20 Questions: Olivia Healy

Credit:  Olivia Healy

Credit: Olivia Healy


"When I was young, I used to crawl around my house on all fours and follow my dog around. I like to think we had a really great time together. "

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Finding Olivia Healy’s Instagram account was a case of love at first sight. At first glance, it’s the bright colours and striking form of the characters she paints that catch the eye; on deeper inspection a detailed, sensitive world emerges. Playing with notions of gender, the figures in her work are powerful, empowering and vulnerable, resplendent in nature and often mythical – pretty much like any good femme!

In short, if paintings can possess wisdom… then Olivia’s have it in spades. Meet Ash’s current favourite artist – we can’t wait to feature her work in print.

Name: Olivia
Age: 21
Gender: Femme
Location: London

What are your hobbies?
Doing colourful makeup, dancing in clubs, walking in nature, swimming in the sea.

Who is your favourite artist and why?
Henri Matisse! I just love all his work so much, it’s so unique and bold and I love the colours he used. I also love Toshio Saeki who creates really captivating and subversive erotic illustrations.

What is the last book you read?
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Describe yourself in three words (please).
Wise, passionate, opinionated.

What is your studio like?
I have a big white Ikea desk that is covered in tubes of gouache paint.

Do you paint every day?
I try! But if I don’t start early in the day, I find it hard to get started in the evening.

What makes you cry?
Emotional scenes in movies.

What are you working on this week?
8 drawings / paintings interpreting the word “Frequency”.

What is your fondest childhood memory?
When I was young, I used to crawl around my house on all fours and follow my dog around. I like to think we had a really great time together.

What music are you listening to right now?
Sateen’s new album.

If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?
Maybe a male Bird-of-paradise because they’re so flamboyant and are artists in their own way.

Who or what is your current greatest inspiration?
@thatgirlsussi on Instagram, I really admire how art is such a massive part of their identity and life.

What do you do to relax?
Probably go out dancing. It’s not exactly relaxing, but I find it revitalising.

What is your favourite thing about yourself?
I am very honest with people and straightforward about what I think, which is my favourite thing because it inspires honesty in other people.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
An artist or a zoo keeper!

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do?
I’d love to do something that was still creative, like fashion design.

Find Olivia on Instagram at: @oliviamhealy

Interview by Charlotte Ruth

Rosie Leggett