Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mind Body Spirit Artist Series - Bill Oliver, Boy So Blue Graphic Arts

The enchantment of magical far away lands that somehow feel like home.  The world of the fairies, angels, elementals and beyond.  Those are just some of the ethereal realms that Vancouver artist Bill Oliver creates and invites us to explore with his stunning imagery.  I hope you will find his work as beautiful and uplifting as I have!

                                                                                                              ~ diane fergurson

MBS:  Can you tell us a little about your background? How did you get started making art?

Bill:   I was born and still live in Vancouver BC. As a boy I loved to doodle, copying my fave cartoon heroes and my own scary monsters. Fast forward many, many years and I traded my pencil for Photoshop that I found would allow me to create my muses with much more to offer.

MBS:  Surprisingly enough, you are one of the few artists I have interviewed that refer to their muse.  What are your muses and what is their place in the magical lands of enchantment that you create?

Bill:  I believe my muse is my doorway to just beyond the veil of our day to day world. I feel the mood that I want to put into my art, and when it flows I know I am connected and I am seeing farther ahead than where I may be in the process.  If I struggle it won't happen.  I am delighted when people have told me they get a goosebump, a tear or a smile.  Then I know the magic is there.

MBS:  How do you go about selecting your images that you use in your pieces?

Bill: I start with either my own photos that I have snapped or a background created in a 3d program. Light is of utmost importance as it sets the mood.  I look for that while photographing or simulate it
digitally, adding light and atmosphere. After that, I gather pics, clip art, public domain photos, etc, to layer on top. I look for 2d pictures that I see able to work into a creation that will hopefully have a good sense of depth.

MBS:  Do you have specific landscapes, realms or themes that you tend to come back to or
find yourself exploring on a deeper level?  If so, what are they?

Bill:   It must be my ancestral memories but I have always had a feeling for certain landscapes and grandness of light that is somewhere. I love how it changes in a fleeting second. When I create my fairie art I will on occasion brighten up the landscape, colour, light, etc for a more whimsical vibe but prefer a slightly darker atmosphere with earthy colours.  I sense that there would be a certain energy manifested in the presence of the fae and I try to create that "feeling" in my work.  I hope that people connect to that place.

MBS:    For readers who may not be familiar, what is the fae or fairie?
Bill:  The fae, fairie, fairy, the gentry are all names given to the wee folk. Much has been written about them and those unfamiliar have much to delve into and magic awaits.

MBS:  Can you tell us a little bit more about your fairie art?  It really is so enchanting and also quite popular. Is it a subject matter that you were drawn to early on in your work, or did it just evolve?
Bill: It came about from my work with Brad and Sherry Steiger. I had done work for their books on Angels, Zombies, Ghosts, Monsters, etc. We had discussed the possibility of doing the definitive book on the wee folks and I started doing some creations. Unfortunately the publisher took the project off the shelf so to speak, but I carried on and now have well over a hundred pieces of fae art. So yes, it evolved and continues to.  Without question, my favourite genre :)

MBS:  What is a typical work day like for you?  Do you follow a scheduled routine, or does it depend on the project?

Bill:   I find that I am without doubt at my most creative in the early morning as it seems to flow much easier for me before the mass awaken. I believe the term is "Morning Renaissance".

MBS:  How do you market your artwork?  I first noticed your work online.  How has social networking impacted your visibility as an artist?

Bill:  Unfortunately my weakness starts when my creations are finished. I have tried with Cafe Press, Zazzle and Fine Arts America, none have done much for me.  Facebook has brought me a couple of gigs but in general very few purchase. It has, however, brought me a pretty fair amount of followers and folk that genuinely seem to like my art.

MBS:  Are you working on any particular projects you are working on right now, or have any shows coming up?

Bill:  I am working with Irish author Patrick Kavanagh presently. We are compiling his wonderful poetry with my art. The tentative title is "From The Muse" in which we hope to offer several volumes - The Fae, The Mysteries, Love Hurts, etc. No shows planned until I have the resources to get my art printed.

MBS:  Where would you like to take your work?  What would you like to do with it, or explore that you have not done already?

Bill:  I really hope that a publisher can see what I am doing and give me the venue that will enable me to show my art to a larger audience.

MBS:  Is there any advice you have for those who wish to (seriously) explore an artistic path?

Bill:  Well, just follow the muse and let the magic fall where it may. Don't quit your day job :)


thank you Bill!

To learn more about Bill Oliver and his wonderful work, you can visit his website, Boy So Blue Graphic Arts.  You can also find him on Facebook.

Links to other interviews in the Mind Body Spirit Artist Series.


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