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Feature Artist Q&A Esther Olsson

Today we introduce our second feature artist here at Modern Times. Every month or so we will bring together a series of artwork focusing on some of our fave local artists and designers.

Esther Olsson is a 23-year-old emerging artist from Melbourne, Australia. After starting out with a qualification in graphic design, she went on to work as an assistant to Melbourne artists Kirra Jamison and Beci Orpin.

With the encouragement and mentorship of these two successful and talented creatives Esther has launched her own painting career and developed a highly personal and idiosyncratic style. Her works are vibrant narratives within graphic grid systems bolstered by her attention to detail and sense of colour.

This series is part of Esther Olsson’s latest body of work ‘Hoops’ (2016). Hoops, takes its inspiration from gold earrings, girl gangs and basketball courts. With throwbacks to hip-hop, female sexuality, and her own experiences of moving from the country to the city ~ Esther has transformed her observations into vibrant modern allegories.

One of the most exciting emerging artists in Melbourne right now! Read more about Esther in our Q&A below.

Tell us a bit about your background. I.e. where did you grow up, what did you originally study?

I grew up in a small town in country Gippsland, Neerim South then moved to Ballarat to complete my year 11&12 studies. I studied graphic design and advertising in Melbourne.


Can you give us a little insight about the body of works in this series?

This body of work all revolves around my friends and I (age 23) being super young and trying to shoot goals in life, sometimes missing and sometimes winning.

Where about are you based? And, how dose your creative process usually unfold?

I’m currently based in Hawthorn.

I begin my creative process with a story from my life, and then try to portray that visually. I usually draw up super rough plan, which almost always changes when adding colors. This is mostly because the colors will change spacing and layout quite a lot.


What mediums do you love to work with?

I work mostly with gouache with my hand painted work and occasionally I will create a vector artwork on my computer when working on a print.

What dose the typical day in the life of Esther Olsson involve?

A typical day for me would start with a large list of jobs I need to complete on that day. I often like to go for a swim in the morning to clear my mind, and on the way back to the studio I will pick up my extra strong coffee to fuel the rest of the day. I usually paint all day until super late at night, and that’s when I will reply to all my emails.


Which other creative are you inspired by?

Ren Hang (photographer) hiphop music always, Alex Gardner (painter) PAM (clothing) James Jarvis (illustrator)

What would be your dream creative project?

I would love to work and collaborating with interesting brands or artists.


Is there any new inspirations/ new art pieces on the horizon?

I really enjoyed running an interactive art installation at NGV Art Party, an underage rave.

My newest inspiration is boxing; I’m super into the analogy behind the move THE ROPER DOPE!!!

I’m currently working on small group shows and some personal projects, and constantly trying to improve myself and construct new imagery.


Favorite basketball player?

New school- LeBron James

Old school- Allen Iverson

Shop Esther Olsson now

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