We had the good fortune of connecting with Abigail Olstrup and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abigail, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
It’s difficult to pinpoint one single thing I am inspired by, as there are so many things/people around me that inspire me. What inspires me is constantly changing, I never quite seem to have just one. There are times where I am inspired by something for a day, and the very next I have another. I believe it depends on where I am in my life, and what is happening in the world around me. Major global events, those close to me, and my community often seem to be the main focus of my inspiration. Though most of the time I am unable to define just one inspiration I have, I believe deep down I have a series of inspirations which motivate me in my day to day life. For example, shortly after RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) passed away, I realized what an inspiration she actually was to me. Her courage and activism inspired me, prompting me to create a short series of artwork influenced by powerful women. Another motivation of mine is my family, friends, and teacher who have encouraged me to strive for the best, and to never give up on my goals. I am realizing as I get older that there may never be just one thing that I draw inspiration from, instead I will find what motivates me in that period of my life, and in the next a new inspiration will arise.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My love for art began at the age of 2 when my dad used to sit down with me and draw. I spent any free time I had drawing. My parents saw that I was passionate about doing art and enrolled me in an after school art program where I was taught how to hone in on my skills ranging from watercolor, to pastels, and digital art. In 2014, through my art school, I had the opportunity to compete in the Fort Worth Stock Show Art Competition where I won 1st place in my age category utilizing all of the mediums (Pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, and colored pencil) I had been taught all in one piece. I have also been commissioned to do artwork for a hotel guestroom project and a university common area, and my art has been displayed in the Hurst Library. I gravitate towards pet portraits, and portraits, I find there is something rewarding about being able to do a piece of art of someone’s loved one, whether in pet form or human. Though I have been lucky for the most part, it is still difficult as a young artist to be taken seriously.
What I have learned so far is that art is more than just colors on a canvas. It can mean so much more than that. It can tell a story, or make a statement. It can even bring peace to someone who is going through a hard time. Everyone looks at a piece of art in a different way. We may all look at a painting of a flower and see a flower, but the way we interpret that flower can be vastly different.
My artwork mainly consists of portraits and pet portraits. I absolutely love creating someones loved one. I have created pet memorial pieces, for people who have lost a pet. I have found that it brings them a sense of peace seeing their pet in vibrant colors. For most of my pieces I use watercolors, I find the flow of the colors coming together to be really beautiful. It is a rewarding feeling to see people be moved by the pieces of art I create for them, and having them display the pieces of art in their home. What sets me apart is that I still have time to grow as an artist. Since I am only 18, I have the time to try new techniques, various canvases, and new materials and see where my college education takes me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely take my friend to Pineapple Grill Texas in Hurst to try their delicious teriyaki fries! Though just recently was my first visit to Denton, I would take my friend to Recycled Books Records CDs, a three level book store, to browse through the amazing books and music they have. For drinks I would have to stop by HTEAO in Bedford and pick up a sweet mint tea, its amazing!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my parents, friends, and community who always encourage me, as well as the staff at Midcities Montessori for being so supportive.