Olivia Stirton | Poetic Resilience

The Curious World of Olivia Stirton

Those lucky enough to spend time with Olivia Stirton will know almost immediately that Olivia leads with her heart. Olivia’s natural openness is a magnet for everyone who feels as much and as openly as she does. Her refreshing ability to relate to others surely plays a part in her poetry, along with her enormous capacity to feel deep emotions.

I met Olivia Stirton for the first time while working at a bookstore here in Kamloops. The first thing I noticed about Olivia was her incredible aesthetic skills. Every shift I had with Olivia, I would see a new side of her. I never knew whether to expect a beautifully freckled and red haired pixie-Olivia or a teal-haired smokey-eyed goddess-Olivia. Seeing the various expressions Olivia offered the world was pretty amazing and she immediately struck me as an artist.

Those lucky enough to know Olivia Stirton, will also recognize that her growth through art is only beginning. If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll be able to see her growth as a poet, an make-up guru, a photographer and more.

When/Where/Why did you start making art?

I’d always been passionate about art,
but I never felt that I was good at it
and I just fell out of practice. Then I
wrote a poem for an English
assignment through my online school
when I was 16 and realized how much
writing meant to me, and how it could
be art just as much as painting and
drawing could be. That original poem
ended up being published online at
Feminine Collective just last year,
along with a couple more recent
ones.

How long have you lived in Kamloops?

I’ve always lived in Kamloops, but I
want to explore and go elsewhere at
some point. There is so much more
out there to see and gain inspiration
from, and I would love to see more of
other artists’ creations from other
places. And I’m running out of places
to play with nature photography here!

What are your artistic goals for the next 5 years?

I’ve just started getting back into painting and I’m hoping to push myself to create what I want without letting the opinions or skills of others influence me or cause me insecurity. My art is my own, and my goal is to reclaim that part of me. I want to stop avoiding such a great outlet due to the thought process that I’m “not good enough” at it, and create what sets my soul on fire. I tend to scrap a lot of my paintings and things I’ve done because I’m not happy with them and I really hope I can stop myself from doing that.

What Pushes You to Make Art?

My art and writing often comes from my struggle with mental illness. It’s been a great outlet for me over the years, through the highs and lows. My poetry tends to be rather dark, and sometimes I’m afraid to share it for that reason, but the truth is it comes from my heart. When I finish a poem that I feel really expresses what I’m trying to say, it gives me a sense of relief, even if nobody reads it but me. I would like to be able to share them more, but oftentimes when I do the response is positive but also along the lines of “are you okay?”

What are your favourite mediums and what medium do you want to try?

I mostly write poetry and practice photography, but over the years I’ve taught myself makeup artistry as well, and I’ve just begun diving into SFX makeup. I also enjoy acrylic painting, but I’m hoping to try more oil and watercolour painting as well. I’d love to learn new techniques and try new things in all of those different forms of my art though, I’m still trying to find myself. 6. I’m passionate about the environment, human rights and equality, but I tend to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself because it’s just overwhelming to think about sometimes. I kind of wish I could change the world and then get sad because I can’t. I hope at the very least I can have a positive impact on those closest to me.

What do you want people to know about you or your art?

I struggle to find positive things to say about myself a lot and there’s not a lot that I really need people to know about me, but I’d love for people to have a better understanding of mental illness in general. Terms like “unstable” have weighed heavily on me for a very long time, and it’s disheartening to be putting in your very best effort just to be okay and have people on the outside thinking you’re just “crazy”. I’m thankful to have art as an outlet and distraction, but I wish I didn’t have to be so concerned about being judged for my struggles. I guess I just want people to know that I’m trying my best.

Read Olivia’s work here: http://www.femininecollective.com/author/akinse/

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