and got to spend a little time with this creative and inspirational Mumu on the Move.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you became an artist?
I was born in the small town, Virginia. I was brought up in a happy little family,
The art…It all started when I was only 11 years old… being bored one afternoon,drawing some pictures, in stead of doing homework. My mom thought the pictures were cute and so she went to put them on wooden blocks, as they were drawn on very, very thin paper. One day my friend came to visit and wanted to know were I bought them…after I told her I made it myself. She asked if she paid me, would I make her a painting too and that is were it all started…
Was anyone in your family involved with art?
My dad and his family were not close at all… their parents passed away when they were all fairly young, but of what I have heard, one of his sisters were quite good at painting. My mom loves decor and is also very creative. My dad could also draw a picture very well and he is also very good at working with his hands.
Did you have childhood dreams of becoming an artist? What are some of your earliest creative memories?
I never thought of myself as an artist…haha, but God had this in mind for me, so it was something I had to make peace with,today I wont choose anything else to do!!! Painting and creating is like breathing to me..there is no difference…
I can remember how my brother and I decorated my mothers garden, made little and big houses out of anything possible..
Describe your artistic style in 4 words?
Happy, soulful, inspiring, childlike
How do you continue to progress and keep your artistic juices flowing?
Everything around me inspires me, I like to travel, that gives me new inspiration.
Creativity to me is in everything, it is in time, in people, it is also in words..
The best way to keep the progress is to use as much senses as possible
Where do you get your creative inspirations?
Colour is the most inspiring thing to me… and simplicity…
How does your faith inform/inspire your work?
The main thing to me is in fact my faith…but its more in God’s faith…. He trusts me with this gift He gave me and I want to make Him proud!!! God opens my eyes to different things and He gives me a lot of ideas in the middle of the night…God is really my CEO of my business….
What is your process? Do you have a plan before you start working on a piece?
I usually have an idea, but never a set plan…. I go with the flow, but I always start clean…open ideas, white pages, black canvasses…
I believe that there is no such thing as a wrong design or painting…
What does a typical day look like?
4:30 get up for gym
6:00 time with God
6:30 get ready for the day
7:30 mommy time
9:00 – 16:00 paint, design , meetings etc…
17:00 mommy and daddy time
20:00 mostly working late till 10:00
Weekends are friends time…chill, but if work duty calls, then its no problem!!!
What is it like to be an artist, a mom, a wife and a businesswoman?
It is really tough, your time is extremely valuable… every moment spent is really never a dull moment.. to sit on your couch becomes a luxury!!!
I am absolutely in love with the idea of being a mommy and also a business woman…what really makes it easy for me, is the fact that my husband and I work together as a team, in business, in the house and also as parents….without him, everything would be so much different…
Parenting does have its challenges and other schedules to think about. How do you give yourself and your art the space it needs?
I need to have discipline to paint, being a mommy is really fun, but to me it is a very strict mindset, to allow myself to do one thing at a time without feeling guilty, play hard and work hard!!
Our theme for February is : Love is Kind. The word “kind” means “deliberately doing good to others”, but it comes from the word “kin”, as in family. What does kindness mean to you and how did motherhood change your perspective on being selfless?
Being a mommy, is completely humbling, and its only now that I understand a lot what my mom meant when we were kids…and also a lot how she felt… you really understand why people with kids drive slow, when children scream in public places… and my friend says BE KIND TO A MOMMY, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE WENT THROUGH LATELY… I second that!!!!!! Kindness to me is GRACE!!!
How does being an artist make you a better parent to your children? What do you hope they take away from seeing you as an artist doing something that fulfills you?
I can’t imagine doing something else, I suppose I can teach my children to be creative in every way. I am sure that I am a strict, but fun mommy. To me, its extremely important that my child fulfills God’s purpose for him and I would like to do everything from my side to assist and direct him. To me, happiness is a place inside, and I would want my children to find the perfect happy spot in their heart and live from the inside, out!!
What Do you enjoy most about being a mom and has motherhood influenced your style at all ?
Yes, it has definitely changed my style, I think I am even using MORE happy colours…haha…if that is possible!!! What I enjoy most is that, love you feel and experience can not be put into words….the thought of your children, their smiles, I love seeing my stunning husband with our child…it takes my happiness to another level!! Being crazy with my child is priceless… to dance and be silly… I just love it!!!
What are your thoughts on maintaining the balance of being a good mother and a productive creative? Any tips?
You should allow yourself to work… focus… it is OK!!! Being with your whole mind at a project doesn’t make you a bad mommy, it will bring out the best in you at the end of the day to be the best mommy for your child… allow others to be a part of your children’s lives…
Make sure you spend the right times with your children, do what you can when they are asleep, or at a friend, or at school… you will get through your day if you start early!!! Keep fit, make time to pray, have a coffee date with your husband at least once a week… SAY NO!!! Be content!!!
Which other local artists, designers or creative people are you liking at the moment?
I would say, I love children’s art. I recently went to visit my friend at her art school and I was so amazed by all the little children’s works!!!!
I’M IN love with your blessing blocks. Do you have any favourite pieces in your collection?
My blessing blocks….yes, every new or latest one is my favourite LOL!!!!!
Why do you think your business has done so well and do you have any tips for visual artist to turn their talents into a profitable business and brand?
Really….the grace of God…
The demand of products and paintings by clients has really made our business a success…and we like to feed the market with LOVE AND HAPPINESS. People crave something like that…. We are focused on our OWN design and we don’t mind followers, but we always stay ahead… our minds never really rest!!!
I am a hard worker and waste no time… building a brand doesn’t involve only yourself…it takes a whole community to be part of it!!!
I allow people to criticize, I love to turn the negative into positive…being a kind of a people pleaser also helps creating for others and not for yourself!!!
I share live lessons on the blog, (life according to mommy), to someday show my son and keep a journal of my thoughts and experiences. What is the biggest life lesson you would love to someday teach your son?
I guess that I would like to teach my child, not to be afraid of anything, but trust God for everything!! To love with your whole heart and be humble, no matter what!!
What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?
I’ve learned that not ALL IDEAS are profitable…LOL!!!
I have also learned that when you allow people to waste your time, you wont get anywhere and that it is not their fault, but yours!!!
Next: watch this exact space!!!!!!!!! Soon coming, something excellent for the kids!!!
Check out Olivia’s art and visit her online shop: artdeolivia
Be sure to check out our Facebook Page to stand a chance to win a original art work by Art de Olivia!!!
Interviewed by Elizabeth
Photography: Elizabeth J photography