The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Olivia Knapp: Olivia Knapp, 33 years old, Visual Artist, Self-Employed
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
OK: These days I haven’t had much time for anything unrelated to art. Most of my inspiration comes from introspection and observations in my daily life. I am in my own head a lot.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
OK: When you say “creative professional” I assume you mean “commercial artist”. Yes, I think most commercial artists have a challenging time balancing between the two. I put my all into whatever project that I take on, and only take on commercial commissions that are a good fit for me. Because of this, I am always proud of my work. However, personal projects are usually the most fulfilling. I’ve been taking on a lot of commercial work this year, so I am itching to start a new self-initiated project.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
OK: I can easily go into creative mode and start brainstorming at any give moment. I feel more
efficient and productive in the mornings after a solid night of sleep.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
OK: I try not to think too far into the future. I have learned that long-term goals are just a reflection of what you think you want. You could be working really hard towards a goal, achieve it, and then realize that it doesn’t give you the satisfaction that you thought it would. My main priority is to make good art. I am flexible with my approach. I have some exciting opportunities this year. We’ll see what happens.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
OK: I’ve been working back to back on commercial projects, so I don’t have a personal project in the works at the moment.
I'm just finishing up 2 huge murals that span the height of Weyerhaeuser’s new headquarters in downtown Seattle. They’re life size old grow evergreen trees, a Loblolly Pine and Douglas Fir. My next commission is a campaign for the fine British suiting company, Turnball & Asser. They make the suits for the royal family and for all of the James Bond films, from Connery to Craig. I’ll be mixing my illustrations with macro-photography for this project. I haven’t done it before, so I am really excited to see the results!
TCU: What scares you?
OK: Depression and regret.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
OK: Success is making a living doing something you intrinsically enjoy and helping others along the way.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
OK: Help your neighbor.
If you want to learn more about Olivia and follow along with her work, head over to www.oliviaknapp.com.