Spotlight Interview with Olga Houghton discussing inspirations, her brand and selling through Artwork Portal

Thank you for speaking to us about your art journey. Where did it all begin for you?
From a very young age my art was commended and encouraged by my parents, educators and at external events and so I considered myself an ‘artist’. I then went on to train more formally studying Fine Art History and Studio Practices at York University, followed by a a bachelor of Education as I love teaching art as well and then a Masters at Goldsmiths University.

From who or from where do you draw inspiration for your work?
Several contemporary artists have influenced me for their use of colour and expression such as the Scottish Colourists, Fauve artists as well as the classical world for simplistic and fluid lines. Nature, memory, travel and a shared history all influence my work.

Do you like to experiment with what you use to create art and how would you describe your artistic style?
Experimentation is a big part of my practise. It is important to keep changing and evolving as an artist whether it is through a new medium, technique or source of inspiration just as one does as a person. Several artists who achieve success then get stuck as they paint what they know and think will sell
again. It’s then too intimidating to break out of that pattern. So I think it’s important to create work that is reflected by your own experiences and sources around you.

Why are your designs so different to other artists within the industry?
My work is authentic and true to me so, as a result then, my work will be unique on that way. I also feel inspired by many different sources and actually feel the need to change things up. I’m grateful for commissioned work which always pushes and challenges.

How do you stay relevant and current in a world full of creatives?
I am a very social person and I know the deep value of ‘the artist tribe’. I communicate with artist friends regularly and take part in life drawing classes to keep my eye sharp on observational skills.

How has social media impacted on you as judging by your online presence you seem to embrace this?
Instagram is a very empowering and positive platform and I have so enjoyed the community I have found on Instagram. Increasing my social media presence has meant more worldwide connections and has led to more opportunities; not just in selling work but in collaborative work, interviews and sharing of ideas.

How has your brand grown to where it is now? What has contributed to your success?
For me Instagram was the turning point and learning what a hashtag was and how to use one and so on. As bricks and mortar galleries sadly closed in lockdown social media became very important for artists and so I
embraced the opportunity to grow my brand there.

Have you worked with any galleries or brands or completed any important commissions you can share with us?
I have worked with a Toronto gallery in a group collective as well as a charity exhibition here in the UK, again as a collective. This is the first time I am exhibiting in an art fair and as an independent artist which I am hugely excited about. Commissions form a big part of my sales and have been mainly for private/residential clients. I have been approached my a corporate client but I’m not allowed to discuss that one just yet!

Which projects are you really excited about for 2021 and are there any future plans you can share with us?
Well, I’m super excited to be a part of the Sussex Art Fair and at the fantastic venue of Goodwood racecourse! I hope to participate in lore fairs in the future and have another lined up in November. I think it’s fantastic that more fairs are happening regionally and with local artists as London was always the dominant hub for a while but not always accessible for all. There are plans for future collaborations with other makers/creators which I look forward to. Art blogging is a new activity for me and I have been asked to be an Art Blogger for This is Haslemere which was really so flattering. Further, I’m delighted I will be featured in the ‘Art Edit’ of House and Garden magazine June and July editions. I’m hoping to exhibit more in the future. Finally, I’ve joined an artists’ hub in Newlyn, Cornwall to help me further define my practice. It is so important to keep moving and growing as an artist – for me it is anyway otherwise I might get bored!

See a selection of work from Olga Houghton HERE

Tickets to Sussex Art Fairs, 2nd – 4th July are available HERE and also on EVENTBRITE

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