ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ESTHER OLSSON

January 19, 2017

Based in Melbourne, Australia, artist and graphic designer Esther Olsson creates colourful work influenced heavily by hip-hop. She chats to us about the art scene in her hometown and how she found and grew to embrace her drawing style.

UO: Where do you most commonly find inspiration?

I feel like it’s really important as an artist to immerse myself in other people’s art. Whether it’s in small local exhibitions or worshiping the big names at big galleries in Melbourne and on my travels. But mostly when I’m painting in my studio, I gain heaps of inspiration from hip hop music, because it’s super visual and expressive.

UO: How did you decide upon/refine your style?

It took me a long time to find my style. When I was a bit younger, and less self-assured I was making art that I thought other people would like. Someone saw some of my work in my current style that I was making for fun, and they said to roll with it! I feel like I’m constantly trying to improve developing my style.



UO: What has been your biggest career challenge?

Being an artist is essentially running a small business. For me the creative aspect feels really natural and easy. But the business side of it, such as hustling invoices, tax and all that jazz is really challenging.

UO: Describe your creative process.

Most of the time I’ll have a story or some lyrics from a rap song, from there I will draw images I feel work with that & then I just go from there ☺



UO: What is the art scene in Melbourne like?

Considering the size of the city, Melbourne has a really big art scene. I feel like it is really supporting and inclusive for young artists. It might sound corny but I feel like along with my regular family, I also have my art family. #blessed

UO: How have you seen your work develop over the past few years?

I feel like it’s hard to even draw parallels between my old style, and current works, but that is really normal I guess for a young developing artist. I feel like in the last few years I have developed a distinct Esther style and I’m sure it will evolve, but will stay more or less the same vibe.



UO: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My mentor Kirra Jammison told me to stop making art for other people, and make art that you love. You do you.

UO: What do you like to listen to to get you in the concentrating mood?

Links to what I’m playing right now:

RYTHEM SECTION

LARRIE BAD GIRL MIX

J DILLA

NONAME

SEAN PRICE

CHILDISH GAMBINO

JORDAN RAKIE

MY PLAYLIST LINKS

fre$h DANCE Boogie

smoke fire



UO: Describe your art in three words.

Colour
Grid
playful

UO: Can you tell us about any future/ current projects that you are working on?

Lately I have been working on a few clothing collaborations, which I’m super, excited for. Other than that working on my website and an online store where I will sell prints, t-shirts and painted wooden cut outs.