Coming from the harsh realities of life in Hackney, London; Olivia Taylar L-W known as OT, aged 26 took it upon herself to grasp the reality of the corrupt, systematic, trapped life in the United Kingdom even when things may have looked bleak. Being troubled and raised in a tough urban environment where artistic outlets were few and far between, Olivia was lucky to be blessed with opportunities to develop the blueprint for her creative desired dream from a young.
As an active member of her community Olivia constantly gets involved in her local community enterprises to try and give back to those from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity, she wished she could’ve had growing up. Being a full-time employee within the music industry, a contributing member of her community as well as juggling her art desire.
What drew you to painting as an artistic medium?
Growing up I was always a fan of colour, to understand colour you have to understand your 5 senses and the concept of colour – colour is a part of your seeing sense, in everyday life, you accidentally incorporate it. I didn’t realise this was called Synesthesia until I was told in primary school but also due to this I got to experience chromesthesia which not everyone experiences – Pharell and Kayne West both have it. A cool superpower. Probably why I naturally drew to painting as my artistic medium – I get asked this a lot and genuinely can’t answer it as I just found it fun but mostly it’s a gift but were all artistic just painting was my medium. I could create something I envision in my head and bring it to life, that’s crazy and it’s a crazy feeling. In Secondary school I was deeply troubled lol, I would be in isolation and 2 hours of detentions daily and would easily whizz through the work given to me so there was nothing left to do but catch up with my art studies to pass time. Constantly being in isolation and being naughty I noticed a lot of teachers would happily let me do what I wanted in my detentions and isolations as long as I was quiet and co-operating. For me this was a no brainer to just paint and get on with my art studies – I really loved my art teacher, she was the only person who didn’t judge me for my behaviour but actually saw me for me and at the time as a middle child I was the forgotten child so it was genuinely nice to be acknowledged. Each week she’d use my artwork as examples to the class and from getting no praises from other teachers to suddenly being the baddest at Art in my cohort just made me feel good – so naturally I just carried on spending more time with myself and painted lol. I really know myself, I really really know myself – we you paint you spend a lot of time with yourself communicating without thinking, literally meditation and it becomes first nature. I think this was one of the reasons I was super confident about myself from an early, gave myself my ego because both my mind and soul have spent 100000 of hours with each other as one – as corny as it sounds its the truth and the average human doesn’t acknowledge it till their “healing” era in life
What are the topics you explore mostly through your work and why?
I don’t have a set topic but trauma tends to come up a lot – I just think it’s cool to exploit yourself sometimes, it’s relatable but mostly life is going to extort and exploit you constantly. Living your truth with your heart on your sleeve is just the easiest way to live a soulful good life. It’s the only way to live an honest life and I am me and you can see that through all mediums of art, I dabble in. If it’s not trauma then I’m painting something very cool. Why? Because I’m naturally a very cool person and that’s not subjective its the truth I have lived a very cool fucked life and I make it sexy
How did you amass such a large following?
I’ve been popping in my hood since 1997 – LOL no joke
Homerton home and raised Hackney, one of the most creative hubs during our teenage years Hackney was a place of one and everyone knew each other. Naturally, my funny videos on social started going around and I’d be posted on silly hot spice pages on Facebook page which just created me to become popular
What are your aims as an artist?
I want to be classified as a Black British Contemporary Artist – I’m 75% Black and 25% white, born in Hackney, London. This is my home, I want to be a notable figure for art because it’s not something a lot of Black people are homed to. The art industry is still predominantly white middle class however it is slowly changing but not fast enough and I am going to be a part of that.
Retire out of music and be a full-time artist raising children’s painting from home! I want to be able to have an outlet being able to create money whilst being present in the early ages of my children’s lives
Give back to my community and hopefully start something for my art teacher – she used to always say she wanted a painter and I didn’t think that was me but it’s looking like it’s happening. I’d love to have like a foundation where I can give away grants for working-class children pushing a creative outlet but once struggled like I did in her name – very possible my Indian astrologist told me I’ll have my charity and this question just reminded me my goal
What advice would you give to other emerging creators at the start of their careers?
Just start! I started an art Instagram page when I was 15 and deleted it, did the same thing again when I was 17 and deleted it but finally gained the courage to restart at 19 and am still here living the truth. Follow my art page @Otaylart hehe x