When we first saw the fiber art of Olivia Hill, we were immediately drawn to her colorful botanical patterns and vibrant depictions of animals, people and dreamy locations, which made us want to jump right into the canvas! We chatted with Olivia to learn more about her background in fashion, growing up in an artistic family, and where she gets her inspiration today.
Tell us a little bit about your background. What were you doing before Punch Needle?
I grew up in Birmingham Alabama smack in the middle of the art scene. With two artists as parents it was kind of impossible to not be surrounded by art and other creatives. When I went off to school I was driven by several other of my passions, one of them being fashion and style and started managing in women’s retail. I worked my way up and then decided to take a stylist role at Anthropologie in Atlanta. I thrived in this position and enjoyed it a lot, however I knew in my heart this was not my forever dream. I started dabbling with punch needle and right away knew I felt different with this medium than any others I had tried. My Etsy shop started to grow as well as my inventory and at that point I knew it was time for me to take the leap of faith and make punch needle my full time career.
How do you stay inspired?
My inspirations come from so many different alleys! Color and different pallets really get my blood pumping though. Because of my background in style, I often find myself getting a lot of my inspirations from high fashion and designer collections. I’m very intrigued by texture and unexpected color combinations which these collections tend to have no shortage of! On a very different note, wildlife is also something that I can always count on to get me excited to create. I am absolutely enamored by animals and amazed by the colors and patterns that occur in nature in general. From flowers and greenery to very detailed animal markings, nature has so much to offer when it comes to inspiration.
How has your work evolved over time?
Naturally, both of my parent’s art style has greatly affected my own. I see a lot of my mom’s content as well as some of her design elements creeping into my art. Because she is a painter and my dad a printmaker/ sculptor, my medium is quite different from both of theirs though. I am self-taught and I think that primitive element is very present in my work. My earlier work has looser lines and less detail. As I grew more comfortable my work became bolder and riskier. I greatly incorporate texture changes as well as dimension into my pieces. My content has a wider range, as I become more and more inspired by different things in life. Overall I see so much growth in my style in just the year and a half that I have been punch needling and fully expect to keep evolving as I keep growing as a fiber artist.
To see more of Olivia’s work, check out her Instagram and website at the links below!