We had the good fortune of connecting with Andie Olson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andie, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have been drawn to art since I was a child. I spent countless hours in my room drawing and painting while growing up. Throughout my entire life, art has been my safe haven. The therapeutic nature of art provides a conduit between my deepest thoughts and feelings and the canvas. It is the mode of communication that seems to be most effective for me. I did not jump directly into fine arts as an undergrad. I thought a more practical application and lucrative use of my skills would be something in the digital realm. As I started my college career towards a degree in graphic design, I found myself unable to pull myself away from the painting studios. I fell completely in love
I enjoy everything having to do with art – the craft itself, art history, art theory, discussion, critiques, the community it creates, and even the business of art. I truly live and breathe it. With focused dedication and a little bit of luck, I have recently made the leap to full-time artist and private art instructor.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a single mother of two beautiful children, the road to being a full-time artist has not been easy. I have relied on the help of family, friends, and the art community to help get me where I need to go. I am proud to say that I would not be where I am without them. That being said, I am a testament to the fact that if you are willing to sacrifice and passionately dedicate yourself to doing what you truly love – it WILL happen!
My artistic practice pays homage to the female makers that have come before me. My artwork is bound together by an irresistible urge to create in obsessive detail. These rhythmic creations drive me into a hypnotic state which allows me to delve even deeper into my psyche. My art is a part of the tradition of women’s craft. I conjecture that the hours that these females spent working knitting, embroidering, molding clay vessels et al. were much about meditation. A time period during the day in which they could check out and enjoy respite. The items they produced could be considered quite beautiful, but were almost never considered art. My artwork pays homage to this long-standing tradition, while challenging those who view it to label it art. Due to the sheer detail in my artwork, the interested viewer is forced to take a deeper look. Once held captive, the viewer enters my world of deep mindfulness about subjects such as birth/death, nostalgia, philosophy visual, perspective and esoteric knowledge. My art is a steel fist in a velvet glove.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a big foodie, and the Phoenix area has a great bar/restaurant scene. My top restaurant is Barrio Cafe. Just say yes to the Chiles en Nogada. Other favorite bars and restaurants include Cibo, Buck and Rider, Dick’s Hideaway, Undertow and Angel’s Trumpet. And since I can’t resist a good dive bar – Swizzle Inn for the win. For longer/out of town trips Jerome is at the top of the list. I also love a wine tour around Cottonwood and the beauty of Sedona is breathtaking.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents were my first support system and are my rocks to this day. They have encouraged me throughout my life. Even when I decided to make the intimidating step of dedicating my life to art. I had many professors in art school that shaped who I am as an artist. Most recently, the community of artists in Phoenix has been so welcoming. I have truly come into my own as an artist through the help of many local artists and art galleries/institutions. Thank you all!!