Visual Female of the Month – April

– Olga Noes

Olga Noes Portrait B&W

Olga Noes is a true talent. Her style of work is pretty unique and I find it very intriguing. She mainly uses women as her subject matter, so seemed a perfect candidate for Visual Female of the Month. Her work has quite an etherial quality, while also being a little dark and mysterious at times. I am constantly amazed and impressed each time I see her post a new piece of art on Society6. I wish I had as much dedication and talent! Olga was such a pleasure to connect with, so I am very happy to be sharing her interview below. Please go and check out her work at her various sites, it will be your reward. See bottom of page for these details.

Filamentous MolluscaSaffron's Honey

Now for the interview….

When did you start painting and illustrating? And when did this turn into a career?

I began painting in early 2008, and began working full-time as an artist in March 2012.

What is your artistic process?

I have no idea.  It is a beast of its own.  I get the urge to paint or draw from listening to music, driving in my car or looking at photography.  A lot of ideas come to me while I’m trying to sleep too, so I keep my computer near me when I go to bed.  It’s incredibly unnerving for me to have someone watch me while I’m making anything, so I like to work alone with really loud, mindless music playing.

You paint a lot of women (prefect for thevisualfemale), why do you find women interesting as a subject matter?

This may be specific to a Western woman or maybe specific to who I’m sexually attracted to, but I find that there is a narrow margin of male attractiveness (strong, stoic, wise, gruff, i.e. kind of monochromatic).  Conversely, I find women can be very attractive in so many ways.  A butch woman can be beautiful.  A feminine woman can be beautiful.  An androgynous woman is visually stunning, more so, I believe, than an androgynous man (not including Andrej Pejić, of course, who is one of the most beautiful human specimens I’ve ever laid eyes on!).  I love how fragility, vulnerability and tragedy show on a woman’s face.  In essence, I just like the way a woman’s face wears emotion and expression better.

What are your goals/plans for your creative career in the near future?

I don’t know.  I don’t really have any.  I don’t want to be disappointed at not completing them, I guess.  I keep tinkering with the idea of pursuing a career in law.  I’m really passionate about law and environmental sustainability and the relationship between business and consumer on a global scale.  This whole art thing has really been a happy accident that just keeps gaining momentum.

If you somehow hurt your vision, would you choose to wear glasses or contacts?

To my knowledge, I haven’t hurt my vision, but I do wear glasses on occasion.  I was farsighted when I was a kid and am now nearsighted, but only a little.  I have night blindness, which makes driving at night distressing.

Excluding sight, what two other senses are your favourites?

The sense of smell is by far my favorite.  I cook constantly, usually at least twice per day, and I think that’s why I love the sense of smell so much.  It’s so intertwined with taste (I love food!), and I smell things constantly in the world that transport me to a forgotten memory.  It’s lovely.  My grandmother had a brain injury that robbed her of both her sense of smell and taste, and I think that’s probably the worst that could happen with respect to your senses.  I actually don’t think losing hearing would be very tragic so long as you once had hearing.  I had two deaf uncles who had been deaf since toddlerhood.  Their perception of sarcasm was severely diminished.  I always thought that was really sad—to have a marred sense of humor.  The loss of sight would just annoy me more than anything.

5 most pleasant things to look at:

1.   A lush garden, ripe with food.

2.   Someone owning a moment, like a victory or having a crowd hang on their every word.

3.   Where the nape of someone’s neck meets their hairline.

4.   Happiness on a person’s face, an unstoppable laugh.

5.   Undeveloped land.

5 least pleasant things to look at:

1.   Ignorant people content with their ignorance.

2.   Wastefulness.

3.   Accumulation (of wealth, gadgets, cars, etc., etc. Much to the detriment of my current profession, I know!).

4.   Subdivisions!  Blagh!

5.   Pain (physical or emotional, animal or human).

Who is the most inspiring woman you know and why?

My grandmother is probably the most inspiring woman I personally know.   She was in a really tragic car wreck in 1987, in a coma for a few weeks with severe brain damage, meaning that I don’t really remember her former self.  She’s a southern hick with a penchant for listening to dreadful country music, but she’s was a masterful banjo and piano player.  My mom raised me by herself and is devoid of any artistry whatsoever, so I really gravitated towards my grandmother for her musical proclivities.  She was also a really gifted carpenter who owned more power tools than most men and could probably build you a better deck, too.  She’s humble, incapable of prejudice and an excellent listener.

What is your favourite thing about yourself?

My eagerness to learn.

What is on your bedroom walls currently?

Some shelves I’ve made from old books I picked out of the giveaway bins at a bookstore.

Favourite clothing / accessory / product at the moment?

I have some lavender leather boots I got a couple of years ago while living in Germany, and I could live in them!  I don’t know what brand they are, something British, I believe, but they’re lovely, and I insist they go with everything!

Favourite artist at the moment:

Oh mother!  I love so many.  I’d probably say Zan Von Zed because I found her work just a couple of months ago, and it’s just so lovely and unique.  There are a lot of artists who I just go gaga over, though.

And finally, any words of advice for people stepping into the creative sector?

Oh dear.  Be prepared to work harder than you ever have and see minimal financial gain for doing so!  That social life’s gotta go too!  In seriousness, though, it’s really difficult.  It’s, like, two steps forward and about twenty back.  Or at least it feels that way most days.  Creativity can manifest itself in so many ways in the world, though, so there are a lot of outlets that can lead to a satisfying career.  As a freelance artist, I’ve found that I’m always on.  I’m writing e-mails at five in the morning.  I’m sending quotes at dinner with friends.  There’s no off time.  This causes some major amounts of frustration at times.  You sit around calculating how many hours a day you spend painting, drawing, sketching, promoting, advertising, updating, adding, editing your work, and realize your hourly wage and want to pull all your hair out.  Really the only advice I can give to a creative-driven person is the same advice I’d give to anyone anywhere:  Never stop.

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