20 Questions: 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. "
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.
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