Monday, January 24, 2011

Interview with the artist - Olga Cuttell from Ola Design

By N Valentine Studio

Featured artist - Olga Cuttell from Ola Design, Vancouver

Olga is another non-SATeam member whom we are featuring on our blog. It's really nice (and inspiring) to see other mediums and hear what makes those artists tick.

I adore the lightness and whimsy in Olga's work. My absolute favorites are her birds. You'd think being a horse person I'd be drawn to her horses which are also lovely. But her birds make me think of a warm spring morning, sun shining and birds chirping. They give me such an inner warmth I could look at her shop all day. My favorite is her Spring Warble.

How long have you been working in your medium?
Not that long actually. Recreationally, I've done pencil sketches and the odd illustration for years, but my ink technique - which is, by far, the most prominent among my professional pieces - is something I discovered only about 3 years ago.

What drew you to this medium?
Many things. It's more versatile than water-colour (allowing layered compositions and shorter drying times). It also tends to generate a more vivid final colour output which is key to generating my themes and is a source of joy as an artist.

What is your favorite thing about your art?
See above. Colour and its ability to tell an emotional tale. I tend towards the whimsical and I actively seek out themes that raise the spirit.

What's your favorite piece?
Impossible question. The Sisters is one of my earliest ink pieces and I still come back to it ... but even then ... my favorite piece is the one I'm working on at the time.

What's the hardest piece you've ever made?
Anything commissioned. The vast majority of my art I paint for myself and hope people like it. When I take on a commission, the pressures are different; that is to say there is pressure, and so I have to change my mindset and work harder to relax.

What's the one favorite tool you cannot live without?

What's your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?
My favorite thing is also my biggest headache sometimes. My studio is in my home which is convenient and keeps me close to the things that are most important to my life. Of course it also makes it harder to step outside my life sometimes. My husband and son are great about giving me space, but my two-year-old daughter ... not so much.

What is your other craft?
Pottery. I love the textures and having a piece that you can use in your home. Home-made pottery, even amateur work, has a wonderfully unique character about it that never grows old with me. I have great admiration for those who have developed both skill and style when working the clay.

Who or what inspires you?
I love the natural world and believe it to be both an inspiration and an expression of living art. I'm also captivated by the inherent strength that I believe lives in the hearts of the world's women. We are beautiful at all ages, and in all shapes and colours. I like to remember that and I see evidence of it every day.

What's your favorite inspirational saying?
If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was.

What's one thing you've never done you've always wanted to do?
You need more space in this blog ... If I have to choose just one thing, it would be skydiving. We've got some friends who do it as a lifestyle choice (they do instruction and videos to supplement their addiction) and it sounds like everything I've ever wanted in a hobby - excitement, challenge, fellowship. Expensive, though.

The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at


mcstoneworks said...

Great interview. Love Olga's work. The Sisters painting is fabulous.

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

Thank you for sharing about this talented artist...her ink drawings have a magical insight. I like to hear about artists that work in differnt media from our team.

Koolbraider said...

Absolutely stunning. What an incredible variety of artists featured here.

Red Bird Jewellery said...

Sigh - wish I could draw - really interesting post - thanks!

Bonnie said...

This is a great interview. very interesting art work. Thank you for introducing us.

Cat said...

These drawings are so beautiful!

galadryl said...

Adorable pictures, thank you.

BeadSire said...

Oh wow - what beautiful work!

Nicole Valentine-Rimmer said...

I adore her work, it's so etherial.

DawninCal said...

Wonderful interview and fabulous art work!

The talent featured here truly is awe inspiring.

Nicole said...

Amazing work - Olga, you're incredibly talented; thank you for sharing your story with us!

Rita alias alatvian said...

Many thanks to both of you for sharing! Very inspiring!

Jeanne said...

Stunning artwork! I spent quite a bit of time looking at your etsy shop, Olga. I love it all, I don't think I could pick a favorite type of picture.

Cassie said...

Thank you for sharing more about yourself and your art, Ola! I've seen your work on Etsy before and really love what you do!