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Olivia Lynn: A Passion for Papermaking

Olivia making paper in the papermaking studio at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Olivia Lynn's path as an artist started in high school, during which she participated in many Shoreline Arts Alliance galleries and events. During covid, Lynn discovered her love of papermaking and cut paper illustrations. She describes the process as therapeutic, and now boasts an extensive portfolio of her cut paper illustrations and multimedia pieces which utilize her own handmade paper. She embraces the process of creating her pieces from start to finish.

Olivia now helps others to learn the art of paper making as an Alumni teacher's assistant at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, her alma mater.

Read Olivia Lynn's full interview below:

SAA: How has your artistic journey been through college? How has it evolved since high-school?

Olivia: "I attended Guilford High School and graduated in 2018. I attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and graduated with academic honors and a BFA in Illustration. On campus, I was a gallery curator and teaching assistant for many different classes including studio and liberal arts courses. These opportunities really highlighted how much I enjoy teaching at a collegiate level and utilizing my leadership skills to organize events and projects! I currently work as an Alumni teaching assistant on MassArt's campus for the paper making courses. It has been a game changer teaching alongside my Professor and educating others on something I am so passionate about!"

SAA: What do the arts mean to you?

Olivia: "During COVID isolation, I found myself producing lots of cut paper illustration work, which was therapeutic and challenged me to think in a much more polarizing way than drawing pencil to paper usually

would. This led to a bulk of my portfolio being filled with illustrations in widely mixed media, experimenting with materials that would break barriers of their face value uses (think cardboard, vinyl). Today, handmade paper making has been an active and influential part of my creative process. It is a craft I took a class on during my freshman year of college and has since changed the trajectory of my thinking and how I conceptualize material use!"

"I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves" a cut paper piece by Olivia Lynn

SAA: How have you been involved with and supported by Shoreline Arts Alliance?

Olivia: "Throughout my high school career, I had participated in many of the opportunities The Shoreline Arts Alliance had to offer to students; including but not limited to the Images internships, Future Choices, and many other gallery opportunities and connections."

SAA: How did this support help you get to where you are now?

Olivia: "The SAA really helped me shape my creative dreams into something I could fathom as a career. At an age like 16 or 17, a career in the arts didn't feel like something that could be sustainable or anything more than a hobby, and that is also what society likes to implant in our youth. The SAA and other arts and cultural organizations play an instrumental role in making creative opportunities accessible and available to our

communities! The support of the SAA has assured me that I have connections to a wide network of artists and career opportunities on the Connecticut shoreline."

SAA: How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Olivia: "As both a human and an artist, I would best describe myself as both calculated and fluid. I am quite firm in my belief that in order to be a working artist you need portions of both in your mindset in order to market yourself and follow trends and opportunities that suit your individual creative practice. Art is a voice that is honed with time, patience, and plenty of catalysts. To me, this means art is a relationship that requires effort and love! This also means that, as you develop a network of other working artists, it is important to include artists that speak different dialects of creating. I think this was one of the most inspiring things about going to an art school- being surrounded by creators and makers of many different backgrounds, each with unique personal voices."

Check out Olivia Lynn’s art on her website or by following her on Instagram.

You can support artists like Olivia through donations to our Future Choices Show. Donations to Future Choices are given as cash awards to students as recognition of excellent work. For more information on how to support our Future Choices show, click here.

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