Olga Molina is a Spanish illustrator whose watercolour images, sketchbook narratives and illustrated ceramics are alive with the excitement and diverse sensual experience of travel, adventure, and taking joy in small discoveries. Her use of warm, autumnal colours, offset by flashes of blue, and layered illustration style, creates a welcome sense of the exotic and mysterious, and of beautiful places and people with secrets to tell.
Inspired by the visual culture of cities such as Morocco, Amsterdam, and Granada, Olga’s work is filled with individual facial expressions, people’s homes and the movement and energy of bodies. Simple things grab her attention every day and, like many creatives, she finds it a challenge not to turn her attention to the shapes and colours of objects as soon as she enters new place. A tactile person, she’s always drawn to the smooth curves of things in shops and has to pick them up to have a closer look at them. She tells us that she’s a fan of simple things, inspired by plans and the promise of distant horizons.
Olga originally studied painting restoration and worked for several years as a mural restorer. Over the years she’s dedicated much of her time to learning about printmaking and life drawing, but recently, found her niche in illustration, specifically using paint and etching. In 2014 she graduated with a creative illustration degree from EINA, Barcelona and took part in group exhibitions and staged solo shows in Barcelona and several Catalan towns, showing her paintings and ceramics.
Olga works in an attic space encompassing a sunny terrace that makes for a warm, bright studio. She describes it as the ideal working space and loves to split her work between the desk and the outdoors in the summer. Though she spends some time studying, taking pottery classes and perfecting her ceramics skills, she also teaches, hosting sketchbook and creative drawing sessions. She splits her time between high-energy dance lessons and the peaceful serenity of her studio, but admits that even without a pencil in her hand, she’s always thinking about developing her illustrations.
As a creative it’s important to take pride in your victories, no matter how small they are. This illustrator is a firm believer in the importance of personal resilience and education. She tells us that she’ll continue to learn new things, to improve her ceramics, and plans to push forward with her creativity, always staying on the move until her time’s up. She calls this attitude stubborn, we call it awesome. Currently creating the scenery for a dance production and working on some private commissions, Olga’s already planning plenty of new projects for this year, but her main goal? Less office and more pencil. Keep up with Olga on Facebook and Instagram.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth