Olivia Wong is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Arts at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook. Olivia is working at the Grenfell Campus Art Gallery, and has worked at the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Council as a summer events coordinator. She is interested in curating and painting. She is currently the student representative on the VANL-CARFAC Board of Directors.
1. When did you first realize that you wanted to become an artist?
In grade nine we had a career fair and we played games and they told us about different careers. They told us that it was a myth that artists can’t have a career and are living on the street. It was one of the first times I thought, “I could do this!”
2. What mediums do you work in and why?
I’m currently focusing on photography and sculpture, but I really love working with drawing and painting. I’m trying to expand to learn different mediums, as well. I guess you don’t really know what you like until you try it.
3. How do you get ideas for your artwork?
I guess ideas come differently at different times. Sometimes I get inspired by things I see. Sometimes, I just have an idea about something as I’m going to sleep at night.
4. What other artists influence your artwork?
I am influenced by almost everything around me — it’s hard not to be. I’m not consciously influenced by one particular artist. I might see something an artist does and think “I like that.” but then, not think about them again for a long time. Right now I’m looking at Meryl McMaster, Cornelia Parker, and Cindy Sherman.
5. What are the ‘big’ themes in your artwork?
I think, right now as a student, I’m still trying to work through what I’m trying to say as an artist. There may be themes present, but I am unaware of them at the moment.
6. What is the greatest challenge you face as an artist working in Newfoundland and Labrador?
The most notable challenge is accessibility. Newfoundland and Labrador is very disconnected. There is not a lot of art you can see here and while the internet helps, there is also only so many places you can show and see art in Newfoundland and Labrador.
7. What is the best thing about working as an artist in this province?
Probably the rich culture and landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador.
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t know if I can think that far ahead, at this point.
9. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I think the most probable career path I would have taken would be to be a writer or an architect.
10. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
For more time.