Entries in Artist (1)

Tuesday
May112010

Charmaine Olivia

Charmaine OliviaStackedBears in Hair

Your work tends to involve many interpretations of hair. Tell me what significance this plays in the finished product.
Hair has such a tremendous power to 'make or break' it. It has this transforming effect on even the strangest of faces that I draw. Crooked teeth, tiny noses and unibrows mean nothing when their hair is done right!

Many of your pieces are very organic: integrating animals into hair, painting on wood; tell me how this evolved.
I have this issue with things looking too plain. Whether that's how I look or how my art looks. Tangling animals and faces in to the hair is usually a good solution to my unease.

In your paintings I see contrast in how you address the realistic textures and finishes of skins and how you may leave textiles very flat and treating the hair differently. Why?
I've always had this sort of split identity when it comes to art, the way I draw and the way I paint are very different. I've been trying to mesh the two styles, and I found the best way to do that is to leave the hair very illustrative and the skin more realistic.

How does art influence your personal hairstyles?
So often I live vicariously through my art. I get to try out hairstyles without actually having to style or cut my hair. I usually end up drawing the hairstyle I had at that time, and I notice that when I start drawing different hair, that usually means I'm ready for a new haircut. ha. One of my recent drawings is a girl with a half shaved head. Yes, I may go there, as I'm kind of obsessed with Carmen Electra's new 'do.

How do you like your hair to feel?
Thick and wavy! Anything but flat. ugh.

Wanna give your stylist a plug? Who's your stylist and where do they work?
Eep.. no stylist! I cut my own hair.  (But if I do something drastic, I won't be cutting it myself. That may be dangerous.)

Charmaine Olivia has been seen in Juxtapoz, Urban Outfitters, and on my laptop. She is a self-taught artist in San Francisco and her work is important part of my personal collection. See more of her work at charmaineolivia.com