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Three Minutes, Three Questions: Artist Olivia Martin

by Becca Martin-Brown | May 1, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
Olivia Martin

"When I met Olivia Martin, it was prior to my having read the script for 'The Revolutionists,'" says Lisa Turpin, director of operations at Arkansas Public Theatre. "Immediately I knew that she was special in the way that you recognize a kindred spirit. She is gorgeous, lively, funny and engaging.

"Fast forward to reading the script. 'The Revolutionists' is a very powerful story about women changing the world through words, art and action. Olivia's art reminded me of several lines through the show about impossible beauty standards and women always having to change their appearance and adjust. Her work is wonderfully feminine, body positive and embraces the female form in all its shapes and sizes. It was obvious that this was sort of a divine thing, so I asked her if she would be interested to show in the Zephyr Blevins Gallery. I am so excited to find such a wonderful young woman owning her security in her talent and to help give her a start!"

Martin answered these three questions for What's Up!

Q. Where did you grow up? Was art a big thing in your home?

A. I grew up in Gravette in a stone and log home that my great-grandpa built. I lived with my parents and three younger sisters. Our household was very art and music oriented growing up. As homeschoolers, we had more time to explore our creative side: We were encouraged to create art often and took many music lessons.

Q. What inspired you to want to make art? And what were the first mediums you worked with?

A. Art has always been a natural part of my life, and I've used it to express myself as well as represent topics that I feel are important. I'm most inspired by people. I generally prefer to do portraits because I feel I'm able to tell part of that person's story through the art I create. My first-ever mediums were paint and charcoal, but I quickly learned digital art, and it's been my preference ever since.

Q. Tell me about your life now -- where is home? school? work? And what kind of art are you making?

A. I'm currently a senior at Missouri Southern State University, working toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. I currently live in the dorms on campus with some amazing roommates. I only live an hour from home, so I come home to see my family quite often. I currently work as the social media manager and graphic designer at KM Guru Marketing with a great team of people -- and I have learned a lot so far. Most of the art I'm creating now is for various class projects; however, when I do get time to create art for myself, I love creating portraits in various styles that I feel have a significant meaning or purpose. A lot of my most recent work has been female body positivity focused, as I feel that it is important to highlight this sometimes daily struggle and remind other women that they aren't alone and that our bodies are incredible.

  photo  “The first piece I’m excited to show [at APT] is titled ‘Love Yourself,’” says artist Olivia Martin. “It was my starting piece to the body positive/female empowerment group of work I’ve made. This is a somewhat minimal piece that I created based off of my own body, and it’s purpose was to remind myself that I deserve love. This is also an augmented reality poster, so with the Artivive app if you hold your phone over the poster it plays the animation I created to go along with this piece.” (Courtesy Image)
  photo  “The second piece that I’d love to talk about is titled ‘Midnight,’” Martin goes on. “It is a black and white high contrast digital painting that depicts a young woman sitting in a windowsill feeling the evening breeze on her skin. I wanted to use this to show the confidence and sexiness we often feel when we are alone and in the dark and to encourage women to remember that same feeling when they step into the light.” (Courtesy Image)
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